Saturday, November 24

Stay Hungry Stay Foolish - By Rashmi Bansal.

Yet another book on entrepreneurship. I have read "I have a dream" by rashmi bansal, it was about social entrepreneurs. But this book is different. I should have read this first. The book has some inspiring stories, as the book title reads

The inspiring story of 25 IIM Ahemdabad graduates who chose to tread a path of their own making.

The book has stories about entrepreneurs, their up's and down's and some take away's. Out of the 25 there were only few who were really inspiring. But lets talk about what this book gives and what i was expecting.

The good parts

1) Inspiring Stories : It is really inspiring to read about people who are self motivated and forward thinkers. For instance "Sunal Handa". The author calls him The Alchemist. This person has played various roles from a hard nosed businessman to an education entrepreneur. I think this guy is a genius an IIT'an and then studies in IIM. He is the force behind the LEM (Laboratory in Entrepreneurial Motivation). Another true inspiring story was of Vikram Talwar. Vikram Talwar had a long and distinguished career with Bank of America, almost more that 25 years. Started his entrepreneur careen in later 40's he has set up a company which is India's largest BPOs. Another one was of  Vardan Kabra of Fountainhead school, an IIT'an. He left a lucrative job to pursue his dream of starting FountainHead school.

2) Qualities : What qualities do they have to be so successful? It is passion, Risk, Courage and Forward thinking. I think every person has to have these i.e Risk taking ability and passion to do something to be successful. It is a common trait in mentioned in any/all books about successful people. 

3) To get Funded or No? This book and the stories makes me think about all the funding thing. The VC's, angel funding etc. To start your dream project, whether you need funding or no depends entirely on the type of project. And every decision about funding and money should be made when they need to be made. It cannot be planned before had. Some of the entrepreneurs choose to get funded and some like to stay away from it. So it is not really a factor or concern for all the individuals. But as i read, i realize that people who opted out of funding did spend from their pocket and some choose not to take home anything during the initial phase.

4) Big dreams and big returns : Yes all the figures are in Crores some going upto 1k Crore. The turnover of almost all the companies. All the entrepreneurs had big ideas which in turn resulted in big returns. It was very surprising to learn about these companies that started as early as in 70's - 80's and were profitable during that era. Just to be clear, i had never thought that the entrepreneurship bug had bitten this early in India. This book was an eye opener.

5) Co-founders : Most of them had a co-founder, a like minded and Risk taker. They were just luck(?) or may be smart to be together and work towards their vision. Some of their co-founders had left at an early stage, but the spark within them and the vision led them to go ahead and fulfill their dreams. To be more precise having a co-founder is important and adds a value to the overall growth of the company. What i learned from this was that you cannot be a all rounder, master of all jack kind of person to be a successful entrepreneur. No doubt there are single successful people, but if we have to go by the statistics, then a venture with a co-founder is more successful.

What i was expecting from this book.

1) Relation of these people with IIM : The book talks about 25 entrepreneur's from IIM. I was hoping at least one page be dedicated to what they learned from IIM. How each person credits their success to his/her alma mater. Did IIM have anything to do with their entrepreneurship or for that matter did MBA play any role in their career. The people in this book are IIM passed out from as early as late 60's. I think the book lost my interest as i was hoping to read about their IIM journeys as well.

2) Details on the start of the business: I was hoping if more insights be given on what exactly happend in the initial phase of the business in each entrepreneurs career. More information such as their thoughts, how did they go about setting a team, what was their thought about putting their own money. Minutely small details about the initial phase was kind of missing. The book talked about the success and turnover in crores, but what was the initial starting turnover and how they continued? I was hoping less of figures and more of the details.

Overall the book is a good read and i myself learnt a lot out of it. Especially the fact that anything can be achieved even in India if you wish to follow your dream.

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