“Everyone does not need to build a 100 crore or 1000 crore company. Small vs Big vs Superbig is a choice that an entrepreneur makes himself or herself depending upon the ambitions, values and what he likes doing.”
‘i.t.’ score: 80%
Motivation only rarely stems from self-help books and lectures, however inspiring these are. More often, motivation comes out of seeing somebody quite like you, and thinking, “If she can do it, why not me?” If you agree, then you must read this book. It might be a turning point in your life, leading you to introspect further and act on your entrepreneurial dreams, instead of burying them in exchange for a safe but mundane 9 to 5 job. Some of the stories are so inspiring that they might lead you to (re)venture into the technopreneurial path, even if you have already buried your college day dreams!
Stay Hungry Stay Foolish by Rashmi Bansal traces the lives of 25 IIM-Ahmedabad students who chose to follow the rainbow till they found their pots of gold! Along the way, they created some of the most successful companies in the country—from Mastek and naukri.com, to makemytrip.com and Mphasis. The book also includes success stories from other industries, ranging from investment and healthcare to education.
Some of those featured took to the entrepreneurial path by design, some by chance, some as soon as they finished college, and others long after. Non-IIM readers might roll their eyes and say, “But well, they were from IIM-A!” So what? Not all IIM graduates become entrepreneurs. If the protagonists of this book did, it is not just as a result of their education but of their entrepreneurial spirit, which does not depend on which college they come from! If they were not from IIM, they might still have achieved this. IIM-A graduates are just a subset taken up by the author and having passed out from this renowned institution is no pre-requisite (though it might have served as an advantage in some cases) for entrepreneurship. This becomes very clear as you read every story.
When you come to know that India’s best-known job portal, naukri.com, was developed by a programmer who self-admittedly knew nothing about the Internet, in exchange for a 7 per cent stake in the business, and that the founders worked without an Internet connection for over six months, then you come to believe that anything is truly possible, if only you wish to make it happen! Every story in the book is just as inspiring, and is augmented with further value-adds such as advice to young entrepreneurs from the founders, on topics ranging from publicity to capital.
The book is written in an engaging and conversational style, which makes it tough to put down, although you would certainly want to pause occasionally to mull over matters. As mentioned earlier, the only grouse some readers might have is the selection of only IIM-A alumni, but well, look at it as just a parameter to choose 25 subjects from amongst the innumerable companies in our country! It is a good thing that the Centre for Innovation, Incubation and Entrepreneurship (CIIE), IIM Ahmedabad, decided to sell this book in the market instead of limiting the distribution to just their students. Let us make the most of it!