Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Entrepreneurs and Autobiographies

I was always fascinated reading only non-fiction, in particular, autobiographies of successful businessmen.  Long years back, say in 1978, it was ROOTS by Alex Haley.  Its all about how Africans were captured as slaves and taken to America who later became part of civilisation after about 12 or more generations.  And today, we have an Afro-American in Barack Obama as first non-white President of USA!

Later years, I read Lee Iacocoa (belongs to Italy but settled in USA) of Ford and Diamler-Chrysler fame.  His dabling with Automobile Industry after successful rise in Ford Company is very interesting.  Then, it was MADE IN JAPAN by Akio Morita, who was an Engineer by qualification, and after having served in Army fighting in Second World War, went on setting up SONY with astounding success story in electronics!

In the last two years, I have also read the three books of Subroto Bagchi, the Founder and currently Gardener of Mind Tree Consulting of Bangalore.  These are THE HIGH PERFORMANCE ENTREPRENEUR (2006), GO KISS THE WORLD (2008) and THE PROFESSIONAL (2009).  It is so interesting that an ordinary BA graduate from remote Orissa moving to DCM in New Delhi for a decent managerial job shifts to Bangalore for a Sales Job in Computer Hardware Industry only to become a COO in Wipro and later co-founds Mind Tree.  The entire journey is an entrepreneurial adventure worth reading.

Last year (2009), I picked up these two books by Infosys stalwarts - BETTER INDIA - BETTER WORLD by NR Narayan Murthy and IMAGINING INDIA by Nandan Nilekani.  Both these books are also prize possessions for those keen on entrepreneurship. Each have written about their middle-class lives.

I completed reading 3 chapters (out of a total of 13 plus) in SIMPLY FLY - an Autobiography of Capt GR Gopinath, the founder of Deccan Air. Another ten chapters to go..In ninety of the total of 380 pages I read so far, Gopi has moved from a village to Indian Army as a Captain after studying in a Bijapur Sainik School and IMA-Pune, taking up farming, set up Malnad Mobikes, Yagachi Tiffins, a Stock-broking firm and a Franchise of Jain Irrigation (for Agri Consultancy) before entering Airlines or Politics! Let me read more!

Today, I got my latest copy of Business World (29th Mar) with a special coverage on INDIA'S HOTTEST YOUNG ENTREPRENEURS.  This is the second year BW is carrying out such an exercise.  Having received a total of 112 entries for the contest this year, the Screening Committee consisting of 11 experts shortlisted 30 on about ten parameters.  The Jury comprising six other leading personalities like Ashok Wadhwa, Rana Kapoor, Harish Mariwala et al adjudged and named five top names as winners. Interesting!

These include (in that order) 1. Kranti Kiran Vistakula (Hyd) of DHAMA APPAREL INNOVATIONS, 2. Ratnesh Yadav & Gyanesh Pandey et al of HUSK POWER SYSTEMS (Patna), 3. Anmol Singh Jaggi a Carbonpreneur of GENSOL CONSULTANTS (from Panchkula), 4. Irfan Alam (an IIM-A Grad)  of SAMMAAN FOUNDATION from Patna and 5. Radrajeet Desai, Saurabh Kumar & Maninder Gill  of IDEACTS INNOVATIONS (from Mumbai).  This issue is again a prize collection worth possessing for all those are aspiring or dreaming to become Entrepreneurs with a strong urge or desire to get them motivated.

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