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Rewarding journeys

Padmaja Ruparel

In the current wave of biopics, Start-up City is an excellent collection of interesting stories of some of India's promising entrepreneurs. The collaborative authors have not left it to narrative, but presented insightful learnings from each of their journeys. This book is all about how individuals can pursue their dreams and live their lives by simply following their passion. By the method of this book, the authors have competently put together a profile of successful business people who have started their businesses with limited investments. Through a case study of the 10 committed individuals, the authors have reflected that regardless of the lack of extraordinary talents, these people discovered how an interest and ability could be used to build profitable businesses.

"The authors are doing something very important - celebrating entrepreneurship and giving it the place of honour as a noble profession" The ability to take risks, power of networking, customer focus, persistence and the determination to do one's own thing rather than working for others, are all commonly heard in the entrepreneurial world. But the power of these amplifies when one sees it practiced and followed, and, more importantly, become the cornerstones in the lives of these entrepreneurs. Bharat Goenka's focus on the "user", NV's problem solving approach, BVV's ability to build a team, Kini's open mind to adopt "sachetization", Ramki an inveterate entrepreneur - teacher, Meena and Ganesh's complementary partnership, MP's talent-building model, Venkat and Krishnan's conversion from jobseekers to job creators, Vijay's ability to cater to the unserved, and Ravi's tenacity to do business with the government, capture the very essence of the entrepreneurial mind. Start-up City provides a unique insight into the minds and thoughts of these inveterate men and women.

These 10 entrepreneurs represent the industry of New India - the IT industry, which bred the first-generation middle class entrepreneurs who dared to dream. They infuse a sense of confidence and a "can do" attitude in the reader. It brings together the real life of an entrepreneur - a lonely life and the fact that he's on always on "sell" mode - with customers, employees, vendors, friends, family and even the spouse. These entrepreneurs are representative of what is happening across the nation - thousands of start-ups are breeding across the country's cities and towns. It has become the "career of choice". Many have succeeded but even more have failed.

What the authors are doing is something very important - celebrating entrepreneurship and giving it the place of honour as a noble profession. This is seminal as it is a perception-changing book which will hopefully change the entrepreneurial landscape in India. Each of these entrepreneurs dared to dream and walked a lonely path, stumbled, got up to run again. Their life lessons are beyond MBA courseware. It's racy times in India and the world looks on as our entrepreneurs take to the road. For readers keen on Indian entrepreneurship, the hardships and successes of these entrepreneurs will certainly be an interesting and significant reading. The book will particularly appeal to young and aspiring entrepreneurs who are seeking inspirational and implementable key takeaways to follow on their personal journeys. The writing is simple and easy to understand, and gives a thorough insight to management and entrepreneurial lessons in the most interesting manner.

Padmaja Ruparel is the president, Indian Angel Network.

Reproduced From Business Today. © 2015. LMIL. All rights reserved.