Wednesday, 10 December, 2008

Stay Hungry Stay Foolish - The book

I am not sure if I can call this a book review, because I haven’t yet completed reading the book. But this book is already a “paisa vasool” for me! All I can say is Thanks Rashmi, for such a beautiful book – a must read for every aspiring entrepreneur. As you probably know, the book is the story of 25 IIM-A grads who chose to become entrepreneurs.

So why am I taking so long to read? Apart from being a slow reader, I also want this book to inspire me for a longer time. I want to truly enjoy this book. So I have decided to read just one story every time I pick up this book. That makes 25 sittings to complete the book :).

Ever since my childhood, I have been in two minds about entrepreneurship. My heart said - “Yes, I want to be my own boss, I want to do what I love, I want to make it big”. And my mind said - “Chod na, tere bas ki baat nahi hai”. More often than not, I have paid attention to my mind. But after reading a few inspiring stories in this book, I have started listening to my heart! Each of the stories in the book is inspiring because you can actually see yourself in the entrepreneurs. The book tells you that the entrepreneurs are human beings like you and me. The only difference is that they followed their dreams passionately, you and I did not.

Further, the stories have a lot of variety in them. These are entrepreneurs from different sectors and walks of life. Apart from the usual software and internet guys, the book features people from sectors like education, advertizing, retail, hotel, pharma, social work etc. Rashmi has divided the stories into 3 parts. First – the determined, self motivated and go-getters: The Believers. Second – making most of the opportunity: The Opportunists. Third – social entrepreneurs and change agents – The Alternate Vision.

Two stories in the book truly touched my heart. The first one is that of Sanjeev Bikhchandani ( Sanjeev’s journey from producing salary reports to being the owner of the first dotcom listed on Indian stock exchange is an awe-inspiring one. This story shows that being an entrepreneur is not effortless. It took sanjeev almost two decades to be what he is today. This also included working without a salary for 6 years and taking up a second job to support the family. It is a story of great vision and persistence.

The other story that I loved was that of Venkat Krishnan ( I have often wondered why the big shots in the Indian business world (like Ambanis), bollywood (like Bachchans) or cricket (like Tendulkar), who have earned enormous success and wealth do not contribute significantly towards social causes. Venkat explains that in the US - ‘giving’ in all forms – formed 1.8% of GDP or $ 180 billion in 99-00. The corresponding number in India was less than 0.1% or 0.2%. Hence, Venkat started GiveIndia to promote the culture of giving back. GiveIndia showcases NGOs doing good work and enables those who wish to ‘give’ a platform to connect with the NGOs. I was so inspired by GiveIndia and Venkat Krishnan that I dream to work with GiveIndia as an employee, volunteer or a donor as soon as possible.


Unknown said...

Hi there,

We're glad to know that you were inspired by the story of GiveIndia.

We're always looking for enthusiastic volunteers to help us. Please write to Amita at for more info.

Sourabh said...


Thanks for the information!
I'll mail Amita rite away...