Saturday, June 20, 2015

Connect the Dots - Rashmi Bansal

Here come 20 stories of non-MBAs. Rashmi Bansal provides great stories to borrow from and tell others. Lovely stuff.

From dosa makers to hoteliers, tuition masters to homemakers, agri busineswalas to film makers, dancers to wild life photographers, Connect the Dots connects many dots and puts the grand design before you. You don't need a degree, a qualification, money - nothing - all you need is a passion to work at something, to work hard, think clearly, act and move to your own beat. Some think fast, some think slow, some think scale some think control - it works. Some have built businesses worth hundreds of crores, some have followed their passions - all in the span of two or three decades. From almost nothing.
Westland Books, Rs. 175 335 p

The roll call of heroes here is as follows
Prem Ganapathy of Dosa Plaza
Kumar Sachdev of Su-kam
Ganesh Ram of Veta
Sunita Ramnathkar of Fem
M Mahadevan of Oriental Cuisine
Hanmant Gaikwad of BVG India
Ranjiv Ramchandani of Tantra
Suresh Kamath of Lasersoft
Raghu Khanna of Cashurdrive
R. Sriram of Crossword
Saurabh Vyas and Gaurav Rathore of Political Edge
Satyajit Singh of Shakti Sudha
Sunil Bhu of Flanders Dairy
Chetan Maini of Reva
Mahima Mehra of Haathi Chaap
Samar Gupta of Trikaya Agriculture
Abhijit Bansod of Studio ABD
Paresh Mokashi of Harischandrachi factory
Krishna Reddy of Prince Dance Group
Kalyan Varma, Wildlife Photographer

Prem Ganapathy starts as a dishwasher in a hotel, sells dosas on carts and finally builds an empire of 26 Dosa Plazas across India.
Kumar Sachdev starts as a nobody, helping out his father in his small shop and goes into making inverters under the Su-kam brand - now a 500 crore company.
Ganesh Ram starts teaching students and taking tuitions in Chennai after college and establishes the largest English training institute on a franchisee model VETA.
Sunita Ramnathkar ropes in her IIT educated brother Sunil to build a huge brand Fem out of a garage almost, holding out against MNCs.
Mahadevan balances a college lecturer job and his passion for the hospitality business before he promotes big brands like Hot Breads, Wang's Kitchen, Copper Chimney, Zara etc across continents.
Hanmant Gaikwad comes from modest beginnings to build a huge 300 crore facility management company out of sheer passion for excellence.
Ranjiv Ramchandani takes an idea and his passion and builds a fortune - uniquely Indian t-shirts.
Suresh Kamath's idealism and his social responsibility shine through in his wonderful venture - high on values, equal opportunity employer.
Raghu Khanna is all about the idea - no experience required - he started at 24 and uses all sorts of vehicles to advertise products.
Sriram and his love for books built the Crossword empire (and bought books back into our lives)
Saurabh and Gaurav are doing pioneering work in political analytics
Satyajit Singh and his great story of makhana marketing and sustaining thousands of poor Bihari farmers through his 50 crore Shakti Sudha company
Sunil Bhu's passion for cheese making takes him to Belgium and back
Chetan Maini's famous electric car Reva and its many avatars as he crusades against pollution in his own way
Mahima Mehra's handmade paper (uses elephant dung hence Haathi chaap)
Samar Gupta's agri venture which grows exotic vegetables in India - iceberg lettuce for one.
Abhijit Bansod's designs - bringing Indian design to India.
Paresh Mokashi superb first film Harischdrachi factory.
Krishna Reddy's tale of guts and glory with his dance troupe - someone better make a movie of that tale
Kalyan Varma's passion for wildlife and photography and how it all came together for him

Interestingly there are at least two or three people in the list who are inspired by Swami Vivekananda. How wonderful that he continues to inspire ordinary people to do extraordinary things. Once again, a all MBA colleges could facilitate reading sessions from these books to give students and understanding of what it is to build businesses. Might just take a lot of pressure of placements if you can motivate students into being on their own and being driven by their passions. Rashmi Bansal might just have done the education system a huge favor there - the education system facilitates learning - its not about jobs. Use your learning to do more than just get jobs.  

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