I read a lot and while it ranges from comics to books on product management, today I am sharing my 5 fav books related to desi businesses.
The list is in no particular order.
Nawab, Nudes and Noodles.
Nopes – this ain’t a book full of nudity (sorry!) , but brings a great glimpse of how India’s advertising industry evolved (along with consumer behavior).
Ad veteran Ambi Parameswaran looks at how advertising has evolved, reflecting the country’s culture, politics and economy in the last fifty years. From sartorial taste and food habits to marriage and old age, music and language to celebrities and censorship, Ambi examines over a hundred ads to study how the Indian consumer has changed in the past five decades and how advertising and society have shaped each other.
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First, a fact: Haldirams have more revenue than McDonald’s and Domino’s combined.
Bhujia = Hadilrams and well, this book does a good job of unearthing the story. What’s most fascinating is how each generation has seen a ‘breakout’ entrepreneur. And of course, family drama and court cases, which most of us weren’t aware of.
In the early twentieth century, young Ganga Bhishan Agarwal, aka Haldiram, gained a reputation for making the best bhujia in town. Fast-forward a century and the Haldiram’s empire has a revenue much greater than that of McDonald’s and Domino’s combined. In Bhujia Barons, Pavitra Kumar manages to tell the riveting story of the Agarwal family in its entirety—a feat never managed before.
The Inspiring Journey of a Hero: Learnings from the Life of O.P. Munjal
O.P. Munjal started Hero Cycles in 1956, fuelled by meagre resources and an insatiable ambition. His vision was to create an inexpensive and effective mode of transportation for a post-Independence nation on the move.
If you are buying into the new fad of ‘uber of cycling’, do read this 🙂
» Buy from Amazon.
Bandhan: The Making of a Bank
This is the story of Bandhan, the only bank that emerged in eastern India after Independence. Founded by the son of a sweet vendor, with a mere Rs 2 lakh, the sum total of his life savings.
This is a wonderful book on how Chandra Shekhar Ghosh battled hostile environment, ‘well funded’ competitors and never complained (strongly recommended for my entrepreneur friends).
My Journey with Vada Pav
How did a popular street snack from Mumbai become a marketing phenomenon, gaining national popularity and international repute?
My Journey with Vadapav’ by Venkatesh S is an entertaining read on how he ended up creating a big brand and takes a dive into his journey.
What about you? What are your fav desi business books?