It is a truth universally acknowledged that an entrepreneur in possession of a startup must be in want of a good book.
Alright, so maybe those weren’t Jane Austen’s exact words.
But the point still stands!
Among all the various different ways in which you can keep yourself motivated, a reading habit has consistently been ranked as one of the top most productive habits. While there are heaps of curated list of inspiring books for Indian entrepreneurs, we have got you the ones penned down by and about Indian entrepreneurs.
So without further ado, here are the best entrepreneur books for every Indian startup founder:
1. Dream With Your Eyes Open by Ronnie Screwvala
Written by an entrepreneur, for entrepreneurs. Ronnie Screwvala offers insights into the entrepreneurial world and the journey one has to go through from over 2 decades of his experience. Recommended by Lenskart Founder Peyush Bansal, you know this is one recommendation you don’t want to miss out on.
2. Bhaag by Ganesh V.
Ganesh V. has carefully curated a collection of stories of 11 highly motivated student entrepreneurs, all from various different verticals and backgrounds. Even though they differ in their objectives and challenges, you get a view of what the life of an entrepreneur is like, with all the ups and downs, failures and success, the present scenario of their startups and the future they dream for it. If you were looking for a story that could really, truly inspire you to get going – this is it.
3. Connect The Dots by Rashmi Bansal
Another beautiful curation of stories, this time of 20 entrepreneurs who decided to forge their own path – without the requisite degrees that are usually pursued and/or needed. Their stories efficiently portray the beauty of following your passion and bringing it to reality, all the while dodging the conventional (and possibly boring) methods. This book, in addition to inspiring the masses, was also nominated for the Economist Crossword Popular Award 2011.
4. Dhirubhai Ambani: Against All Odds by A G Krishnamurthy
A compelling read that recaps what could be called as one of the best rags-to-riches story of Dhirubhai Ambani, a middle class businessman who rose to became the founder of one of the biggest enterprises in India, Reliance Empire. This story has to be counted as a must-read not just for entrepreneurs, but for just about anyone and everyone who needs that little bit of inspiration!
5. Steel King: Lakshmi Mittal by Prateeksha M Tiwary
A book that has a no-holds-barred policy when it comes to covering the life and times of one of the most incredible businessmen ever. The “Steel King” as he is known, has lived out his dream with incredibly big dreams, risks, trials, and tribulations and gone on to become the CEO. The book charts all the important and key points in Mittal’s life, from first deals all the way up to the trying times in business and family, in his later life.
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6. Take Me Home by Rashmi Bansal
A slightly whimsically named book which evokes images of you going home to your passions and dreams, this book is a beautiful amalgamation of motivational stories and takes its readers on a journey in search of inspiration, from Belgaum all the way to Meerut. But along the way, the reader gets to meet 20 individuals who consciously chose to stray from the well-worn path, chase their dreams and become successful entrepreneurs.
7. Stay Hungry Stay Foolish by Rashmi Bansal
How could this not be a part of our collection of best entrepreneur books? If 3 is a crowd, then 25 is a party! This book chronicles the journey of 25 IIM Ahmedabad graduates who decided to become entrepreneurs. All radically different in their age, perspectives, and fields, they can be found in one book due to one commonality – their determination to envision and reach their goal.
8. Bhujia Barons: The Untold Story of How Haldiram Built a 5000 Crore Empire by Pavitra Kumar.
If we can reenact the famous scene from Avengers between India and US, we would.
“I have an army!”
“We have a hulk.”
They have their McDonald’s and Dominoes, we have Haldirams. Once upon a time in the early twentieth century, young Ganga Bhishan Agarwal, aka Haldiram, gained a reputation for making the best bhujia in town. In this book, the reader gets to submerge themselves completely into the life of the Agarwal family in an all-encompassing way (a feat unheard of and not achieved before this) and a look into the “Indian way of doing business”. A story ripe for a Bollywood movie (let’s be honest), it’s got all the flavors – the successes, the courtroom drama, the business expansion, the incredibly long trademark battle and of course, at the center of it all, the closely guarded secret recipe.
9. The Z Factor: My Journey as the Wrong Man at the Right Time by Subhash Chandra and Pranjal Sharma
This book has such a fantastic summary on Amazon that we’re just going to let you feast your eyes on the first few lines of it, as it is – “The pioneer who gate-crashed his way to the top Subhash Chandra, the promoter of Essel/ Zee Group, is an unlikely mogul. Hailing from a small town in Haryana, where his family ran grain mills, Chandra has been a perennial outsider, repeatedly aiming high and breaking into businesses where he was considered an interloper.”
This book captures what could be perceived as a haphazard way to success, but what was in all probability, the story of someone who consistently ran with his gut instinct. From making a fortune in rice exports to getting into broadcasting and setting up Zee TV, India’s first private TV channel, it’s safe to say he’s always chased his dreams. A fearless risk-taker who took all the successes and failures in his stride, he has an incredible story that is a must-read.
10. You Can Win by Shiv Khera
You Can Win is short, sweet and to the point and the perfect book to have in your pocket, when you need someone in your corner to help cheer you on. It entails all the ways to success in an easy-to-read, simple-to-follow method. Guaranteeing a lifetime of success, this is another book that should immediately get a spot on your must-read list.
Have we missed out any good book? Have your own list of best entrepreneur books? Let us know in the comments below!
Ah, too lazy to get on the reading couch? Read this: