After a successful debut last year, the Gaja Capital Business Book Prize is back this year to honour authors and their chronicles celebrating the spirit of entrepreneurship in India. The 2020 shortlist comprises of an eclectic range of stories of enterprises and their protagonists- HDFC Bank’s digital revolution, the Unicorn story of Flipkart, the 70 year journey of Hero, the exposé of Ranbaxy, the riveting account of Bigbasket’s leadership, and the bold and adventurous journey of a Venture Capitalist in India by Rahul Chandra.
The authors range from first time author, Mihir Dalal to experienced authors and journalists Tamal Bandhyopadhyay and Katherine Eban and entrepreneurs TN Hari, MS Subramanian, Rahul Chandra and Sunil Munjal. Here is a summary of the shortlist (in alphabetical order). All in all a delightful read for 2020. Stay tuned for the announcement of the winner in the first week of December.
Big Billion Startup – The Untold Flipkart Story by Mihir Dalal
Mihir Dalal, a business journalist with the Mint offers a meticulously researched story in his debut book 'Big Billion Startup – The Untold Flipkart Story'. The book chronicles the journey of India's online retailer Flipkart – its many setbacks, escapes from near-death, and its long list of people who, along with the founders, played a key role in its meteoric rise. Dalal also takes us behind the scenes on the, often tense, relationship between investors and founders. This is the story of India's biggest start-up sensation and the book doesn’t disappoint; capturing the highs and lows and intricate details of this remarkable journey.
Bottle of Lies: Ranbaxy and the Dark Side of Indian Pharma by Katherine Eban
Katherine Eban Finkelstein, a contributor at Fortune magazine and Vanity Fair, is an investigative journalist and author based in Brooklyn, NY. Her investigative work has focused on public health and homeland security issues. Bottle of Lies is an informative, entertaining, and intriguing page turner telling the story of Ranbaxy from being the poster boy of the generic drug industry to its sensational fall from grace. The book is based on a detailed review of over 20,000 FDA documents and interviews with over 240 professionals unravelling the deeply trenched issues in much of the generic drug industry in India.
HDFC Bank 2.0 by Tamal Bandopadhyay
Tamal Bandyopadhyay, the Indian business journalist, known for his weekly column on banking and finance in Business Standard and Mint has authored over five books. His latest one is a narrative on the digital revolution within HDFC Bank, India’s largest bank by market capitalization, the seeds of which were sown in September 2014, when HDFC Bank MD, Aditya Puri, went to Silicon Valley to meet some of the brightest tech minds in the world. HDFC 2.0 is a fascinating account of the ambitious, digital transformation of a large, successful and traditional business in India and gives a sneak peek into what it takes to make that happen.
The Making of Hero: Four Brothers, Two Wheels, and a Revolution that Shaped India by Sunil Munjal
Sunil Kant Munjal, Chairman, Hero Enterprise is an intrepid entrepreneur, investor and recently-turned author with multiple passions and interests. This autobiographical account by him covers the lives and times of the four Munjal brothers who lived together and scripted a dramatic revolution on two wheels without any formal education or resources. At the same time, it’s also the story of how an agrarian economy like India, with limited means of transportation, took wing on the back of this two-wheel revolution. The book is a telling chronicle on the ‘family spirit’ that brought employees, customers, channel partners, suppliers, and local communities together to create success, welfare and well-being for millions over the past seven decades.
The Moonshot Game: Adventures of an Indian Venture Capitalist by Rahul Chandra
Co-founder and managing director of Helion Ventures, Rahul Chandra has seventeen years' experience in venture capital investing and corporate development in technology products and services companies in India and the US. The Moonshot Game is a gripping, behind-the-scenes story of a VC's journey, right from the beginning of the second start-up revolution in India in 2006 until the end of the funding frenzy in 2016. Chandra in this candid memoir tells us about his journey building one of India's oldest VC firms, and gives readers an insight into the secret world of Venture Capital. The book is a ringside view of a story of greed and fear, large bets, big mistakes and the challenges of juggling several investments at the same time while building and scaling a successful VC firm over the last decade in India.