Tuesday, June 19, 2007

The High Performance Entrepreneur by Subroto Bagchi
Golden roles for success in today's world.

I have always admired the writing style of Mr Bagchi and was looking forward to reading the book written by him.I grabbed this book at the Bangalroe and gave it a read. As expected, Mr Bagchi has written the book in simple style that is easy to follow. The book is quite impressive. It has also been given great reviews by CK Prahalad and Vijay Govindrajan.

But there were instances when the book failed to impress me. I felt that in the book, there is too much of reference to MindTree. At times, I felt that the book was more of a sales pitch rather than trying to make a point.Perhaps, it may be that I had a different set of expectations.

But what I liked about the book was the way it has been written. The author ( Mr Bagchi) has beautifully captured the essence of being an Entrepreneur in 18 different chapters. This is more of a "How to" book and I don't think there are books in the Indian Market which so clearly explain starting something of your own so easily. The different chapters are:

1. When does an Entrepreneur know he is ready
2. Profile of a Entrepreneur
3. Sensing the right opportunity
4. Choosing the team
5. DNA, Mission, Vision and Values
6. How are you different
7. Writing the business plan
8. Choosing the right investor
9. Getting good people and knowing them
10. Building the process focused organization
11. A company is known by the customer it keeps
12. Managing your company
13. Building your brand
14. Emergence of the willingness to change
15. Managing adversity
16. From Idea to IPO
17. Reasons start up fail
18. Lessons in Entrepreneurship from the Indian IT industry

Some excellent points in the book:

* High Performance Entrepreneurship is not an accident-it has to be planned that way
* When you build a team, you do not start by looking at compatibility and sameness. You look for complementary skills and diversity
* Long distance runners learn to bear segmented pain. In different legs of the journey, you will experience different kinds of pain
* When choosing the set of goals, it is not unusual to consider a financial goal, an admiration goal and a goal towards social sensitivity
* Differentiation is a six horse chariot. Six equally strong horses They need to pull in the same direction, at the same time, with the same energy. Those six horses are domain, tools, methodology, quality, innovation and branding.
* Great companies of the world are beginning to focus on the customer's customer. If one can make a huge difference to a customer's customer,it helps build the stickiest relationship- the one with the most loyalty.
* Whenever you make a choice, you also choose the consequences.
* The number one job of an Entrepreneur is to sell his ware. To start a company , you must love two things: selling your company and its products and the very concept of making money.

The good point about the book is that as you read the various chapters, you keep nodding your head and agree to the many things Bagchi talks about (I actually felt that I was revising the concepts learnt in the New Ventures Course of my MBA program).There are various tips shared by Bagchi which I felt are very relevant. Things like writing a business plan ( and revising it), under estimating revenues and over estimating costs ,the importance of selecting the right team members, not getting your friends and relatives involved, handling adversity, maintaining diversity, communication within the teams are some excellent tips.

Starting a new venture needs passion. If there is somebody out there who has a burning desire to start something of his own, this book will serve two purposes. First, it serves as a reality check . There are a series of questions and one can determine if he or she has it in them ( both in terms of determination and attitude) to start something of his own. Second, if the person needs to get a complete view of the entire process (from an idea to a launch, to pitching the plan in front of VCs, to IPO ) the book gives a complete picture of how things can happen in the next few years for an entrepreneur.

Priced at Rs 395, the book is a good investment if your short or long term goal is to start something of your own.



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