Connect the Dots

For people who have read “Stay Hungry Stay Foolish”, Rashmi Bansal’s second book “Connect the Dots” is a take on the same set of concept – successful entrepreneurs – however this time she talks about all of 20 people who did not have a management degree, unlike the first one, where she talked about those who had a management degree (IIM-A) to be precise.

Rashmi has divided her book into three classifications and they do a lot of good to the understanding – its Jugaad, Junoon and Zubaan!! So as the book unfolds, her stories about successful people fall into these categories for the type of business that they are into, and how they fell into it, their triumphs and travails, and blazes of glory!!

Jugaad in Hindi roughly means “innovative fix” and that is exactly what is found in 9 out of the 20 stories that fall into this category. Business is seen as a blend of experimentation, observation and then fixing the problems, plugging the holes and applying the mind! If there is a hindrance, apply your mind (and not rocket science), do an innovative fix to the obstacle and move on! So the “Jugaad” stories cover the this line of thought of all those 9 inspiring people who without any formal training in the field of business continued making fixes here and there, with a little application of mind and some spirituality, to become successful entrepreneurs.

Junoon or Passion based stories are a set of 7 people on who had a passion for an idea and went with a drive to fulfill that. These are people whose love for their dream made them pursue it. For an Example (and this is a personal favorite) the story of the making of the electric car Reva. Chetan Maini had or rather has, if I may correct myself, a passion for everything electronics and cars. He dreamt of an electric car and decided to pursue his dream. He followed his passion and went on to form the Reva Electric Car Company (very recently taken over by Mahindra & Mahindra) making it the world’s best selling electric car. The enterprise value of Reva is now over US$100 million!!

Zubaan here is an Expression or Language, much to do with creativity. Talent does pay is what these stories talk about; one needs the ability to convert the talent into a business proposition. One story in turn is very inspiring and we have seen a lot of his venture in recent reality shows on Indian television. Krishna Reddy and his Prince Dance Group, is a story of how a daily wage earner with an interest and passion for contemporary Dance brought together some more daily labourers to form his group, practised on the beaches on Orissa and appeared on the hotly competitive “India’s Got Talent” reality show. Their performance was truly mind-blowing having seen it myself and also voted for them! With the prize money they earned, he has now formed his own school of dancers who go around performing worldwide and inspiring young talent from the lower strata families!

Rashmi has brought together these real life stories to inspire and it really does. Now this is a challenge for all those who are not MBAs and those who are and aim to take up the course! In all, I would recommend that everybody reads it…the tale of these 20 ordinary people with extraordinary will to make be successful despite all odds, is truly inspiring.


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