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A captain’s knock

NIKHIL VARMA
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Book The captainship gives a glimpse of the childhood of Indian first generation entrepreneurs

Human side of the taleChronicles the life stories of nine first generation entrepreneurs
Human side of the taleChronicles the life stories of nine first generation entrepreneurs

The biggest and most successful Indian entrepreneurs have come from lower middle class backgrounds, wrestling with circumstances to emerge on the top of the pile. People such as Subroto Bagchi, Girish Batra and Sanjeev Aggarwal are first generation entrepreneurs with the drive and the ability to mould their circumstances according to the situation.

The Captainship (Bloomsbury, Rs.299) , a book edited by Anya Gupta and illustrated by Anita Balachandran chronicles the childhood of nine first generation entrepreneurs. Speaking at the launch at ITC Gardenia, Anya said, “The stories of the lives of these people once they become successful is well documented. However, with these stories, we aim to bring out the human side of the tale. Many of these people braved through abusive fathers, family members with mental issues in small town and managed to make it big.”

She adds, “I hope that this story inspires thousands of middle class youth across the country to become entrepreneurs. This book and the stories in it are proof that people with limited means can achieve success. You need to be passionate about achieving your target. ”

The book and its illustrations took nearly a year to complete. “I decided that the book should be written as a first person account. Writing such stories in third person often kills the mood and makes the book a very dry read.

“In this book, many entrepreneurs have made candid admissions. For example, Subroto Bagchi, founder of tech giant, Mindtree has talked about his father’s schizophrenia. He talks about trips to the asylum, the long periods of sedation and use of shock therapy. Vijay Shekhar, founder of mobile internet firm One97 communications, talks about the experiences of growing up in a small village with an abusive father. These are tales that must be written in first person.”

The book was born as part of an internship in 2010, when Gupta was assigned to interview Indian businessmen about their strengths and weaknesses.

Gupta says, “It took me nearly a year to complete this project, but I had great fun putting these stories together. The illustrations spread across the book are an attempt to make it a fun read. I am already working on a similar series.”

NIKHIL VARMA

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