Who wants to be an entrepreneur?

MUMBAI: If you think you’ve got an idea worth a million bucks, here’s something that might just help you make it a reality.

‘Built from Scratch’, founder and CEO Magnon/TBWA Vineet Bajpai’s second book, serves as a guide for aspiring entrepreneurs - handholding them through various steps and tactics of building a business ground-up.

There’s a message in the title itself for budding businessmen/women: Pick up basic tools and start building a company with whatever little you have. At the end of the day, every organisation is created out of one dominant ingredient - the human will.

Asked what made him pen the tome, Bajpai says: “The thought of writing the book came to my mind many years ago when I used to teach at MBA institutions as guest faculty. During my interactions with management students, I discovered that almost every one of them secretly nurtured the dream of becoming an entrepreneur and building his/her company. However, most were clueless on how to actually start their entrepreneurial journey.”

“More importantly, there existed a deeply entrenched belief that a business can be started only with large financial investment. Being a first-generation entrepreneur myself, who started with a few thousand rupees in my pocket, I felt compelled to offer a helping hand to perhaps millions of such people who dream of building businesses and companies, but have no practical guidance for the same. I also noticed that there were no books written by Indian authors that offered detailed and street-smart advice on enterprise building. It was then that I decided to write my second book.”

With a million self-help books on the market already, why would readers pick up one more such book? “The most important differentiator is that I am preaching only what I have practiced,” says Bajpai, recalling how he started Magnon/TBWA and Magnon E-Graphics with the rupee equivalent of just $300.

The most important differentiator is that I am preaching only what I have practiced says Vineet Bajpai

“Today, these are multi-million dollar global companies. So very few authors would have the real and ‘battle-field’ experience that I carry; secondly, the book is as much a motivational read as it is a management work. It speaks to the reader about his/her fears and dreams, his/her mental-barriers and his/her ambitions. The combination of a self-help approach with hard-core management content makes the book quite an intellectual asset for any aspiring entrepreneur,” he shoots.

The book busts quite a few myths associated with career management as seen through the eyes of the Indian middle class.

“It tells the reader that he can do it too! And then it educates the reader about various aspects of starting up businesses - the idea generation, market research, environment scanning, revenue model, finance raising options, go-to-market strategies, the common pitfalls, first year of survival and a lot more. It is quite a hard-hitting and real handbook for aspiring entrepreneurs,” defends Bajpai.

The book is inclusive of everyone who nurtures business ambitions, even say the aunty next door who cooks great south Indian food and could open a catering venture. “Entrepreneurship is not a restricted zone, and anyone and everyone can dream of being a successful entrepreneur. So the book aims to reach out to the student community, to working professionals, corporate executives and almost anyone who is planning to start his or her own venture,” says Bajpai.

What lies at the heart of the book is Bajpai’s own experience of founding and building his companies. “Readers will see that while I lead global companies today, I started in a tiny shed with rented computers, a tin roof and at times, even swept the floor of my first office! They will discover how a company where buying even a water cooler was a major financial decision at one time, transformed into one of Asia’s largest digital agencies. It is a fantastic yet true story that the readers will love,” says he.

Moral of the story is if you don’t hail from a business family, aren’t a Harvard dropout and don’t have a globe-changing innovation, you can still dream of making it large, with a little help from Bajpai’s book, published by Jaico and available for just Rs 299.

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