Business Is In Their Veins

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Business Is In Their Veins

Title: Rokda: How Baniyas Do Business

Author: Nikhil Inamdar

Pages: 242

Price: Rs. 199

Published by: Random House, India

“The companies I have chosen not only represent different sectors of the Indian economy, but also the changing landscape of doing business in India.” Nikhil Inamdar, Author

Whenever we hear the term ‘Baniya’, we are conditioned to think that the person being referred to as Baniya (the term comes from the Sanskrit word Vanij, which is synonymous with India’s trader class) has a business of his own. Historically, too, the Baniya cast has been known to be moneylenders and merchants. Written by a senior journalist in Mumbai, Nikhil Inamdar, who is currently a special correspondent with the Business Standard, Rokda: How Baniyas Do Business tries to talk about the business acumen the popular Indian trader class has in abundance. It does so by not only interviewing the entrepreneurs themselves – from the Agarwals of Emami to Rohit Bansal of Snapdeal, to the Guptas of Meru cabs, to RK Somany of Hindware – but their families and friends too, which takes the readers a little closer to their private lives. Most importantly, the interviews help us understand the qualities which make these highly motivated individuals running multi-million dollar companies so successful. Published by Random House India, it takes six such Baniya entrepreneurs and talks about their exceptionally successful ventures.

The book starts with demystifying the perception everybody seemed to have formed of this caste over the years. It says that Baniya is a loosely used expression. It helps further the belief that they are a community that only knows money making. Although when the current business ecosystem is talked about and discussed, the organisations run by their clan, ranging from internet enabled retail, mobile telephone, and oil and gas exploration, form the core of the modern economy.

The interviews are extensive and the book inspires and gives business insights in equal measure. One inspiring story in Rokda is that of Radheyshyam Agarwal and Radhyshyam Goenka, founders of the cosmetic company Emami, of how they started the company in just twenty thousand rupees and turned it into a conglomerate worth Rs. 8,000 crore. The writing connects the early days of these businesses with their present, the conditions that prevailed then and now, the opportunities and pitfalls, and many more of such themes. The book can be of interest to anyone from budding entrepreneurs to business journalists, to anyone who is interested in business and entrepreneurship.


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