Wednesday, December 13, 2006

BOOK REVIEW: The high performance Entrepreneur

Author: Subroto Bagchi
Price: 395 INR

For years I have been a sincere reader of Mr. Subroto Bagchi’s writings starting with his ‘Making of Mindtree’ write-ups. I have read his articles in Business world (Arbor Mentis), Times of India (Times of Mind) and attended ‘Ping-me’ sessions organized by Mindtree. I can very well say his writings are excellent almost everyone would have read his famous speech ‘Go kiss the world’. For quiet some time I was not able to see much of his writings in the media and really concerned about it. But Mr. Bagchi came up with a ‘bonus’ by writing this book ‘The high performance Entrepreneur’ where he shared his learnings which he got from building Mindtree. This book is truly awesome and gave loads of insights into Entrepreneurship.

To start with, Mr.Bagchi coined the ‘high performance entrepreneur’ in this book and talks about how ‘high performance’ entrepreneurship is different from mere self employment of small scale. High performance ‘rain making’ entrepreneurs (people like Murthy, Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Azim Premji) created huge amount of wealth which literally changed individuals, societies and countries. The ‘wealth generation’ is totally different from working for a ‘high paying’ job and Mr. Bagchi tells how totally different those two are. Through various examples he tried to explain fundamental traits of an Entrepreneur. In countries like India promoting Entrepreneurship is very vital because 40% of the working population will come from India in the year 2020 and generating employment to these people is very important.

Following that Mr. Bagchi explains various aspects of Entrepreneurship and added his learnings from building Mindtree. He keeps re-iterating statements like ‘If you don’t like making money don’t start a company’, ‘Postponing gratification and feeling comfortable is one of the important factor in Entrepreneurship’, ‘VCs are like matrimony, do your due-diligence before approaching them’ which really opens up reader’s eyes in perusing Entrepreneurship. He has given examples of Café-coffee-day, Air-Deccan, and Biocon and how founders of these organizations got their ‘dhimag ki bathi’ glowing.

Then he talks about building the DNA, Mission statement, vision, annual objectives and value system of the organization. He also re-iterates how personal characteristics of the ‘seed’ team are so important in creating and following the ‘shared vision’ of the organization. After forming the mission statement, the next important thing is to build a ‘differentiation’ for the organization. Mr. Bagchi also mentioned ‘six horses of differentiation’ namely domain, tools, methodology, quality, innovation and branding.

Especially I liked the chapter on ‘Quality’. Generally the software people (who work for CMM level-x organizations) think quality is an ‘overhead’ to the organization where engineers spend lot of time following processes. Mr. Bagchi slams this mentality by saying ‘Only Michal Angelo doesn’t need process. But even if he wants to create 50,000 copies of his own paintings, he requires processes’. He has given many examples based on his experience with Japanese people (who are pioneers in this area) which are really interesting to read. He also touched about choosing investors, building transparent relationship with them, need for choosing an investor who understands the business and also given some basics of finance.

Finally he touches upon the ‘brand building’ topic and given multiple ways to build the brand. The ‘building brand using organization workplace’ concept where is really interesting. He has given multiple examples how they have done this successfully in Mind tree. I won’t be fair on my part to give out complete details. I would suggest the reader to buy the book and read.

People who read by blogs regularly would have observed I personally admire Mindtree and ITTIAM from a long time. These two stand for a high end services and product examples, started by senior folks from Wipro and TI. I call them as ‘second generation’ companies and it is extremely important to learn from experience of these folks. Now that Mindtree’s IPO is on the cards (read my blog ‘Mindtree going public’) Mr. Bagchi has done an excellent job of sharing their experience with aspiring Entrepreneurs by writing this book.


Bobby said...

Very good review. I work with MindTree but haven't had the chance to read the book yet. Your review makes me want to read it real soon.

Jayakumar Balasubramanian said...

Thanks for your comments bobby. I think its a must read for you as you work for Mindtree.

Anonymous said...

Looking for an inspirational book? check out Kathy Ireland's Powerful Inspirations. Great read, great lessons.
Susie said...

Excellent review.Great learnings.I am going to buy this book today itself and will go through it.I have a dream of meeting Subroto Bagchi sir and work under his mentorship.A great admirer of this person whom I consider as my role model.

Jayakumar Balasubramanian said...

Yes. Mr.Subroto is really a great personality who set an example for Indian middle class people. I got a chance to interact with him for couple of times and he is a wonderful personality. I write to him frequently and he replies to every email which shows his greatness. said...

Sir!Just a request.If you can give me Subroto sir's e-mail ID it will be really nice.Orelse in your next mail kindly convey him the message atleast that an Oriya from Orissa,his native state is waiting to meet him and treats him as his role model.Thanking you in advance.

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