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John Jackson
John Jackson

Connect The Dots by Rashmi Bansal: A Must-Read for Aspiring Entrepreneurs Who Want to Find Their Own Path


Connect The Dots by Rashmi Bansal: A Book Review




If you are an aspiring entrepreneur or a curious reader who wants to learn from the stories of successful entrepreneurs, you might want to check out Connect The Dots by Rashmi Bansal. This book is a collection of inspiring stories of 20 entrepreneurs who dared to find their own path without an MBA degree. In this book review, we will give you an overview of what the book is about, who is the author, what are the main themes and lessons from the book, and what are our thoughts and opinions about it.




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Introduction




Connect The Dots is a non-fiction book that was published in 2010 by Westland. It is written by Rashmi Bansal, an Indian author, entrepreneur, and motivational speaker. She is also the founder and editor of JAM (Just Another Magazine), India's leading youth magazine. She has written several other books on entrepreneurship, such as Stay Hungry Stay Foolish, I Have a Dream, Poor Little Rich Slum, and Take Me Home.


The book is divided into three sections, each containing stories of entrepreneurs who belong to different categories. The first section is called Jugaad, which means finding a low-cost solution to a problem in an intelligent way. The second section is called Junoon, which means having a passion or obsession for something. The third section is called Zubaan, which means having a voice or expression for one's creativity. The title of the book is inspired by a quote from Steve Jobs, the co-founder of Apple, who said in his commencement speech at Stanford University in 2005, "You can't connect the dots by looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust in something...your gut, destiny, life, karma..."


The book is relevant for entrepreneurs because it showcases the stories of people who trusted in themselves and their vision, and overcame various challenges and obstacles to achieve their goals. The book also provides insights and tips on how to start and grow a business, how to deal with failures and setbacks, how to manage finances and resources, how to innovate and differentiate, how to build a team and a culture, and how to balance work and life. The book is also relevant for readers who want to learn from the experiences and wisdom of successful entrepreneurs, and get inspired and motivated by their journeys.


Summary of the book




In this section, we will briefly summarize the stories of some of the entrepreneurs featured in the book. We will not cover all the stories, but only highlight a few examples from each section.


Jugaad: Stories of entrepreneurs who used grit and determination to create a business on the road less travelled




Prem Ganapathy: From Dosa Seller to Restaurant Chain Owner




  • Prem Ganapathy is the founder and owner of Dosa Plaza, a chain of restaurants that serves more than 100 varieties of dosas, a South Indian dish made of rice batter and lentils. He started his journey as a dosa seller on the streets of Mumbai, after he was cheated by his travel agent who promised him a job in Dubai. He worked hard and saved money to open his first outlet in Navi Mumbai in 1998. He then expanded his business by franchising his brand across India and abroad. He also innovated his menu by introducing fusion dosas, such as Chinese dosa, Mexican dosa, American Chopsuey dosa, etc. He is now one of the most successful entrepreneurs in the food industry, with a turnover of over Rs 30 crore per year.



Kalyan Varma: From Software Engineer to Wildlife Photographer




  • Kalyan Varma is a wildlife photographer, filmmaker, and conservationist. He quit his lucrative job as a software engineer at Yahoo to pursue his passion for wildlife photography. He travelled across India and abroad to capture stunning images of animals and nature. He also shared his photos online for free, under a Creative Commons license, to spread awareness and appreciation for wildlife. He won several awards and recognition for his work, such as the BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year, National Geographic Emerging Explorer, Sanctuary Asia Wildlife Photographer of the Year, etc. He also founded India Nature Watch, an online community of nature photographers, and Wild Clicks, an annual wildlife photography festival.



R Sriram: From Bookstore Employee to Crossword Co-founder




  • R Sriram is the co-founder of Crossword, one of India's leading bookstore chains. He started his career as an employee at The Book Point, a small bookstore in Mumbai. He then joined hands with his friend Hemu Ramaiah to start Crossword in 1992, with the vision of creating a modern and customer-friendly bookstore that offered a wide range of books and services. He also introduced innovative concepts such as book launches, author events, book clubs, gift vouchers, loyalty programs, etc. He grew Crossword from one store to over 50 stores across India, before selling it to Shoppers Stop in 2006. He then started Next Practice Retail, a consulting firm that helps retailers improve their performance and profitability.



Junoon: Stories of entrepreneurs who were driven by a dream or a passion




E Sreedharan: The Metro Man of India




  • E Sreedharan is an engineer and technocrat who is widely regarded as the Metro Man of India for his role in building several metro rail projects in India. He started his career as a civil engineer in the Indian Railways, where he was involved in many challenging projects such as the restoration of Pamban Bridge after a cyclone in 1964, and the construction of Konkan Railway in 1998. He then took charge of the Delhi Metro project in 1997, which he completed within budget and ahead of schedule. He also led other metro projects in Kolkata, Kochi, Jaipur, Lucknow, etc. He is known for his integrity, professionalism, leadership, and vision. He has received many awards and honors for his contributions to the nation's infrastructure development, such as the Padma Shri, Padma Vibhushan, Chevalier de la Legion d'Honneur (France), etc.



Junoon: Stories of entrepreneurs who were driven by a dream or a passion




Shakti Sudha Industries: Empowering Women Through Makhana Processing




  • Shakti Sudha Industries is a social enterprise that empowers rural women by providing them with employment opportunities in the makhana (fox nut) processing industry. Makhana is a nutritious and popular snack that grows in the wetlands of Bihar. The founder of Shakti Sudha Industries, Vijay Prakash, saw the potential of makhana as a source of income and empowerment for the poor and marginalized women of Bihar. He started his venture in 2007, with the help of a loan from NABARD. He set up makhana processing units in various villages, where he trained and employed women to collect, sort, grade, roast, and pack makhana. He also established a strong distribution network and a quality control system. He branded his products as Shakti Makhana, and sold them across India and abroad. He also introduced value-added products such as makhana kheer, makhana laddoo, makhana chikki, etc. He is now one of the largest makhana producers in India, with a turnover of over Rs 100 crore per year. He has also created a positive social impact by providing livelihoods to over 50,000 women and improving their living standards.



Revathi Roy: Driving Change Through Women Cabbies




  • Revathi Roy is a pioneer and a leader in the field of women's mobility and empowerment. She is the founder of several ventures that train and employ women as professional drivers and cab operators. She started her journey in 2007, when she launched ForShe, India's first all-women taxi service. She faced many challenges and hurdles, such as lack of funding, social stigma, legal issues, etc. But she persevered and succeeded in creating a safe and reliable transport option for women commuters in Mumbai. She also trained hundreds of underprivileged women to become drivers and earn a dignified income. She then expanded her vision and started other ventures such as Hey Deedee, India's first all-women delivery service, and Zaffiro Learning, an online platform that provides skill development courses for women. She has received many awards and recognition for her work, such as the NITI Aayog Women Transforming India Award, the TiE Stree Shakti Award, the Femina Women Super Achiever Award, etc.



Zubaan: Stories of creative entrepreneurs who channeled their talents to create a business platform for themselves




Bharat Dabholkar: From Advertising Executive to Theatre Personality




  • Bharat Dabholkar is a multifaceted personality who has excelled in various fields such as advertising, theatre, film, television, writing, etc. He started his career as an advertising executive at Lintas, where he created many memorable campaigns such as Amul Butter's "Utterly Butterly Delicious", Bajaj Scooters' "Hamara Bajaj", etc. He then ventured into theatre, where he wrote and directed many popular plays such as Bottoms Up, Blame It On Yashraj, Two To Tango Three To Jive, etc. He also acted in many films and TV shows such as Corporate, Banegi Apni Baat, Tenali Rama, etc. He also wrote several books such as Honest Always Stands For Nothing, Colaba Conspiracy, Killing Time In Delhi, etc. He is known for his wit, humor, satire, and social commentary. He has received many awards and honors for his work, such as the Padma Shri, the RAPA Award, the ABBY Award, etc.



Tanveer Khan: From Radio Jockey to Film Director




  • Tanveer Khan is a film director who started his career as a radio jockey at Radio Mirchi in Mumbai. He had a passion for storytelling and filmmaking since his childhood. He used to make short films with his friends using a handycam. He then joined Whistling Woods International, a film school founded by Subhash Ghai, where he learned the craft of filmmaking. He also worked as an assistant director for several films such as Black & White, Yuvvraaj, London Dreams, etc. He then made his debut as a director with Madhoshi in 2004, starring Bipasha Basu and John Abraham. He then directed other films such as Deadline: Sirf 24 Ghante, One Two Three, Miley Naa Miley Hum, etc. He is known for his style of making thrillers, comedies, and romantic dramas. He has also won several awards and recognition for his work, such as the Screen Award, the Stardust Award, the Zee Cine Award, etc.



Vishwas Mudagal: From Failed Entrepreneur to Bestselling Author




  • Vishwas Mudagal is a bestselling author, entrepreneur, and motivational speaker. He started his entrepreneurial journey at the age of 18, when he founded Infovision Technologies, a software company. He then co-founded JobeeHive.com, a career portal. However, both his ventures failed due to various reasons such as lack of funding, market competition, team conflicts, etc. He faced many hardships and struggles, but he did not give up on his dreams. He then decided to pursue his passion for writing and wrote his first novel Losing My Religion in 2013. The book became an instant hit and sold over 1 lakh copies in India. It also received rave reviews from critics and readers alike. The book is a story of an entrepreneur who goes on an adventurous journey with a gamer girl and a monk, and discovers himself in the process. He then wrote his second novel The Last Avatar in 2017, which is a sequel to Losing My Religion. The book is a sci-fi thriller that deals with the themes of artificial intelligence, virtual reality, and spirituality. He is now working on his third novel The Age of Kalki, which is a part of a trilogy based on the concept of Kalki, the tenth avatar of Vishnu. He has also co-founded GoodWorkLabs, a software development and design company, and GoodWorks CoWork, a co-working space for startups and freelancers. He has also delivered many motivational speeches and workshops for various corporates, colleges, and events.



Analysis of the book




In this section, we will analyze the book in terms of its key takeaways, strengths and weaknesses, and its impact on entrepreneurs.


Key takeaways from the book




The book offers many valuable lessons and insights for entrepreneurs who want to start or grow their own business. Some of the key takeaways from the book are:


  • Trust your gut and follow your passion: The book shows how the entrepreneurs trusted their intuition and followed their passion, even when they faced doubts, criticism, or opposition from others. They did not let their lack of formal education or experience stop them from pursuing their dreams. They also did not follow the conventional or safe path, but chose to do something different and innovative.



  • Be resilient and adaptable: The book shows how the entrepreneurs faced many challenges and difficulties in their journey, such as lack of funds, market competition, legal issues, operational problems, etc. They did not give up or lose hope in the face of adversity. They learned from their failures and mistakes, and adapted to changing situations and customer needs.



  • Innovate and differentiate: The book shows how the entrepreneurs created unique products or services that solved a problem or fulfilled a need for their customers. They also innovated their business models, processes, strategies, etc., to gain an edge over their competitors. They also differentiated themselves by offering quality, value, convenience, or experience to their customers.



  • Build a team and a culture: The book shows how the entrepreneurs built a team of talented and passionate people who shared their vision and values. They also created a culture of trust, collaboration, learning, and fun in their organizations. They also empowered their employees to take ownership and responsibility for their work.



Balance work and life:




The book shows how the entrepreneurs balanced their work and personal life by managing their time and energy efficiently. They also took care of their health and well-being by exercising, meditating, eating well, etc. They also spent quality time with their family and friends, and pursued their hobbies and interests. They also gave back to society by supporting various causes and initiatives.


Strengths and weaknesses of the book




The book has many strengths and weaknesses that can be evaluated from different perspectives. Some of the strengths and weaknesses of the book are:


Strengths of the book




  • Inspirational and motivational: The book is very inspirational and motivational for entrepreneurs and readers who want to learn from the stories of successful entrepreneurs. The book showcases how ordinary people with extraordinary dreams achieved extraordinary results by overcoming various challenges and obstacles. The book also provides insights and tips on how to start and grow a business, how to deal with failures and setbacks, how to innovate and differentiate, etc.



  • Diverse and relatable: The book is very diverse and relatable for entrepreneurs and readers who belong to different backgrounds, industries, regions, etc. The book covers stories of entrepreneurs who come from different sectors such as food, technology, media, education, etc. The book also covers stories of entrepreneurs who come from different parts of India such as Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Kolkata, etc. The book also covers stories of entrepreneurs who have different personalities, styles, approaches, etc.



  • Conversational and engaging: The book is very conversational and engaging for entrepreneurs and readers who enjoy reading stories in a casual and informal tone. The book is written in a simple and easy-to-understand language that makes it accessible to a wide audience. The book is also written in a first-person narrative that makes it more personal and intimate. The book also uses humor, anecdotes, quotes, etc., to make it more lively and entertaining.



Weaknesses of the book




  • Repetitive and superficial: The book is very repetitive and superficial for entrepreneurs and readers who want to learn more in-depth and detailed information about the entrepreneurs and their businesses. The book follows a similar format and structure for each story, which makes it boring and predictable after a while. The book also does not provide enough data, facts, figures, analysis, etc., to support the claims and arguments made by the author or the entrepreneurs. The book also does not explore the challenges and risks faced by the entrepreneurs in a realistic and critical way.



  • Biased and selective: The book is very biased and selective for entrepreneurs and readers who want to get a balanced and objective view of entrepreneurship in India. The book only focuses on the positive aspects of entrepreneurship, such as success, growth, innovation, etc., and ignores or downplays the negative aspects of entrepreneurship, such as failure, loss, competition, etc. The book also only features entrepreneurs who are already well-known or established in their fields, and does not include entrepreneurs who are new or emerging in their fields.



  • Outdated and irrelevant: The book is very outdated and irrelevant for entrepreneurs and readers who want to get updated and relevant information about entrepreneurship in India. The book was published in 2010, which means that some of the information provided in the book may not be accurate or applicable in the current scenario. The book also does not cover some of the recent trends and developments in entrepreneurship in India, such as e-commerce, social media, digital marketing, etc.



Conclusion




Conclusion




In conclusion, Connect The Dots by Rashmi Bansal is a book that tells the inspiring stories of 20 entrepreneurs who dared to find their own path without an MBA degree. The book is divided into three sections: Jugaad, Junoon, and Zubaan, each containing stories of entrepreneurs who belong to different categories. The book is relevant for entrepreneurs and readers who want to learn from the experiences and wisdom of successful entrepreneurs, and get inspired and motivated by their journeys. The book also provides insights and tips on how to start and grow a business, how to deal with failures and setbacks, how to innovate and differentiate, how to build a team and a culture, and how to balance work and life. The book has many strengths and weaknesses that can be evaluated from different perspectives. Some of the strengths of the book are its inspirational and motivational tone, its diverse and relatable content, and its conversational and engaging style. Some of the weaknesses of the book are its repetitive and superficial nature, its biased and selective approach, and its outdated and irrelevant information. Overall, the book is a good read for anyone who wants to know more about entrepreneurship in India, but it may not be suitable for everyone who wants to get a deeper and broader understanding of the topic.


FAQs




  • Where can I download Connect The Dots by Rashmi Bansal PDF for free?



There are many websites that offer free PDF downloads of Con


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