Rashmi Bansal is a writer, entrepreneur andyouth expert. Her 5 books on entrepreneurship - Stay Hungry Stay Foolish, Connect the Dots, I Have a Dream, . ininenzero.tk - download Arise, Awake: The Inspiring Stories of Young Entrepreneurs Who Graduated From This is one of the best books written by Rashmi Bansal. ARISE, AWAKE THE INSPIRING STORIES OF YOUNG ENTREPRENEURS WHO GRADUATED This is one of the best books written by Rashmi Bansal.
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Arise, Awake book. Read 40 reviews from the world's largest community for readers. Arise, Awake is the story of youngentrepreneurs who started a business. . Arise, Awake book. Read reviews from world's largest community for readers. ' Arise, Awake; is the story of young entrepreneurs who started a business whi. Business, Investing and Management Books Arise, Awake, by Rashmi Bansal, brings you the inspiring stories of 10 young entrepreneurs who graduated from.
They worked out the metrics of its construction advantages as compared to bricks, imported machinery from China, secured bank loans, and partnered with developers for contracts. His Rs 4. They raised funding from a Gujarati angel investor, and ploughed ahead despite criticism that this was not high-tech enough for IIT students to be doing! Another project of theirs was the social network Slambook, and they received funding from the Technology Business Incubator see my earlier interview.
InOpen Technologies was founded by Rupesh Shah, who fell in love with open source technology even while he failed some of his exams. A professor helped and funded him with a model curriculum for teaching computer science in schools, which used open source software.
The startup joined the IIT incubator SINE see my earlier interview , raised external funds, and now targets state schools with its innovative teaching approach which it hopes can be extended to science education as well. He earned some money during his internship at Akosha, which was founded by his senior.
Despite others questioning whether this line was appropriate for a law student, Aruj went ahead and hired a five-star hotel chef to design his menu. The atrocious hostel facilities led him to launch his own hostel for fellow-students, by renting local apartments.
Taking good care of the students led to positive referrals and social media endorsements for subsequent batches, and Anurag now plans to approach other colleges as well. An internship at the startup IndiaForensic exposed her to the intriguing world of fraud detection and reporting, and she launched her own startup FraudExpress to offer fraud risk assessment services and a course via Solapur University.
The backdrop of the Satyam scam also boosted market awareness about this field. They caught the startup bug during entrepreneurship cell activities, and explored their fascination as tinkerers at local factories and markets. On a visit to Delhi, they were shocked to discover that dosas cost an astronomical Rs. They were mentored by the Indian Angel Network, and finally had a sound tabletop product in Think big, be creative, keep innovating and stick to your vision.
In India, feet-on-the-street activity is key for success in sales. His company, Magicrete, has crossed a turnover of crore and is a leader in its field. But there is still a long way to go. All it needs is someone to get up and scribble a dream on one of them. And believe in that dream, live that dream, continue to dream — with eyes wide open. In , he became an entrepreneur when he got into quicklime manufacturing. He would tag along for client visits, monitor the factory when daddy was away, and prepare marketing materials along with younger brother, Sidharth.
And made it to IIT Kharagpur. I followed my friends into engineering. Choices to be made, aage kya karna hai. Everybody was smart, and very competitive. But Sourabh had no interest in further studies — he did not want to spend two more years in a classroom. Bahut padhai ho gayi — time to go out there and do something in the real world! But Sourabh had no inclination towards a job, in any case. His mind was brimming with ideas; the question was which idea would make for a good business.
Another idea I considered was an online road-freight marketplace. A third one was starting a digital ad network. Most of them had something to do with organising the unorganised sector. Sourabh used these ideas to enter business-plan and strategy competitions at various techno-management fests.
But he had taken the CAT exam and hoped to join a consulting firm. And join the business later, once it grows big enough! And Sourabh still had no clear direction. The young man returned to Surat in May , all set to work on this idea. He soon realised that, in Europe, solar power is heavily subsidised by the government — hence companies are profitable.
India did not have any such incentive. Sourabh started thinking about how to make the factory more efficient and how to scale up production. But who would download the extra output? I started thinking ki lime ka aur kya kiya ja sakta hai, what can be the forward integration?
His curiosity was piqued — yeh log itne lime ka karenge kya? He was shown around the plant and he quickly concluded — there is a lot of scope in this industry. At that time, apart from Siporex, there were only 3 other manufacturers of AAC blocks in the entire country.
However, they were not used widely because the cost was 2X. Of course, it was a capitalintensive project — setting up a single factory would cost at least 25 crore.
Arise, Awake Summary
Where would a fresh graduate get this kind of money? Besides, his business was not so big that he could make such an investment.
A good idea is like a magnet, which will attract the right investor. The young engineer studied the market — and he was excited! Brick manufacturing is a 50, crore industry but unlike steel or cement, there were no organised players.
No well-known brand. No consistent quality. Armed with this knowledge, he prepared a concrete business plan. With a more efficient operation, lower cost of production. Like that, there were many areas where I knew we can bring the cost down. Hence, the overall cost of construction would be much lower. It was an attractive proposition, ready to roll out to investors. He had just completed his summer internship with Baring Private Equity.
Using his contacts, Sidharth arranged a meeting with the senior managers. We were young and full of josh, we did not know the challenges we would have to face! We do not invest in startups. One such uncle was Mr Rajesh Poddar. A sound businessman, Mr Poddar studied the project closely — and found it promising.
Young hai, lekin dum hai. But then I thought, I am just starting my career, mujh par kisi ne itna trust kiya hai — let me do it! At that time, Puneet was a CA student, waiting to appear for his final exams. So there was a deep sense of trust between the two families. My gut feel was that there is an element of risk but if we work hard, we will be able to do it. Luckily, this mindset was also shared by the investor. The first time Mr Poddar sat down with the young entrepreneurs, he asked one simple question.
Our project capacity is 30 trucks, can you start with at least 3 trucks a day? We will review the situation after one year. The initial plan was to set up the plant and begin manufacturing by the first quarter of But that did not happen.
While civil construction started on schedule, it had to be stopped. The factory site was in Palsana taluka of Surat district.
The villagers nearby launched a protest that smoke from the factory would affect their crops. But they were adamant. As a result, the entire project got delayed by 6 months.
During this period, the young entrepreneurs were also busy arranging the 10 crore of debt required for the project. That was something huge! The latest technology was available in China but identifying a good supplier is not easy. Especially when the entire deal is negotiated through an interpreter. There are good vendors and there are bad vendors — you have to differentiate between the two. Phir thoda trust karna hi padta hai. You have to trust someone. The following month, machinery arrived and, in October , Magicrete was ready to start production.
As the first AAC blocks rolled out of the factory, the boys were faced with a big question: kharidega kaun? Brick is a year-old technology, the builder is comfortable with it.
Change never comes easy. How will we put the plaster, how will we put the nails and what if the building collapses! Rajesh Poddar became the first customer for his own product — he used AAC blocks in one of his upcoming real estate projects. He then introduced his young partners to Raghuveer Developers, a construction giant in Surat. After all, he was an IIT graduate selling a revolutionary product. So on and so forth, down to the last naya paisa.
Sourabh did not have a counter-calculation ready. The company then got a structural engineer to write a case study on a building made purely with AAC blocks.
So that was a huge value proposition. Other local developers followed suit. From Surat, the company decided to venture into the mega-market of Mumbai. Which was, in fact, relatively easy, because builders were already using Siporex AAC blocks.
The challenge in Mumbai was availability — Siporex enjoyed a monopoly and was unable to meet demand. Whereas, for Magicrete, selling AAC blocks was the whole and soul of their business. Thus, in the very first year of operations, the company managed 8 crore in sales. The company needed to expand to new markets like Ahmedabad and Vadodara. But one general cannot lead on multiple fronts.
I realised that we needed to build a team — a great team as capable or more capable than me! The question is — where do you find them? Sourabh turned to his batchmates from IIT Kharagpur.
The chance to be part of a great adventure. His mission — as head of marketing in Mumbai — was to go forth and conquer the western region. Next came Gaurav Sengar, a batchmate who was running his own venture but not getting much traction.
Putting her MBA to good use by starting new product lines within the company. By March , the company turnover had grown four-fold to 31 crore. These units catered to the demand in the entire western region in a km radius. The time had come to expand further. Since it is situated close to a power plant, there is a regular supply of fly ash, an important raw material for AAC blocks.
Jhajjar is also at a reasonable distance from several important markets such as Jaipur, Agra and Chandigarh. Thus, he had a good understanding of how the PE industry works. This helped the young company immensely. The first pitch was to Lighthouse — they showed interest and quickly offered a term sheet.
The year-ending turnover in March was an impressive crore — and the team is quite matter-of-fact about it. When we made our business plan, we had it in mind that, someday, we will have factories. It takes 5 years to master any business. Then, you really start growing. From the very top to the very bottom, this is a merit-based organisation. Plus, who is eager and willing to learn. A majority of the employees are local BCom graduates, with two full-time CAs on the rolls.
On the finance front, the biggest learning has been managing the cash flow. In the initial period, money, which was due in 7 days, would often arrive after months. This created a lot of tension. Slowly, the situation came under control, through stricter monitoring and systems.
If a payment is overdue, the next shipment is automatically put on hold. In March , Magicrete crossed crore in revenue and counts more than developers as clients. But, competition has heated up. There are more than 50 AAC plants now operating in the country. The company has started two more verticals — dry mortar and prefabricated construction factory-built homes. The young entrepreneurs believe that, in time, there will be a labour shortage. Making on-site construction a costly affair.
AAC blocks are manufactured from fly ash, a waste product generated by steel and power plants. There is ambition but there is also awareness about other important aspects of life — family, friends, fatherhood. Both the Bansals and Puneet are proud papas to young baby girls.
Feeding bottles and changing nappies are a part of life — especially for Sourabh, with twin newborn babies at home! You have to consciously maintain a balance.
But anything is possible. If your mind can conceive it, your heart can believe it, you can achieve it… Try kar ke toh dekho! Take the plunge early. The age of years are the most dynamic years of life — make the best use of them! Puneet Think big and work hard. There is no replacement for hard work, but start karne se pehle uska ek roadmap hona chahiye. At least, initial saal ki apko bahut clarity honi chahiye, ki how will you move forward you need to have a roadmap for the first years.
Jo start kiya, you have to stick to that for first years, 5 years, and then go forward and be gutsy!! Sidharth After the first years of starting up, it is most important to professionalise the business.
And most importantly: Always run a tight and lean ship. Do not burden the business with unnecessary costs, overheads like fancy offices, high travel costs and wasteful expenditure. He entered a business-plan competition, just for fun. Prakash Mundhra entered the program with this very goal, yet, at the end of two years, he turned his back on a job.
It all started with a business-plan contest, one of many such contests on campus. A passion, an obsession, a ticket to national television. By the end of his MBA, he had two birds in hand — a job and a business idea. He chose the business. Prakash used his two years in B-school to research and refine his idea, build a prototype.
By the time he graduated, he was confident — this will work! And Prakash is a savvy businessman. But he looks back fondly on those early days. It may go here, or there, or nowhere. We were in the cotton textile line. A student of the well-known Shri Daulatram Nopany Vidyalaya, he excelled in academics from Class 4 onward. But overall, I was a very disciplined and well-behaved child. He took up the science stream after Class 10 with the goal of becoming an engineer.
ISBN 13: 9789384030872
But this dream came crashing down when, after a freak accident, he could not appear for the board exam. It also gave me quite a few life lessons.
Troubles come without warning and you have to bounce back! Hence, it made more sense to go for an MBA and join the corporate world. But, despite his best efforts, he failed to get admission to any top-tier B-school. The two years after graduation were a real struggle. Students from top B-schools were invited to come up with a new rural business idea for ITC around its existing products.
At stake was not just prize money, but a direct placement with the company. The logic was, what Amul has done for milk, Mangaldeep can do for religious products.
Something he was keen to experience again. So the trend of entrepreneurship had begun. But, in business, execution also matters a lot. This, he felt, would be a product of great interest to the younger generation. Following interviews and further eliminations, Prakash found himself in the top 50 and then, among the top 20, contestants. This gave Prakash the freedom to hire a designer as well as travel to meet raw-material suppliers, pundits and retailers.
Initially, it was about fun and light activities but, slowly, participants were given challenges to test their business acumen. After each round, a few were eliminated.
It was realistic and it was possible without venture funding. Prakash went back to campus and refined his idea — from branded puja items to branded puja kits. The NRI and gifting market seemed to be lucrative — there were so many possibilities!
However, come December and the campus was gripped by placement fever. And participating in business-plan contests. Now came the moment of truth — will it be the job or the business? On 7 May, he sent them an email declining the offer. Prakash needed 6 lakh to start the business. Each kit includes 32 items used on Diwali, including a murti, haldi, roli, mishri and even Gangajal. A vidhi booklet also tells you how to perform the puja.
The first samples were displayed at the Giftex exhibition in Mumbai between 3 and 7 August However, I got mainly enquiries and not actual bookings. He decided to go ahead and manufacture 12, kits. The kits were prepared on a job work basis; the assembly of items was also outsourced. The biggest challenge at this time was coordinating with 40 suppliers all across India for various items in the puja kit.
The sector is unorganised and delivery time is always an issue. Prakash scoured the internet and finally found someone in Tirupur who packs ghee sachets for hotel parcel service. Then there were small details like, how do you keep the photo of the God upright?
Prakash decided to provide a small photo stand.
However, all ideas could not be implemented due to cost issues. In the run up to Diwali, Blessingz kits were also stocked at the Asiatic and Akbarallys department stores in Mumbai. Strangely enough, I got around orders even after Diwali! Others bought the kit to present after Bhaagwat katha. IMT Nagpur gave it to delegates at a conference on their campus. Working capital was tight but a few suppliers gave credit, while corporates gave an advance.
Despite that, Prakash had to borrow 3 lakh from 4 friends just before Diwali — he repaid them soon after. But it had entered deep in my veins. If I did not have the kits ready, I would have missed that business.
This was equal to the money he would have earned in a job. In the new year, he focused attention back into the business but now came a fresh challenge — Diwali was months away. In the meanwhile, what should he sell? Prakash toyed with several ideas — lower-priced kits for the retail mass market, griha pravesh puja kits, vehicle puja kits, and so on.
Prakash also began exploring the export market for the puja kits business. With more orders coming in, he decided to shift partial production to Ahmedabad — where the manufacturing cost was lower. Chatting with merchants and exporters, Prakash discovered that they were facing a problem supplying clay diyas.
There was a high percentage of breakage during transportation. In this manner, he was able to procure a good number of bulk orders. This rang a bell in his mind. People like to download brands at a discount but they have a doubt — is the product genuine? But while the general trend is to be a dealer of products and cater to clients, Prakash chose the difficult path of dealing with clients with a limited 8 to 10 products. Yet, by March , Sacred Moments had clocked a turnover of 4.
How much competition can be expected from China?
Rashmi Bansal Arise, Awake Summary
Funding the expansion is a sleeping partner who invests but does not participate in the day-to-day management. But the next line of business — plastic packaging products — Prakash is ready to finance with accruals. He is vicepresident of the Thane Maheshwari Yuva Samiti, a community youth organisation, and often gives guest lectures on entrepreneurship at B-schools.
And yes, at the end of the day, this young entrepreneur is able to spend quality time with his loved ones. Because, inspiration and ideas are everywhere. Choose your own gurus, follow their words, their deeds, their feats. We have heard many stories of entrepreneurship from IIM, but non-IIM students need to have a strong belief that it is your learning during the MBA course which matters and not the IIM tag when it comes to being an entrepreneur. You may at times be required to fool outsiders for keeping your business alive but never try to fool yourself in your own business.
It is easier nowadays to hog the limelight even for a concept which is not working, but entrepreneurship is not about being featured in news channels or magazines.
Accept that you will not be good at everything. Admit it, take help. Never scrounge on something which is crucial to the success of your business.
For example, I hired a professional designer although DTP operators were much cheaper because the design of the box was crucial for my puja kit. Have a positive attitude and perseverance during tough times. Only perseverance is not enough as negative thinking creates negative results. Believe in the power of marketing — use the internet, social media marketing and telecommunication to your advantage. In the year , Kanwal Rekhi set up an incubator at IIT Bombay — one of the first initiatives to encourage entrepreneurship on campus.
Students and faculty came forward with ideas related to technology — algorithms, robotics, semi-conductors, internet solutions, to name a few. Bhai, IIT hai — kuch dimaag wala kaam to hona chahiye! Along came Prabhkiran Singh — a lad from Ludhiana who started a lassi business.
Right outside the IIT gate. This is waste of a seat! But Prabhkiran teamed up with his batchmate, Siddharth, and got into the T-shirt business. Which then morphed into Bewakoof. Today, the young entrepreneurs sell funky clothing and accessories online — with orders crossing 1 crore a month. The Bewakoof brand has largely been built through its Facebook page with over 1.
You need to be different and break the mould. Just choose the door you want and keep knocking! I studied in Sacred Heart Convent School. Actually, at that time, he had no idea ki IIT hai kya. He just went because his friends were going.
But he was excited because it had always been his dream to go to Mumbai. The first and second year at IIT Bombay were fairly routine. In the third year came the time for internship. At IIT, this is an important time, when students start thinking, aage kya karna hai?
While most of his batchmates were choosing between finance, consulting and technical jobs, Prabhkiran was on a completely different trip. He did apply to the first company which came on campus — Deutsche Bank — but did not get shortlisted. Although disappointed, he was also relieved. The pre-placement talk made the job sound so constrained and boring — was he really cut out for it? I decided to start something of my own. It featured the success stories of entrepreneurs from IIM Ahmedabad.
He bought it, read it and re-read it. Around this time, Prabhkiran happened to make train journeys. Now, this was interesting! Lassi flows in the veins of every Punjabi puttar but it is either sweet or salty.A stainless steel table would cost ,, which they could not afford.
Yet, you must put that foot forward. The company needed to expand to new markets like Ahmedabad and Vadodara. He would tag along for client visits, monitor the factory when daddy was away, and prepare marketing materials along with younger brother, Sidharth. These doctors were more willing to pay up. This will make it easier for the company to have an IPO.
Something he was keen to experience again. But where would they sell from? The first time Mr Poddar sat down with the young entrepreneurs, he asked one simple question. The chameleon blends in — never stands out.