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Book review – Connect the Dots


“Connect the Dots” is a book written by Rashmi Bansal (entrepreneur, writer, blogger all rolled into one). It tells the stories of courage, determination and inspiration of 20 people from different backgrounds who chose to become entrepreneurs without doing an MBA. This is her 2nd book. Her 1st book “Stay Hungry Stay Foolish” was a similar story of famous entrepreneurs. But the difference was that all of them had done their MBAs from Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad.

When you pick up the book, you cant help but notice the cover page. The title is written inverted and even both her book titles were famous quotes of none other than Steve Jobs. Rashmi does seem to have a lot of admiration for him. I feel the reason for the inverted title is to show how these people who rose to success connected the dots in their lives which many times seemed upside down or confusing. Her style of writing the stories of each of the entrepreneurs is exactly identical to her first book. Few pages on what they did, how they did and the difficulties they faced finally ending up with a small advice given by each of the entrepreneurs. The interesting part of the book is the three sections – Junoon (Those who are driven by ideas well ahead of their times), Jugaad (Those who dont have any formal training in business) and Zubaan (The creative minds!).

The book is really one of the most inspiring books I have read in recent times. Reading different stories of how people have come from nowhere to do something for mankind made me really wonder as to what have I done in life despite being provided with so much on a platter. Be it Prem Ganapathy of Dosa Plaza who rose from being a dishwasher to head a 150 odd employee company with 26 outlets in India and 3 in New Zealand or Kalyan Varma who left his high fly job in Yahoo to become a wildlife photographer or Suresh Kamath who started Laser Soft Infosystems which is an IT company with a difference, each of the stories are amazingly inspirational.

Two of my greatest learnings from the book are –
1. It isnt necessary to do an MBA to become an entrepreneur because academic qualifications shouldnt decide a person’s future and career.
2. The entrepreneurs today are in hurry to make as much money as possible as fast as they can. In any new project the first few years are really challenging and one should be ready for that.

Many people would criticise Rashmi Bansal or the book because she has just interviewed some people and put the facts in both her books rather than add something new. But I would like to say that she has at least given us something inspirational to read other than the usual books on Ambanis, Tatas, Birlas and others.

All in all, this book is highly recommended for anyone and everyone who wants to know how can success be achieved against all odds in this country.

Rating – 4/5

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9 Comments

  1. kamesh

    MBA does not give u any additional knowledge it is just an experience infact it is more sense

    I always wondered why the IIM passouts are not the stalwarts the industry .Maybe they are pondering over this question too.Anyways good review man .Like i always say Rastu is the man .

  2. Well-written Aseem!

    Till now, I don’t think there was any title available on inspirational stories of first-generation Indian entrepreneurs not holding MBA degrees. And when some successful alumnus of none other than IIM-Ahemdabad writes a book emphasizing that MBA is not necessary to connect the dots, people w/o MBA degrees become even more motivated to start something of their own. Many people after reading Rashmi’s first book were under the impression that only MBA can make them fit for entrepreneurship as a career option. No doubt, MBA does widen our horizons and is helpful in understanding basics of any business, but it is not the necessary condition to become entrepreneur. Your review highlights this point very well.

    BTW, you can also post your review on the official forum of the book at http://connectthedots.in/forums

  3. anita

    Not read the book till now but Im sure the book must be good. I feel, the most common thing among all such successful entrepreneurs is that they started with some routine kind of job and then they decided to take a plunge in their interest. And now they are successful. Hence I feel – ‘Creativity comes from routine but routine doesnt come from creativity’.

  4. Of course MBA in India has become the most sought after career !! But today B-Schools are churning out only managers. They’ve become placement agencies. All we and they care about is how much average salary package of college is. Be it IIMs or other B-Schools. Enterprenuership seems to have lost in recent times. Even if you consider IIM-A, You can count number of enterprenuers on finger tip. Most of the IIM grads are lured by hefty packages given by MNCs,Investment Banks !!

  5. Mini

    Way to go :-). The review sounds really good :-). Wud be definitely worth a read 🙂

  6. rohit

    Must be an enjoyable read Connect The Dots by Rashmi Bansal. loved the way you wrote it. I find your review very genuine and orignal, this book is going in by “to read” list.

  7. viswa

    i learnt some thing from this book____ WE SHOULD NOT GIVE UP________…???? intersthing

    • aseemrastogi2

      Yeah reading all the stories of success of various entrepreneurs in “Connect the Dots” is sure to keep one inspired :).

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