Failing to Succeed

This is undoubtedly one of the best business books that i have read for a long long time. K. Vaitheeswaran’s story of founding India’s first ever e-commerce company which later became, its true success and its subsequent failure. Vaitheeswaran has written the book with as much emotions and integrity as he put into building the business. Very nice flowing narrative with lot of stories with a little dash of humour here and there. This is a first class primer on how to set up an e-commerce company, a true e-commerce company based on profitability i.e. not on insane valuations that we are seeing these days, the soonicorns, unicorns and the gonicorns. Vaitheeswaran is scathing in his indictment of the fake start up culture in India, i.e based on sky high valuations and some funny metrics, high cost employees having zany designations, deep discount strategy etc. He says “several unicorns have pursued the LMS (Last Man Standing) strategy so far with enthusiasm by raising humongous amounts of capital, pricing their products and services well below cost that pushed several competitors out of business.” Another gem “the purpose of business is to make money, not raise money” and another one “Entrepreneurs must treat their start-ups like children” alluding to the investors’ craze to create pop-bubble valuations which are again based on crazy metrics like head count to the detriment of creating a profitable sound business. The most important of all traits for an entrepreneur is integrity, he says in page 195 “at a start up event, when asked what would be the one thing i would look for in any entrepreneur, i said integrity” Vaitheeswaran’s angst is mostly on the investors who let him down time and again and badly too. They just left him in the lurch, and it was sad to read the latter part of the book which deals with the failure of his portal and the severe problems that came with it. And this for a person who is virtually the founder of an industry – e-commerce, was founded by him and friends with nothing to learn from – even programmers did not know how to write codes for creating an e-commerce web site. Fabmart was a pioneer in India in those days when nobody knew anything about e-commerce. This book should be made must read in all MBA syllabus in the country – must read for all the wannabe capital advisors, entrepreneurs alike – it has so much of wealth of information you will not find in any text book on business. Goodreads 5/5

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One response to “Failing to Succeed

  1. Don’t Write An entire blog in a single paragraph.

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