Women are rising up the ranks at the workplace and in business. And as they do, we are hearing more and more of their stories, and the stories that they are telling. Gone are the days when business books were written for and by only men.
We have curated a list of the best books on business by women who have dared to reinvent the game. So stock up your shelves or your kindles, and get inspired!
Can I Have It All? by Anuranjita Kumar
Anuranjita Kumar is an HR leader with more than 20 years’ experience across America, Asia and Europe. The book is a memoir of her own corporate journey, and how she has managed to navigate the challenges which come at the different stages of life.
Business Maharajas by Gita Piramal
Business journalist and industry insider Gita Piramal tracks eight powerful business tycoons, whose combined turnover runs into billions of rupees, and who, between them, employ more than 65,000 people.
30 Women in Power: Their Voices, Their Stories by Naina Lal Kidwai
The chairman of HSBC chronicles the tales of Indian women who have been pioneers in their fields. From healthcare, to consulting to the non-profit space, these are role models who have overcome many barriers and made many compromises to reach the top.
Bhujia Barons: The Untold Story of How Haldiram Built a 5000 Crore Empire by Pavitra Kumar
Pavitra Kumar uncovers the story of our favourite homegrown snack company. Beginning in Bikaner, Haldirams has managed to become on of the most recognised Indian food brands in the world. Kumar brings alive the dynamics of a uniquely Indian family-run multi-crore business.
Devi, Diva or She-Devil: The smart career woman’s survival guide by Sudha Menon
Menon explores the wide gamut of issues that Indian women have to face at the workplace and at home. With insights from renowned and successful women like film director Farah Khan, Olympian M.C. Mary Kom, actor Lillette Dubey, banker Manisha Girotra, food writer Karen Anand, India’s first sports journalist Sharda Ugra, and casting director Shanoo Sharma among others, this book will help the contemporary Indian woman negotiate the professional world with panache and follow her career goals with ease.
Lady, You’re Not a Man!: The Adventures of a Woman at Work by Apurva Purohit
The CEO of Radio City 91.1 FM shows how women can adapt, accept and achieve their way to the highest rung in every arena. This is a bitingly fun book, full of anecdotes from everyday women on how to deal with bosses, husbands, children and one’s own self.
How to Be a Bawse: A Guide to Conquering Life by Lilly Singh
The Youtube phenomenon writes the ultimate manual for millennials who want to make it to the top. She is someone who exudes confidence, and isn’t afraid to say exactly what she wants. So read the book and learn how to be bold, confident and how to have fun while conquering your dreams.
Stay Hungry Stay Foolish by Rasmi Bansal
Rashmi Bansal is one of India’s most loved authors and is a passionate entrepreneur herself. In this book, she tells the stories of 25 young IIM Ahmedabad graduates who, instead of choosing lucrative and safe jobs, chose the rocky road of entrepreneurship. Read the book to find out how they did it.
Own It: Leadership Lessons from Women Who Do by Aparna Jain
Aparna Jain has interviewed close to 200 Indian women leaders across industries about the challenges they face at the workplace and at home. Own It tells women’s stories: the ugly, the happy, the rarely discussed, the unacknowledged, the whispered, the denied.
She Walks, She Leads by Gunjan Jain
Dare to Dream: A Life of M.S. Oberoi by Bachi Karkaria
This is one of the most popular business biographies in India. Veteran journalist and author Bachi Karkaria chronicles how M.S. Oberoi began his career in the hotel industry on a fifty-rupee-a-month wage at Simla’s Cecil Hotel. Decades later, the Oberoi group is an internationally celebrated hotel chain. This is the story the man who made it happen.
Step Up: How Women Can Perform Better for Success by Anju Jain
Anju Jain explains why gender disparity is an issue both at home and work and how that can be changed. With insights gained from extensive research and experience, she presents practical techniques in a simple matrix for women to use to become successful.
Also Read: Anju Jain Talks About Her Book ‘Step Up’
We Are Like That Only by Rama Bijapurkar
Rama Bijapurkar’s book has become a must-read for any marketing profession. She dissects the complex and inscrutable Indian market — from the many Consumer India’s, to the diverse and schizophrenic behaviour of its consumers.
Young Turks: Inspiring Stories of Tech Entrepreneurs by Shereen Bhan and Syna Denuhgara
The book includes interviews with India’s top tech entrepreneurs ranging from Naveen Tewari of InMobi to Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal of Flipkart and Kunal Bahl and Rohit Bansal of Snapdeal. The book will give you insights into how these entrepreneurs disrupted their industries and created new markets.
Working Out of the Box: 40 stories of Leading CEOs
Aparna Piramal Raje talks about how work spaces can reflect work styles. She chronicles the working life of 40 progressive leaders. Design is often overlooked and this book recognises that the workplace can also be a tool through which leaders can create value.
Dhandha: How Gujratis Do Business by Shobha Bondre
The Gujarati community is known for its business acumen, and Bondre uncovers what exactly makes this community so adept in money matters. She tells the stories of Bhimjibhai Patel—one of the country’s biggest diamond merchants and co-founder of the ambitious ‘Diamond Nagar’ in Surat; Dalpatbhai Patel—the motelier who went on to become the mayor of Mansfield County; and Mohanbhai Patel—a former Sheriff of Mumbai and the leading manufacturer of aluminium collapsible tubes, among others.
Why I Failed: Lessons from Leaders by Shweta Punj
Shweta Punj tells the story of 16 leaders who have celebrated their failures as much as they have celebrated their successes. Punj talks about how it is important not to run away from failure, but to learn from it. Anu Aga, Sunil Alagh, Sanjiv Goenka, Narayana Murthy, and many more talk about their experiences of failure.
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