Prolific author Rashmi Bansal has been writing books on the first generation Indian entrepreneurs since 2008, starting with Stay Hungry Stay Foolish. Over the years, she started getting invitations from many large companies, asking her to share ‘lessons from entrepreneurs’. And this led to her new book, Shine Bright, featuring leaders who work like entrepreneurs within big organisations, they are agents of change, or ‘intrapreneurs’ as Bansal calls them.
“Every industry is facing disruption from new technologies and new business models. To remain a leader a company must keep innovating, and to do that it needs people who think and act like entrepreneurs. That is the genesis of the theme of Shine Bright, which also happens to be my 10th book,” she informs.
Also an entrepreneur and motivational speaker, Bansal feels that entrepreneurship is not just the act of starting a business - it is an attitude to life.
She adds, “When you think and act like an entrepreneur within the ambit of a job you become an intrapreneur. This means taking ownership and working with passion and purpose. Not being happy with just a pay check or maintaining the status quo. Above all, an intrapreneur has a problem-solving mindset and is not afraid to think out of the box.”
Every industry is facing disruption from new technologies and new business models. To remain a leader a company must keep innovating, and to do that it needs people who think and act like entrepreneurs.
Like all her books, Shine Bright is also divided into 3 sections, each representing an aspect of the theme. The section Srishti is about creation, i.e. creating a new product line or a new market for one’s company. Drishti is about vision, i.e. taking an established business into a new direction or a new way of thinking. The third section is Sewa where she talks about intrapreneurship in the government sector.
“While starting a new company is difficult, effecting change in an established company is an even bigger challenge. Think of the start-up like an ant – very small but very agile. In contrast the large company is like an elephant and making that elephant dance takes immense skill, patience and a very high emotional quotient,” says Bansal.
Shine Bright features the likes of Amitabh Kant of NITI Aayog, Pawan Goenka of Mahindra Auto and Nitin Paranjpe of Unilever, among many illustrious others. The IIM-Ahmedabad alumnus has featured entrepreneurs across age groups, backgrounds and gender in her books. Why does she think India is such a treasure trove of entrepreneurship and what makes her want to tell these stories?
When you think and act like an entrepreneur within the ambit of a job you become an intrapreneur. This means taking ownership and working with passion and purpose.
“The Romans, the Arabs and the Portuguese all came to this country seeking our textiles, spices and many other unique offerings. So I would say trade and business is in our blood. 200 years of colonial rule destroyed many of our traditional industries but could not snuff out our spirit of enterprise. It is this spirit which is resurfacing and creating a tidal wave of positive energy. By telling these stories, I am doing my small bit for my fellow Indians who have big dreams but need a little bit of motivation and inspiration to make them come true.”
She wants readers to understand through her book that entrepreneurship is not a fad or fashion that each and everyone must pursue. If you want to be a leader or an agent of change, you can do that even within the scope of a job. So create an impact in this world, wherever you are.
Speaking of her future projects, she adds, “I am working on part 2 of my book Arise Awake and Connect the Dots. I would now like to take my stories to the visual medium. Currently I am writing a screenplay about a fictional entrepreneur, to be made into a web-series. In 5 years I see myself creating a web-series which inspires social change.”
Westland Books/ Rashmi Bansal