Posts Tagged ‘Rashmi Bansal’

The Beginning of the Joyfest – A Festival with a Difference

It all started more than 2 years ago when I received a mail from Mrs. Rashmi Bansal, owner of the JAM Magazine and the author of several best-selling titles on entrepreneurship, asking me if Symbiosis Institute of Operations Management (SIOM) could participate in an initiative for the social welfare. It was not just about donation. Rather, it was about giving our time, our attention and more importantly our hearts and souls. And the real pleasure was in deriving the joy from ‘giving’. The initiative was named as ‘Joyfest’ and it was a part of the national movement called ‘Joy of Giving Week’.

I dropped a line to our Director Dr. Vandana Sonwaney to know her opinion on this initiative. And as usual, she was more than willing to extend her full support to make this noble initiative successful. I along with my class-mate Salil Bansal discussed several options with our Director. Finally, we zeroed in on the thought of launching Cleanliness drive in Nashik’s Panchvati area as it was surveyed by our seniors to be one of the dirtiest areas. And this marked the beginning of the first edition of Joyfest at my alma mater.

In order to spread the message of keeping the city clean and to inspire the people to be more responsible towards the society and the environment, we launched an intensive cleanliness drive in Nashik under the banner of Joyfest on September 28, 2009. Municipal Corporation of Nashik lent its full support to us by providing the necessary things like brooms, garbage trolleys, gloves etc. to carry-out this drive. On the festive day of Dussehra, we carried out the cleanliness drive around the Ram-kund area, the main pilgrimage site in Nashik. Dr. Vandana herself volunteered in this drive along with the students of the institute to lead by example. This is how SIOM volunteered in this initiative to become a member-college of this movement.

Year after year, students volunteer themselves in the Joyfest to extend their helping hands to the society with the continued support from their respective institutes. In the form of Joyfest, the youth population of this Nation has got a chance to use the power of collective action to make a ‘big’ difference to the society. I am sure even this year during the Joy of Giving Week i.e. from Oct 2 to Oct 8, student support will pour in large numbers to bring smiles on the faces of many more people of the country and take this initiative to new heights.

Book Review: Connect the Dots by Rashmi Bansal

Before reading the book Connect the Dots, I thought “Why to learn from success stories when the greater learning lies in failures?” However, when I read a few stories in the book, I realised that the book doesn’t go about mentioning successes of the entrepreneurs, rather it mentions about their failures which ultimately culminated in success stories for them.

Rashmi Bansal’s new book – Connect the Dots, at least in my opinion, is a sequel to her National bestseller in non-fiction category – Stay Hungry Stay Foolish (SHSF). There are many reasons to believe that it is a sequel:

  • Connect the Dots caters to the aspirations of budding entrepreneurs like SHSF.
  • Both the books have classified the entrepreneurs into 3 categories.
  • In both the books, after each story follows the advice to young entrepreneurs.
  • Connect the Dots has a similar cover design, page design, layout and typesetting as that of SHSF.
  • Even the website layout and design of Connect the Dots is same as that of SHSF. (Browse www.stayhungrybook.com and www.connectthedots.in to know more)

Connect the Dots covers inspiring stories of 20 non-MBA entrepreneurs unlike Rashmi’s first book which had stories of 25 entrepreneurs who did their post-graduation from IIM-A. When you see the cover of the book, the first thing you’ll notice is that the title of the book has been written upside down. The one who hasn’t read the content of Steve Jobs’ speech or hasn’t gone through the below note given in this book, fails to understand as to why the book’s title has been written upside down.

“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust… in something – your gut, destiny, life, karma whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life”

~ Steve Jobs, Commencement Address at Stanford University (2005)

Rashmi herself mentions as to how she connected the dots in Author’s note section in the beginning of the book. She was passionate about writing from the very beginning. During her course of study, she often asked herself during her miserable first year at IIM-A as to why she came to study there. After around 14 years of passing-out from IIM-A, one fine day she got the opportunity to write on IIM-A entrepreneurs and she grabbed it which later became a bestseller in the form of SHSF. She was on campus for her 15th reunion in Jan 2009 when sale of SHSF crossed 50,000 copies. To celebrate this, the dean of IIM-A presented her a silver plaque in the same classroom where she occupied a seat during her first year on campus. That day she was able to connect the dots!

The book has a diverse and interesting mix of entrepreneurs. The age was certainly not a bar for choosing entrepreneurs (for the fact that book covers people as old as 56 years old and as young as 25 years old) as long as they could fit into one of the three categories viz. Jugaad, Junoon and Zubaan of the book. One of them-Raghu Khanna, with whom I have personally interacted also, is even younger to me.

Some of my Supply Chain concepts of Postponement and Modularization got revisited when I read Prem Ganapathy’s experience of offering 108 dosa items in menus of Dosa Plaza using mix-and-match of 5-6 sauces, 5-10 chutneys and vegetables. These entrepreneurs know by virtue of their real life experience many things which are taught at the B-schools today.  As correctly outlined in the book, whether you are selling tea or servicing a Fortune 500 client – the principle is always the same.

All in all, the book serves a wonderful means for anyone interested in pursuing entrepreneurship as a career option.

What Motivated me to Blog?

To start with, let me tell you about the motivation behind my first blog post. It’s not that I had plans to write a blog from a long time or that I wanted to start my blog just for the heck of showing off to the world.  Then, what motivated me to blog?

Although, I am an Internet savvy person and love to engage in social networking in whatever possible and meaningful way, yet I had no plans to write on anything till recently. It was on March 1,  when I read the tweet of Mrs. Rashmi Bansal (Author of the last year’s Best Seller – Stay Hungry Stay Foolish) asking for sharing placement experience on which is going to be based her next blog. In order to get featured in her blog, I quickly started my Microsoft Word and started writing my experience. Within an hour’s time, I was able to finish up writing my experience and immediately after I mailed her the document describing my experience. A day after, I received her reply:

“Wonderful – well written – and congratulations”

This was motivating enough to make me start a blog. I always thought that I was not a good writer and as such writing a blog was never something serious stuff for me. But now having started, I’ll try my best to do justice to my blog.

I would love to receive your comments on my posts because it’s only the readers who can do justice to a piece of writing. I hope you won’t mind if I make use of my art, so-called Poor Jokes by almost everybody, to make my blogs more interesting! With this short post, I would mark the beginning of my blog!

Caution: Reading my blogs can be injurious to people who get irritated by Poor Jokes (PJs). Due diligence has been taken to inform such readers beforehand!