Rashmi Bansal has always been interested in entrepreneurs. Whether it's women entrepreneurs, entrepreneurs from Dharavi's (Mumbai) slums or those from India's small towns like Belgaum and Meerut. The IIM Ahmedabad graduate has spent the last decade or so researching and telling the stories of different kinds of entrepreneurs and now she's back with a new book - one about intrapreneurs. Her latest book is titled 'Shine Bright' and it aims to tell the stories of managers turned intrapreneurs.
Who is an intrapreneur?
We caught up with the author over the phone to chat about her new book and the experiences that came with writing it. First off, she clarified the difference between an entrepreneur and an intrapreneur. "An entrepreneur is a person who starts their own company from scratch. They're also called start-up founders. An intrapreneur is someone who is not the founder of the organisation and yet, he thinks and works like an entrepreneur," she explained.
She elaborated that intrapreneurs typically have a sense of ownership, even though they don't own the company and that this sense goes beyond a paycheck. "They have that bigger passion and purpose and a real passion for their work. They will take the initiative to be problem solvers," she said.
Bansal has been writing books for a decade. Her first book - Stay Hungry Stay Foolish - was released in 2008, this will be her tenth. The book contains stories from notable names such as Manu Jain (Global VP, Xiaomi and MD, Xiaomi India), Nitin Paranjpe (Global CEO, Unilever) and Amitabh Kant (CEO, NITI Aayog). Apart from the stories of these intrapreneurs, the book is also peppered with insights for young managers that can be found between each chapter.
We asked her about Manu Jain's story and she elaborated -
"Xiaomi really understood the Indian market. When a brand is a player in such crowded market, they have to do something different to stand out. If they had to do the same thing as everyone else; if they'd gone to retailers and asked them to sell their phones, it definitely wouldn't have succeeded. Five years ago, all the experts told him that this is not possible but he did have a gut feeling that it'd work," she told us.
She also pointed out that in Xiaomi's case, "Consumer connect, product itself is the main thing. No amount of marketing or out of the box thinking is going to sell a bad product."
We asked Bansal about HUL's Nitin Paranjpe's story too and she agreed that his was a remarkable one. Paranjpe joined HUL as a management trainee straight out of college and rose up the ranks to CEO at age 46 - this makes him the youngest CEO of HUL at his age. His story is a remarkable one and his chapter focuses on how he grew the business to the place that it is currently at, despite encountering multiple challenges and failures during his journey.
Bansal also told us that a story that was close to her heart was Dr. Pawan Goenka's story. Before joining Mahindra Auto, he worked as a research scientist at General Motors in U.S.A. He joined Mahindra Auto in 1993, at a time when it's R&D was in its fledgling stages.
"For 25 years, Mahindra was only known as a jeep and tractor company. Goenka led the company in a totally new direction - it was also partly because of Anand Mahindra's vision. He was able to identify that Goenka could lead the company into a new business domain," she told us. "With very frugal resources, he managed to create a world class car. He's basically known as the father of the Scorpio which eventually made Mahindra a player in the passenger cars segment and now it's one of the top three car brands sold in India," she told us..
About HUL's Nitin Paranjpe, she agreed that his story too, was quite remarkable. Paranjpe joined HUL as a management trainee straight out of college and rose up the ranks to CEO at 46. His chapter focuses on how he grew the business to the place that it currently is, despite all the challenges that came his way.
Westland Publications published the book 'Shine Bright' this year and it is available on Amazon, Flipkart and with other offline booksellers too.
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