Book Review: On Entrepreneurship and Impact - Desh Deshpande

Entrepreneurship is an adventure which attracts so many but very few could actually commit themselves to it because of the uncertainty associated. There is an ocean of books on entrepreneurship by professors and many successful entrepreneurs on this subject with real life experiences and wisdom. So it is a question how this book is useful and stands in the ocean!

Desh Deshpande is a serial entrepreneur having founded many successful start-ups. In this book summarizes those experiences by keeping the needs of the entrepreneurs in mind than academics. So the language is simple and the words have been used wisely to communicate the very subject very clearly but don’t offer a ready-made solution anything but advice as how to tread the water. It explains how and why a social entrepreneur needs to ensure the engagement with the general public and local participation for creating sustainable solutions as well as sustainable organizations.

This small book foreword by Mr. N. R. Narayana Murthy has an acknowledgment and introduction that is integral part of the book to introduce to theme and set the tone. Apart from acknowledgement and introduction, this book has been divided in six parts; each dealing with different phases that an entrepreneur faces while establishing a successful enterprise. The book starts with a very basic question but most important ‘Are you ready to be an entrepreneur?’ and ends with suggestion on how to engage general public to support your cause.

Every entrepreneur wants to establish a big organization that has competitive advantage and is leader in its industry but achieving this requires not only some brilliant marketable ideas but ability to build a winning culture as well as an environment of trust, effective communication and alignment of strengths.

‘Building a winning culture should be a priority for all leaders – irrespective of the size of the company they are building’

‘Delegation is the key to scale.’

These are the real ingredients that help establishing a successful organization.

For entrepreneurs, harsh realities, failures, bad decisions and mistakes are something very common. But how they deal is most important irrespective of the result. Entrepreneur’s ability to acknowledge the competition and respond meaningfully is more important than thinking about valuation. Investors themselves will find out the right valuation.

‘Focus on building a start-up that valuable and the valuation will automatically take care of itself.’

Building an ecosystem is as important as is organization. The author proposes five locals such as local situation, local resources, local capacity and local ownership to creating local problem solvers. His experiences suggests that local situations/challenges must be solved using local resources by creating local capacity and ownership must be in hands of local stakeholders and this should be done by local problem solvers. By this way only a permanent solution to social problems can be achieved and it is only possible when there is general public engagement. 

‘A competitive advantage, particularly a unique one, happens because you see something in marketplace that other don’t’.

Rajeev Upadhyay

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