Book Review: Myriad Stars Of Enterprise
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This is a collection of 25 stories about women entrepreneurs. While 22 of those are set in India, three talk of overseas excellence. This is Rashmi Bansal’s fourth book and the author continues the trend of gathering uncommon stories of tremendous inspirational value. The book has three parts — Lakshmi, Durga and Saraswati. The first section profiles women who managed households and successfully started businesses. Bansal profiles their grit and gumption.
‘Durga’ has women who are trailblazers of sorts, having overcome adversity in their personal lives while tackling the expected pains of giving birth to a successful venture. Of this engaging set of stories, the tale of Jasu Shilpi, a sculptor (who passed away before the book was published) is interesting not just because of the nature of the business she built, but also the era in which she launched her venture. But the story which is perhaps the most inspirational of the lot is that of Shona McDonald of South Africa who built a wheelchair to help her disabled daughter and then leveraged that experience to start a company building wheelchairs.
‘Saraswati’ features women who banked on their professional education to launch their enterprises. If anything, this is the most conventional set of stories. These stories are brief. Yet, Bansal manages to convey the learning processes. The variety of fields in which women have become successful ensures that the book engages the reader from the start to finish. And the profiled women display a welcome diversity in ages, backgrounds and geographies.
The book’s only shortcoming is the way it’s produced. It is hobbled by poor editing and proofreading and is riddled with typos, punctuation errors and glaring grammatical errors. Even the use of a “sic” — to indicate that an error in the original, used when an interviewer typically reproduces conversations verbatim — has been dispensed with. And that does make for a rather bumpy reading experience. And it is not as if a book with mass-appeal needs to be edited poorly. Surely, a well-written and edited book would only be more readable.
Dharmendrais a running coach and consultant
(This story was published in BW | Businessworld Issue Dated 17-06-2013)