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Mihir Dalal’s ‘Big Billion Startup: The Untold Flipkart Story’ was recently announced as the winner of the Gaja Capital Business Book Prize 2020

Big Billion Startup: The Untold Flipkart Story, is a definitive account of the biggest start-up that redefined India’s e-commerce, by investigative journalist Mihir Dalal and has been announced as the winner of the Gaja Capital Business Book Prize 2020.

Photo Credit : Courtesy: Amazon

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The winner was selected from an eclectic and compelling shortlist of six books, showcasing the vibrant Indian business ecosystem. Established by the Gaja Capital last year, a leading equity firm, the Gaja Business Book Prize is one of the leading initiatives connecting the worlds of business and writing. With a purse of INR 15 Lakh for the winner, it is the biggest business book prize in the country to honour authors and their chronicles celebrating the spirit of entrepreneurship in India.

While announcing the winner virtually this year, Gopal Jain, Co-Founder and Managing Partner, Gaja Capital, said, “The Indian growth phenomenon – is one of the great stories of the 21st century. It needs to be told. Narratives inspire and build conviction - India has many successful entrepreneurs and businesses. The world should speak of them just as we speak of the world because you don’t have to be Western to be Modern. As Investors and entrepreneurs in the Indian market, we have witnessed several such journeys first-hand. The Gaja Capital Business Book Prize was instituted in 2019 to encourage Indian writers, journalists and entrepreneurs to tell our stories and tell them well, for the world.”

The jury for the second edition comprised stalwarts from the worlds of industry, investments, academia, public policy, and governance including: Manish Sabharwal, Chairman Teamlease (Chairman, Jury), Imran Jafar, Managing Partner & co-founder- Gaja Capital, UK Sinha, Former Chairman of SEBI, Michael Queen, Former Chief Executive of 3i (British Multinational PE fund), Neelkanth Mishra, Managing Director and Head of Equity Strategy, Asia Pacific for Credit Suisse, Narayan Ramachandran, Former country head, Morgan Stanley India, Prithvi Haldea, Founder Chairman of Praxis Consulting (Prime Database), Shailesh Haribhakti, Founder and Managing Partner of Shailesh Haribhakti & Associates Chartered Accountants.

The 2020 shortlist consisted of a diverse range of stories of enterprises and their protagonists including : theUnicorn story of Flipkart inBig Billion Startup by Mihir Dalal; the exposé of Ranbaxy in  Bottle of Lies by Katherine Eban; HDFC Bank’s digital revolution in HDFC Bank 2.0 by Tamal Bandyopadhyay; the riveting account of Bigbasket’s leadership in Saying No to Jugaad: The Making of Bigbasket by TN Hari and MS Subramanian; the 70 year journey of Hero in The Making of Hero by Sunil Munjal andthe bold and adventurous journey of a Venture Capitalist in India in The Moonshot Game by Rahul Chandra.

Mihir Dalal is an editor with Mint, from where he has covered internet businesses for more than five years. He previously worked at Reuters and CNBC TV18. 

Shedding some light on the book, we can say that Mihir Dalal recounts the astounding story of how the Bansals built Flipkart into a multi-billion-dollar powerhouse in the span of a few years and made internet entrepreneurship a desirable occupation. But it is also a story of big money, power and hubris, as both business and interpersonal complexities weakened the founders’ control over their creation and forced them to sell out to a retailer they had once dreamt of emulating. Flipkart’s auction involved some of the corporate world’s biggest names, from Jeff Bezos, Satya Nadella, Sundar Pichai to Jack Ma, Masa Son and Doug McMillon, an ironic testimony to the strength of what the Bansals had once forged.

The Gaja Capital Business Book Prize is created to honour these travellers, their journeys and their chroniclers.  Awarded annually, the book prize recognises best narratives on an Indian company (or an entrepreneur or some event) that transformed the business ecosystem in India. 


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