Stay Hungry Stay Foolish - Rashmi Bansal

This post is late by two weeks. However, here it goes. Rashmi Bansal is more famous as the IIM -A graduate who founded JAM magazine. The book was commissioned by Center for Innovation Incubation and Entreprenership (CIIE) @ IIM-A and supported by the Wadhwani Foundation known for the National Entrepreneurship Network (NEN).

"Stay Hungry Stay Foolish" is the famous concluding line of Steve Jobs's commencement speech at Stanford in 2005. The book profiles 25 IIM-A grads who took the entreprenerial path. The book has been intelligently divided into three sections based on the kind of entreprenerial ventures undertaken by the people featured or the phase in their life when they took the plunge.

I like Rashmi's disarming and original writing style where she tries her best to bring out the feelings these people had. She uses Hindi phrases effectively to achieve this. While reading the book I realized that these people faced similar predicaments and apprehensions when they wanted to quit their comfort zones and reach out for their larger calling. In that respect, at the end of each entrepreneurs story is a section of advice from the horse's mouth.

Some of the recurring points that I noticed were
  • Do not quit. Some of the most successful ventures came after near hopelessness.
  • Trust and understanding between the founding team members. Here, many also stress that without hurting the notion of equality, one person has to lead the team.
  • Experience on the ground is important. You can sit in the classroom and try and prepare yourself for D day. But nothing prepares you for your brush with reality better than reality itself.
  • You do not necessarily have to start big. You have to make a plunge at some point of time.
In the book you will find people behind some of the most enterprising companies like Sanjeev Bikchandani of naukri.com, Narendra Murkumbi of Renuka Sugars, Vijay Mahajan of Basix, Venkat Krishnan of Give India and many many more. At the end of the book you will feel happy and proud knowing more about these people.

I am also happy to see that many of these organizations work in the field of education, financial inclusion.


  1. Rashmi has written it quite well and i like the fact that she mixes hindi with english. i like these new Indian authors and new confidence. I just finished reading one of the most interestingly written books on money, wealth and investing - Cash The Crash - Yogesh Chabria/Happionaire. Guess you must have read it already, what do you feel of Indian authors mixing the use of Hindi and making the language more local?

  2. Hey Riya,

    Actually I have not read the book that you mention but will try to check it out. About Rashmi's writing style, yes, the usage of Hindi does help one relate more closely to what is written because one realizes that these people are thinking in exactly the same way and speaking in exactly the same way that we do. No masking of words behind elite words which, though, to the point end up missing the reader's point of view. Read this one recently - Not totally unrelated http://indiauncut.com/iublog/article/churidars-and-leggings/

  3. Aish,

    I am a regular reader of Rashmi's Youth Curry. I like the way she mixes Hindi and English. But having said that, i am not really in favor of mixing languages just for the heck of it. The change in language should be driven by the subject and context.

    What i like about Rashmi's articles is that they are to-the-point and crisp.

    BTW, i got to know about your blog through CSIM forum.

  4. i stumbled upon your blog while searching for a pdf copy of cash the crash-yogesh chabria. any idea where can i get it? i really want to read this book as i have read lots of good reviews on it. am willing to pay for the pdf. i'm in Saudi Arabia now and here it is very hard to get such books.

  5. Hey Prashant,

    Totally agree. In fact anything that is faked or not contextual does not fit - especially when it comes to literature and writing.

    I feel the art of mixing languages requires one to be conversant with not the language from a writing perspective but also from a colloquial point of view.

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  7. It was certainly interesting for me to read the post. Thanks for it. I like such themes and everything that is connected to them. I would like to read a bit more on that blog soon.