Thursday, December 25, 2014

Book Review #26: Mouse Charmers

Name: The Mouse Charmers-Digital Pioneers of India
Author: Anuradha Goyal
No. of Pages: 344
Genre: Business
Publisher: Random House India
Price: Rs. 229/-
Published in: 2014

The blurb of the book says: 
The advent of Internet has been a significant game changer for our generation. Mouse Charmers are a new breed of entrepreneurs in emerging India powered by the Internet and the opportunities that it offers to create new markets and to cater to old markets in new ways. Some of them have already achieved success where they can be called iconic and inspiring while others have powerful ideas that put them on the same path.
Anuradha Goyal tells the stories of digital entrepreneurs like Flipkart, Zomato, ImagesBazaar, IndiBlogger ; how they started out, the innovations and technologies involved, their business models and unique marketing strategies. Inspiring and useful, The Mouse Charmers is an essential guide for aspiring entrepreneurs.

About the author:
Anuradha Goyal wears many hats to pursue her three prime passions—innovation, travel, and books. She studies business innovation, especially business models, and blogs about them. She has earlier co-authored the India Innovates Series published by CII showcasing innovations from across the country. She was a jury member for Economic Times Power of Ideas Contest in 2010. Her papers on business innovation have appeared in various journals and forums. She is one of India’s leading travel bloggers, writing a popular travel blog for a decade now. Her travel story has been published as part of an anthology ‘Celebrating India’ and her paper on ‘in-city travel’ appeared in travel journal Earth. Her stories regularly appear in various print and online publications. She has close to 400 book reviews to her credit on her book reviews blog. She is a keen student of Indian art history. She regularly speaks on these topics at various conferences and institutes. In her earlier avatar she worked in the IT industry for over a decade. She studied computer applications for her master’s degree and physics for her graduate degree at Panjab University. She currently lives in Goa.

The book is about digital businesses started by Indian entrepreneurs. She has picked up several online businesses and tells us how they started off, how they operate, the challenges they face, the innovations they have made, their USPs and their future opportunities.

The author has broadly categorized the digital business into three: Commerce, Content and Connectors.
  • In Commerce section, she talks about Flipkart, MakeMyTrip, BigBasket and CaratLane.
  • In Content section, she talks about Zomato, Games2win, ImagesBazaar and Chat with Lakshmi.
  • In Connectors section, she talks about, Rang De, CommonFloor and IndiBlogger.

The author further discusses the ecosystem in which the Indian digital businesses operate and survive. 
As an avid online shopper, I was able to connect to the information revealed in the book. I remember, I started to shop online in the year 2010. Initially I bought only books online and started with Flipkart. In a few months I was so addicted to online shopping that I ended up buying things which I didn’t even need. I had and still have both good and bad online shopping experiences. But thankfully I had good experiences and so I have not shied away from virtual shopping.

The author have beautifully covered all aspects of online business operations and also enlightened customers like me. I believe it is a good book for both management and IT students and professionals alike.

I give "The Mouse Charmers" 4 stars on a scale of 5.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Book review #25: Surrogate Author

Name: Surrogate Author
Author: Santosh Avvannavar and Shilpa Patil
No. of Pages: 47
Genre: Fiction/Self-help
Publisher: Hoffen
Price: Rs. 70/-
Published in: 2014

The blurb of the book says:

About the author:
Santosh Avvannavar: Santosh started his career as a consultant and Soft Skills Trainer. After his college education from NITK, Surathkal, he worked as a researcher at University of Eindhoven, University of Twente, and Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore. He was also the Placement President while working at IISC, Bangalore. He has over twenty-five publications of mostly research documents in national and international journals. He has also authored sixteen conference papers and regularly writes articles for a national and worldwide daily paper. He also works as an advisor for different organizations. He also dabbles in fiction writing and is the author of Adhuri Prem Kahaniya; Dear Wife, Your Husband is not a Superhero; Second Heart; Get a Job WITHOUT an Interview and Be a B.A. He likes to devote his personal time in writing for a blog, namely the Amrita Foundation for HRD ( He has conducted seminars and training sessions for more than 35,000 people in India and abroad over the last seven years.

Shilpa S Patil: Shilpa is a faculty at KSWU, Bijapur. She holds Master's degree in commerce from Karnataka State Women's University, Bijapur and Bachelor's degree in commerce from A.S.Patil college of commerce, Bijapur. She likes to devote her personal time writing for a blog, namely the Shilpa Goldy and the blog can be read at

The story unfolds in the form of a play. It is basically a parody of Sanjay leela Bhansali’s ‘Devdas’. Paro here is an unfinished book and Devdas is a wannabe writer. The book is targeted at aspiring writers who are somehow unable to complete their projects. Some manuscript writing tips are given at the end of the book.

Somehow the humour did not click with me. Anyways it is a fair attempt to lighten the grim situation of aspiring writers.

I give "Surrogate Author" 2 stars on a scale of 5.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Book Review #24: Life, Job or Country

Name: Love, Job or Country
Author: Rohit Agarwal
No. of Pages: 258
Genre: Fiction
Publisher: Frog Books (An Imprint of Leadstart Publishing)
Price: Rs. 175/-
Published in: 2014

The blurb of the book says:
Avinash and Chetan live in different domains, while one is an ambitious marketing professional; another is a hard-core spy out to serve his country. Avinash is struggling to retain the new job he has joined. Chetan has recently shifted from Colombo to Ahmedabad, as station head of R & AW. Destiny bring them together when Tamanna, the love interest of Avinash, leads him to an unthinkable terrorist plot emanating from a Pakistan based Jihadi group. The Story moves across the Indian subcontinent , from Pakistan to Bangladesh and Nepal to Sri lanka uncovering a deadly terrorist plot which can put Indian union in danger. It has to be seen if Chetan is able to stop the terrorists before they strike and if Avinash is vindicated in his trust in Tamanna.

About the author:
Rohit Agarwal is a 39-year-old marketing professional, who works in the mid-management level in a textile company based in Ahmedabad . His work experience of about 15 years is based mainly in Ahmedabad. He has travelled extensively within India and abroad in the line of duty. He is excited and moved with stories, as he is an avid reader. This is his debut book.He resides in Ahmedabad with his two kids and wife. He can be reached at 

Cover: The cover shows a couple watching as a airplane on fire descends over a city.
Writing: I found the narrative not very interesting and plain.
Story: As the blurb says, Chetan and Avinash are brought together in Ahmedabad through Tamanna, the love interest of Avinash. The story moves forward by alternate narrations by Avinash and Chetan.

Avinash gets a job in a textile company and meets Tamanna. Although his professional life is quite dissatisfactory, his personal life blooms. But life takes a turn for worse when he’s asked to bring a gift for Tamanna’s uncle from a friend. Meanwhile Chetan takes a transfer to Ahmedamad to be with his wife. He meets Avinash in connection when Avinash accidently stumbles upon a terrorist attack plan.

The author has incorporated real Indian political events in the plot and changed the names only slightly, e.g., Pramod Mahajan became Aamod Mahajan and Bharatiya Janata Party became Bharatiya Party.

I didn’t really like the book. It didn’t keep me hooked at all. I found the narration boring and unnecessarily long frequently. I felt that Chetan’s part was comparatively written better than Avinash’s part. If you are looking for a light read or something to read while travelling, you can give this one a try.

I give "Love, Job or Country" 2.5 stars on a scale of 5.