Friday, July 27, 2012

Book Review: How I Braved Anu Aunty And Co-founded a Million Dollar Company - Varun Agarwal

How many times does it happen that you meet your old batch mates – listen to their routines, success stories and philosophies and you say, ‘God, what am I doing with my life!’
I guess it does happen with everybody at some point of their life. How many of the backbenchers and low-graders you know have become successful in their life? Well – that is a tough one.
Everyone has heard of college-drop outs, failures, and those where-the-hell-were-they-during-college types of guys making big, viz. Zuckerberg, Gates, etc. So what if some guy – almost of our age – does something similar?
Meet Varun Agarwal.
Newest entry to the group of twenty something guys with rebellious blood running in their veins. It doesn’t matter if he deliberately did not want to join a management course or he wasn’t qualified to enter a big college. What matters is what he did with his life. He inspired, or rather, instigated his friend Rohan Malhotra to risk their careers and do something that was the first of its kind. Varun dared everyone he was related to – including the iconic Anu Aunty and co-founded a unique company that redefined entrepreneurship in India.
Alma Mater – as the name suggests – is a website where you can register your college and design your college merchandise such as T-shirts, sweat shirts and all. The company’s worth is around a million dollars, as the author and entrepreneur claims.    
Anyway, coming back to the book – it doesn’t have anything extra ordinary. It’s an honest account of a guy who challenged everyone in his family tree and his friends and opened a company which went on to become super successful.
Anu Aunty, who plays the second lead in a story, makes sure no stone is unturned in stressing Varun to take the same path that her own son took. Varun, as predicted, hates her son as he finds him geeky and idiot. He has just completed his college and is supposed to join some good company for a job and do something good with his life, but he is not interested. He wants to do something extra-ordinary.
On a crazy night, where all the big ideas are invented and big things happen, he strikes an idea of opening a company having a one room office and selling college merchandise online. With some hiccups, their company gets a head start and then Varun and Rohan don’t look back. Unlike the rest of us, who use facebook only for liking  and commenting on mostly stupid things, Varun and Rohan use facebook for viral marketing of his company along with justdial for promotion purposes.
The book is rather an account of his journey, so it does inspire you and gives you a hell lot of insights of how you have to deal with various people, what measure you must take, what problems you might have to face and most importantly – how not to bogged down by the snubbing of family members and friends and stay focused.
Talking about writing – this is Varun’s debut book so it would be unethical to judge the book on such grounds. He sure has his way of writing, but it is certainly not as good as the other commercial fiction novels available in the market. It lacks the commercial aspect – that is – it’s a bit monotonous.
But then, you don’t buy this book only to have fun. You buy this book to read a success story and to learn the dos and don’ts of the marketing and business world. It doesn’t stir any emotion in you, but it does inspire you in more ways than one.

My rating: 3.5/5


1 comment:

  1. Hi,

    I liked your blog. I thought that we could do a few cross blog things.

    Would you be interested in reviewing my new book "Love, Peace and Happiness:What more can you want?"

    I could do an author interview on yours. I could also post your review on my fanpage referenced below which has more than 10,000 fans giving you a whole new set of visitors.

    Let me know if this makes sense for your blog.

    Rituraj Verma, author