Thats my one word description of “Dhandha:How Gujaratis Do Business” ,a book written by Shobha Bondre.
The book chronicles the businesses and lives of four Gujarati businessmen in a very honest and lucid manner.
There are many incidents/anecdotes in the book which are noteworthy and bring forward the characteristics of the Gujarati community.
What I love about the Gujarati community is that once someone becomes successful, he always tries to contribute to his village-either by building schools,community centres, medical help etc.Its the rare rich Gujarati who neglects his roots.
Another aspect of the community is the pride they take in their entrepreneurship.Two anecdotes in the book are relevant in this aspect:
Mr.Barnett of Metal Box Company asks Mr.Mohanbhai Patel to close down his company and join Metal Box as a manager.
Mr.Patel replies:”I cannot accept your proposal.You see,I am a Gujarati.I come from a trading community.Securing a job holds no importance for us.It is every Gujarati’s dream to start his own business.We believe that being successful in business proves the mettle of a person.So whether you threaten me or tempt me,I will NOT close down my business.”
Mr.Patel goes on to lead his business Patel Extrusion to new heights. This company is now the largest manufacturer of Opthalmic Tubes in the world.
Mr.Hasu Shah approaches Moraji Desai,the Prime Minister of India for a job.
Moraji Desai replies:”You are from the business-oriented Baniya community.Why do you want to do job?You should be doing business instead.Do it here or in the US,but start a business of your own.That is my advice to you.I wish you all the best.”
Mr.Hasu Shah goes to the US and starts his own business.His company, the Hersha Group, now manages 115 Hotels in the US
I cannot recommend this book enough.