Book Review: The Accidental Entrepreneur

The Book ‘The Accidental Entrepreneur’ is written by S. Sivakumar, co-Founder of SJS Pvt. Ltd, a leading manufacturer of automotive dials,logos etc and a leader of India’s printing industry.

The Book narrates how 3 entrepreneurs from humble middle class backgrounds built a world class company

The Book captures many of the struggles businessmen and entrepreneurs had to go thru during the 1980s and 1990s when India was just beginning to open up.

Like countless others, the Promoters had to borrow money from friends and relatives to get their business going.

What strikes me is the role of the much maligned PSU Banks who lent money in form of working capital loans and long term debt.Suffice to say, without the nation building efforts of these Banks, many enterprises would have died.

The Book also highlights the importance of attending trade conferences , both within and outside India.Its only by attending such conferences that you understand what is happening in a particular industry,latest technologies etc

The key takeaway from the Book is the importance of meeting one’s commitments and having satisfied customers.In many instances, the Company incurred losses in a contract due to unforeseen cost escalations etc , yet they did not fail the customer.This lead to tremendous good will in the market resulting in customers giving them references,more work etc

The Book is written in a very simple manner and is an easy read.Some parts of the Book are tedious where the author explains in excruciating details of his foreign trips and who picked up him/dropped him off etc

SJS was eventually sold to Everstone, a PE firm as the the Founder’s next gen was not interested in joining the business.This seems to be  a trend nowadays where the next gen is educated abroad and prefer to be abroad instead of running their family business.

Do read this Book if interested in Indian entrepreneurship.

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