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December 20, 2014 / subramanyam

The Mouse Charmers is a must read …


We plan our holidays with Make my trip, buy our books and Gadgets on Flipkart, order groceries on Big Basket, check for restaurants and ratings  in Zomato , share our feedback on all of these things on our blogs and get to know what like-minded fellows are thinking on these subjects from  Indiblogger.  These things were never even dreamt of by our parents , Were they  ?  Aren’t we the first generation that is enjoying these the unlimited opportunities of the Internet.  To me,  Internet commerce or say buying & selling products and services on the Internet and the existence of a virtual market is perhaps the biggest difference between the world of ours and the world of our parents.

E-commerce and the virtual market place have made the lives of millions of Indians easy, consumers get better deals, suppliers get better prices and hassle of moving around in the traffic, visiting multiple shops to get best of the deals is altogether eliminated.  Everything happens from a gadget with a good internet connection. How did all this happen? Did this change come automatically with Internet?  no right.  Did we embrace this change without any apprehensions ? again a no isn’t it ?  We all had our own doubts with web sites and the usage of  credit cards for online transactions, Didn’t we?  Then there were a few organizations who ventured into this unknown realm of things, experimented with various things, got models that work for India, won our trust and made us buy and sell things online.

Now, each of these organizations have a story to tell,  how they got the fundamental thought that

The Front Cover of the Book

The Front Cover of the Book

made them get into Digital Businesses , the troubles and travails of the initial days,  the experiments and the various models they tested, the way they used technology , the way won the trust of the customers and the way they are diversifying into new and new businesses are all interesting tales. It would be fun to read and know the stories of the first generation digital companies of India but we have little information about all of them.

 Anuradha Goyal, the author of this book, tries to bridge the gap, she  actually documents the stories of a few of these companies in her book “The Mouse Charmers : Digital Pioneers of India” .  Here is the blurb of the book from the GoodReads web site.

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.

Anuradha Goyal picked up some 12 companies that actually pioneered the Digital  business  arena in this country. She researched about them and came up with the stories of these companies in this book of her.  She divides the book into three parts, the first part is titled “Commerce“, Flipkart, Make My Trip, Big Basket and Caratlane,   the companies which are essentially  e-commerce ones find their stories here.  The second section of the book is dedicated for the content providers.  This section titled as “Content” has the stories of Zomato, Games2Win , ImagesBazar and Chai With Lakshmi.  The last section speaks about the companies that connect people.  Shaadi.com Commonfloor, Rang De and Indiblogger feature in this section titled “Connectors“.

Each of these sections actually begins with an introduction to the section. There is a chapter that speaks about the importance of that segment, the  challenges in the market and the reasons why Anuradha

The Autor Anuradha Goyal

The Autor Anuradha Goyal

picked those Digital entrepreneurs for that section.  Then we see 4 companies in each section and learn more about them.  Anuradha provides the information about these digital pioneers in a unique way, she speaks about the way the founders of the company came up with the idea of  selling the product or the service, then the way they developed and where they stand now.   She focusses on very well on the role of technology and the way technology was put to use by the firm.  A separate section for technology was really good.  Then she focusses on the best practices/innovations  these companies have pioneered and how they have become a market standard now.  Then she goes on to speak about the revenue model for  these companies.

 

This detailed breakup of facts about each company is perhaps the best part of the book.  A lot of research went into writing the book and it shows when we read each of these sections.  At times,  the author actually brings similar companies in the same business line and gives insights about them, I really liked the notes and insights  she gave on RedBus, Book My Show, Edewcart and ITokri.

This is one of the best non-fiction books I read this year.  It is very educative, It was great to know the challenges these startups faced and the way they made Online Business a reality in India.  It was great to know about firms like CaratLane. I loved the concept of Rang De and Chai with Lakshmi.  I did not know about these people till I read the book.  I was pleasantly surprised after knowing some facts about IndiBlogger too. All in all this was good read for me.  I did not find any negatives with respect to the book. It is a nice read, do read it and you will indeed feel that your head is weighing slightly heavy with good amount of information you received from the book.  I recommend this book to anyone interested in Digital Revolution of India.  Any one who has an interest in the business world of this country must read this book.  Do read the book,  you would definitely learn a lot.

I thank IndiBlogger for giving me the opportunity to review the book.

Note : The pictures have been picked from the Internet and might be copyrighted.

 

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