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Connect the Dots Book Summary

Essay by   •  March 31, 2019  •  Book/Movie Report  •  2,198 Words (9 Pages)  •  1,595 Views

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The book starts with the Steve Jobs’ commencement address given at the Stanford University in 2005:

“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust…in something – your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.”

Connect the dots is a story of 20 enterprising individuals without an MBA, started their own ventures and proved their mettle to the world.

The book covers three sections - JUGAAD, JUNOON and ZUBAAN.

JUGAAD comprises of those entrepreneurs who have no formal training in business. They learnt by observation, experimentation and application of mind. Let’s talk about two of the nine entrepreneurs mentioned here:

Prem Ganapathy (Dosa Plaza), 10th pass, and was a dishwasher to make his ends meet. He came to Mumbai like millions of others, in search of a better future. Inspired by McDonald’s, Prem Ganapathy has risen from humble dishwasher to owner of the fast food chain ‘Dosa Plaza’, with 26 outlets across India.

Prem Ganapathy was only 17 when he left his family behind in a village in Tuticorin, Tamil Nadu, without informing them. He had pinned his hopes on the assurance of work from an acquaintance and headed to Mumbai, in search of a job, meaning, and a livelihood. Although his acquaintance in Mumbai never showed up, Prem turned his misfortune into opportunity. He struggled his way up the ladder, and is today the owner of Dosa Plaza, a multi-crore business.

Prem did find work in Mumbai after his acquaintance bailed on him. The very next day, he got a job washing dishes at a local bakery at Mahim for a salary of Rs 150 a month. The good bit was that he could sleep at the bakery itself. In the next two years, he picked up odd jobs at various restaurants and tried to save as much as possible. For the next few years, he delivered pizza bread to a hotel in Chembur. He then moved to Navi Mumbai and started working as a dishwasher in a restaurant.

By 1992, Prem had managed to save up enough to rent his own handcart. He started selling idlis and dosas on the street opposite Vashi railway station.

Prem was lucky to have some very educated roommates who helped him learn how to use a computer. After witnessing the success of a McDonald’s restaurant which started beside his cart, Prem soon decided to venture out and start his own restaurant.

In 1997, Prem leased a small space for Rs 5,000 a month nearby and named it Prem Sagar Dosa Plaza. His business grew as he started experimenting with dosas. In the first year itself, he introduced 26 different varieties of dosas, included Schezwan dosa, paneer chilly, and spring roll dosa. By 2002, his stall offered 105 different varieties of dosas. The time seemed right for expansion.

In his words, “My luck turned the day Centre One mall decided to open up in our vicinity. Its management team and staffers had often dined at our restaurant and enjoyed our fare. They suggested that we set up an outlet in the mall and we happily complied,”. Soon he started receiving franchise requests, including some from abroad.

The second story “Look Ma, No Hands!” is about Raghu Khanna, Founder and CEO, CashurDrive.

Raghu Khanna was always interested in driving. While pursuing an electronics engineering degree from IIT Guwahati he developed a model for Drowsy Driver Detecting --- a system enabling the detection of non-alert or drowsy drivers. The uniqueness of this idea saw him as one of the twenty finalists in the Philips Simplicity challenge at the beginning of the year. There he met 19 other finalists with entrepreneurial zeal, who wanted to do their own thing, and this inspired him to do his own thing.

As soon as he got his engineering degree he got an offer from an IT company in Bangalore, and simultaneously received admission at London School of Economics for a Masters degree. He had his visa and his tickets were booked, but then he decided to pursue his passion and try to translate what was playing in his mind into reality, thus taking the proverbial entrepreneurial plunge.

He founded CASHurDRIVE, India's first on-vehicle advertisement website. CASHurDRIVE aims to ease the burden of rising fuel cost and soaring inflation rates. The idea was that while car owners will get fuel for putting advertisements on their cars, advertisers will be able to take advantage of this new and unexplored medium of advertisement. The motto of the company is: "Get Seen, Get Paid"!

The next question was - sure sounds good, but how does that work? CASHurDRIVE works closely with advertisers to select the best car owners from across India. "The thing that makes the mobile advertising idea work is satellite tracking, or Vehicle tracking System which measures the accountability for clients. The system is installed in the cars, at the same time they are wrapped which helps to monitor the "wheelboard", making sure that the brand is not in any wear or tear form and is forming an impression on the customer's mind as it is supposed to do. Their friendly customer support executives, personal business managers and a dedicated Call Centre make sure that our clients are given the utmost importance. The partner fuel station HPCL and BPCL on pan-India level act as random check-up camps to ensure that the brand is in proper condition. The car owners will receive a pre-loaded magnetic card at the start of the campaign using which they can receive free fuel at the fuel stations."

This unusual idea came to Raghu, while he was in an all-too-familiar setting: while he was caught in a traffic jam. An idea to convert traffic into business opportunities came to him when I was driving and got stuck in traffic. The funny slogan behind trucks and vinyl stickers on police jeeps kept me busy and I couldn't take his eyes off it. The idea to charge advertisers to put their messages on privately owned vehicles clicked him.

The CASHurDRIVE Group will soon launch Online Viral campaigns, Social Networking Deployments and cell phone call back brand campaigns. Its business model is well validated with funding from VC Hunt. CASHurDRIVE has a growing client list, with the 'Virgin Mobile, Friends Forever' series already advertising in certain belts. Presently the company operates out of Chandigarh, Mohali (SAS Nagar), Panchkula and parts of Himachal Pradesh, as well as Delhi and Gurgaon, and plans are afoot to spread out across India.

Such big plans can surely be difficult to put into action, but Raghu Khanna does not intend to rest on his laurels, drawing strength to face the daily



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