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I was recently lucky enough to get an opportunity to read “The Underage CEOs”, author Ganesh V.’s very first attempt at writing a book.
Now, I must confess something. One of my very first attempts at blogging came from a burst of inspiration after reading a post by Ganesh on a similar subject. In that article, he explored how “our crazed pursuit of all things new and modern (mainly Western) is threatening the survival of many of our ethnic traditions.” Ever since then, I’ve been an avid follower of his blogs and was super excited that I had gotten my hands on his new book as well!
The Underage CEOs- the title itself is so inspiring. For me as a parent, it was fascinating to read about these young men and women who had moved out of the realm of the doctor-engineer-IT-MBA realm and made a name for themselves doing something they really believed in. In some cases, there were Eureka moments, whereas in others, there was a steady germination of ideas. In all of them, was conviction-in themselves, their thoughts, their beliefs and that what they were doing was for the betterment of humanity.
I’m going to backtrack a bit to a couple of weeks ago when I happened to watch the movie “The Walk”, which was the cinematic recreation of Phillipe Petit’s life and ultimately his “tightrope” walk between the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center on August 7, 1974. And just last week, I saw the film “Tamasha” a movie that has ideas that don't seem to fit into what is our idea of what is conventional, and yet is so easily identifiable.
For me, the two movies and Ganesh’s book, all have the same idea, the same zeal, the same conviction- The idea of embracing the unknown, sans baggage, of oddities adding that spark to our lives, and looking beyond the obvious, the conventional. They all stir something rare in your heart if you are willing to give it a chance.
The Underage CEO’s could have typically two types of readers-parents and young teens who have an entrepreneurial bent of mind but are unsure of how to go about it.
For parents, this book is a MUST READ. We are so caught up in raising our kids the right way and ultimately having rewarding, fulfilling careers that are safe, reliable and steady. In this quest, we often forget to give them their bachpan, or their unfettered childhood, which really is the best time for them to explore themselves, fall in love with what they would wish to do with their life and then work towards achieving that aim.
This book reinforces faith- that such an uninhibited childhood is possible for imaginations to soar, move beyond the “that’s not going to get you anywhere attitude” and encourage our kids to think about non-stereotypical roles in various domains. This is not to say that traditional professions are not fulfilling, we need all the doctors and engineers too, but this book gives hope to parents that kids opting for non-conventional careers is a great option as well.
For young adults, this book is more an inspiration than advice. A good read into the various stories of these young entrepreneurs will have them approach their dreams and ideas with more fervour and enthuse them to “get things done”, no matter what. There is struggle, but there is hope in the struggle of all these young guns. But for them, they are doing what they love, so the struggle doesn’t seem bad at all, which is ideally how it should be!
On a practical level, this book offers great advice. There are lots of youngsters out there who have a brilliant idea but are afraid to take the plunge due to lack of knowledge about technicalities, how to play the game, how to get the required funding, how to enter the market, etc.
Reading how the Underage CEO’s in the book managed to go about all this and emerge successful will surely be a shot in the arm to all the aspiring CEO’s out there who want to be their own boss. The last two chapters, Funding Fundas and Resources, offer key solutions to the most basic of issues- funding and how to go about getting it successfully for your ventures.
What I ALSO loved:-
- Both women and men entrepreneurs have been studied, offering slightly different insights into the workings of both the genders, even in entrepreneurship.
- The messages from the Young CEO’s to budding entrepreneurs at the end of their story- very inspiring and very real.
- The painstaking research by Ganesh- covering the entire journey of the CEOs from start till the point of time they are in now.
- The wide variety of “businesses”- from ethical hacking to going green by gifting plants to making an impact in the social realm through rural education and so many others-truly something for everyone.
Go read The Underage CEOs everyone. It will make you believe in the awesomeness of entrepreneurship!