Monday, May 12, 2014

#BookReview : The Mouse Charmers : Digital Pioneers of India by Anuradha Goyal

On the jacket:

 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.


With a foreword by Sam Pitroda, Anuradha Goyal has brought together a book encompassing detailed study of how brands like Flipkart, MakeMyTrip, Zomato, RangDe etc came into being and their survival so far.

The book is broadly divided into three sections - commerce, content and connectors. The commerce section begins with a brief on e-commerce and how it came inbto being, from a small plan to now a thriving industry. And then, no surprises there, Goyal talks about Flipkart, Make My Trip, Big Basket and Carat Lane. Having been customers to all four businesses at some point of time, it was extremely interesting to read about how they emerged from just an idea, and included newer options time and again, to survive in the market. I particularly liked reading about how Flipkart got the COD facility functional. Flipping through the pages, one can see that while the book is in a way educational, it is also inspirational for those who have similar plans in mind but are unsure about how to go about!

Moving on to the section about content, we have Zomato, Games2Win, Image Bazaar and Chai With Lakshmi, each a business so different from the other, as as night and day. The basic of each business is - take something that people love, and make it even more easily accessible to them, at a cheaper price! What makes this book interesting is, well, take Zomato for example! A lot of us refer to the website, but how does the website function? More importantly, how does it strategise so that we keep going back to it? Reading about the business models, the marketing strategies etc are actually enlightening.

The third section about connectors talks about Shaadi, Rang De, Common Floor and Indiblogger. I will tell you what I loved about the book. In depth research, detailed description of the businesses written about, what worked and what did not, why so - this book has enough literature to base projects on, I suppose. If I have to pick what I didn't like, is that this is no casual read. It has some serious data and plans which not only give us an insider view of how the businesses work, but also increase our own knowhow about how to run and ebusiness.

If I am to enter into ebusiness ever, I intend to keep The Mouse Charmers on my bedside table, to pick up and flip through the pages for inspiration and ideas. 

Rating: *****/5

[This review is for Random House India. The opinions are strictly my own and not been written under any obligation.]

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