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Entrepreneurs Speak: “Words That Changed My Life”

“If ever there was a cataclysmic moment that revolved around the printed word, that was it…it happened to be a random newspaper that I picked up off a table as I walked to the bathroom, a serendipitous moment indeed”

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Because we are celebrating World Book Day (okay so different people will celebrate on different days) we asked entrepreneurs for something they read that inspired their current lives. Here’s what they said:

Bruce Schwack, Cofounder,

In 1999, I read Wall Street Journal article about how Jack Welch came to India on a sales call, and got pitched to utilize the nascent "outsourced model"/call centre for GE Customer Service. I was building call centres throughout Canada, and this article opened my eyes to the possibilities in India. In 2000, I flew to Mumbai, set up an "office" in the Leelah, and within the next three weeks, laid out the plans for what would become a network of more than 50 call centres in India.

That trip led to a partnership with my current partner, and my eventual move to Chennai in 2008. So if ever there was a cataclysmic moment that revolved around the printed word, that was it. Incidentally, it happened to be a random newspaper that I picked up off a table as I walked to the bathroom, a serendipitous moment indeed.

Pritika Chatterjee, Cofounder, Tidy Homz

It would have to be from, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

“Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times, if only one remembers to turn on the light,” Albus Dumbledore says this to Harry Potter.

This is a very inspiring quote and something I definitely live by because we all have dark times/sad times and failures but even in those situations we can find happiness only if we look at it the right way. You have to face your problems and come out of it stronger because at the end of every tunnel, there is light! Same way after every failure, there will be success if you work for it in the right direction.

Ravi Virmani, Founder, CrediHealth

What inspired me to do what I do is this quote from, One Man’s View of the World by Lee Kuan -"Singapore has to take the world as it is; it is too small to change it. But we can try to maximize the space we have to maneuver among the big 'trees' in the region. That has been our approach and we will have to be nimble and resourceful to be able to continue to do so."

A lesson that I took from this book is that no matter how small you are at the beginning, if you stay in the system and keep maneuvering in the right direction, you can bring about colossal change in the future.

Himanshu Bindal, Founder, One Internet

The New York Times Bestseller, Zero to One has been inspirational to me! Authored by legendary entrepreneur and investor, Peter Thiel, this book walks you through how to build a great business and a better future. It’s very well structured and talks about the making of a good idea, monopolies rock and how to build your team. Recommended to all startup founders.

Saahil Goel, Cofounder, BigFoot Retail Solutions (parent company of KartRocket, ShipRocket, Kraftly)

The book, Way of the Peaceful Warrior, by Dan Millman, changed my way of thinking. It is one of those books which compelled me to be proactive and to live in the moment. There is one particular quote that inspired me the most. “Moderation? It is mediocrity, fear, and confusion in disguise. It’s the devil’s dilemma. It is neither doing nor not doing. It’s the wobbling compromise that makes no one happy. Moderation is for the bland, the apologetic, for the fence-sitters of the world afraid to take a stand. It is for those afraid to laugh or cry, for those afraid to live or die. Moderation….is lukewarm tea, the devil’s own brew.”

I am a firm believer of stepping up and taking the task at hand, without worrying too much about it. This book and the book that followed, ‘Wisdom of the Peaceful Warrior’ are my favorite books today. I would recommend everybody to give them a read and hope they are just as inspired as I was.

Devendra Rane, Cofounder, Coverfox

I have been greatly influenced by the book Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future by Peter Thiel.

Thiel has put together a hard-hitting set of standards for entrepreneurs, startups, and thought leaders to carefully consider when building the “next big thing” of the future. The book brilliantly brings out the point that game-changing companies of value are not created overnight, but through a process of building company values and systems, experimenting and failing, and starting small before turning big. This book has helped me while taking the entrepreneurial plunge and through many aspects while setting up teams and startups. I would highly recommend this book for it offers a pearl of wisdom to everyone.

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