Ashneer Grover’s memoir, “Doglapan,” has quickly become a bestseller on Amazon, even before its official release.
In this candid and no-holds-barred account, Grover, the co-founder of BharatPe and a judge on Shark Tank India, shares his personal journey of triumphs and tribulations in the world of startups. “Doglapan” is not your typical self-help book; it’s a collection of hard truths about startups and life that Grover has learned.
Table of Contents
Inside Fire: The Hunger for Success
Born into a middle-class family, Grover’s hunger for success was ignited during a family vacation to Canada, where he witnessed a world beyond his imagination. This experience fueled his drive to do something big in life. Grover emphasizes the importance of having that hunger when starting a business or pursuing any goal.
A Job Can’t Make You Rich: The Power of Entrepreneurship
After spending nine years in a corporate job, Grover realized that to achieve true success, he had to venture into entrepreneurship. He highlights the limitations of a job and emphasizes that starting a business offers unlimited potential for growth and financial success. Grover advises finding a job or business that brings happiness and fulfillment.
Spend Time with Successful People: Learn from the Best
Contrary to conventional wisdom, Grover encourages spending time with people who are more successful than you. He believes that being around successful individuals can inspire and motivate you to aim higher and achieve greater things. Grover advocates for exposing children to successful role models to instill a hunger for success from an early age.
Collaboration is Key: Building a Strong Team
Grover dispels the notion of being a one-man army in the business world. While the education system often emphasizes self-reliance, Grover believes that success in business comes from building a strong team. Delegating tasks and hiring individuals with complementary skills allows entrepreneurs to focus on important tasks and maximize their productivity.
Customer First: The Key to Business Success
Above all else, Grover emphasizes the importance of prioritizing the customer. He believes that the customer should always be the highest priority, even before co-founders, employees, and investors. Grover recognizes that without satisfied customers, a business will struggle to survive. He urges aspiring entrepreneurs to thoroughly evaluate their readiness to cater to the needs and demands of their target market.
Family as a Support System: Putting Family First
Grover highlights the significance of having a supportive family when starting a business. He shares his personal experience of relying on his family during challenging times. Grover advises aspiring entrepreneurs to prioritize their family’s support and be grateful for their unwavering presence during the ups and downs of the entrepreneurial journey.
Learn from Mistakes: Embrace Growth
Grover encourages aspiring entrepreneurs to embrace mistakes as opportunities for growth. He acknowledges his own mistakes and advises readers to learn from them. Grover emphasizes that making new mistakes is part of the entrepreneurial journey, but repeating the same mistakes can be detrimental to success.
Be the First to Liquidate: Financial Wisdom
In a practical piece of advice, Grover advises founders to prioritize their financial well-being. He suggests being proactive in liquidating stocks during secondary sale opportunities. Grover shares the story of Vijay Shekhar Sharma, founder of PayTM, who sold his shares during the PayTM IPO, demonstrating the importance of financial planning and seizing opportunities.
Quotes from “Doglapan” by Ashneer Grover:
- “If you choose to work with your spouse, there should be no hesitation in designating them as co-founders as well as giving them a seat on the board.”
- “You need to be absolutely unapologetic about working with family.”
- “It is important to remember that the investor is just another vendor.”
- “To my mind, the concept of a related-party transaction in India is totally irrelevant.”
- “Put yourself first, always. Liquidate your stock at every secondary sale opportunity.”
- “In the start-up chronology of things, Deepinder (Goyal) had founded Zomato, from where Albinder (Dhindsa) had branched off and founded Grofers, and then I had left Grofers to start BharatPe. In terms of start-up lineage, therefore, Deepinder is the grandfather, while I am his grandson.”
- “You need to remember that you don’t need loyalty in good times – opportunity does the task. Loyalty is tested and needed in bad times. To expect loyalty from your employees or investors in bad times is to set yourself up for heartbreak.”
- “In bad times, the only people you fill find standing beside you will be your family. You cannot even rely on your friends of twenty years – they may go completely silent on you.”
- “Rajnish (Rajnish Kumar, former SBI chairman) was my fourth hiring mistake — the other three being Suhail Sameer (CEO), Jasneet (CHRO), and Sumeet Singh (GC).”
- “I wrote to Sequoia that they should call off the dogs. This peeved Shailendra (Singh), who, in turn, called Micky Malka (Ribbit Capital), to tell him that I was becoming too big for my boots.”
Conclusion: Ashneer Grover’s Memoir of Resilience and Growth
In “Doglapan,” Ashneer Grover bares his soul, sharing the hard truths he has learned throughout his entrepreneurial journey. He emphasizes the hunger for success, the power of entrepreneurship, the importance of collaboration, and the significance of putting the customer first. Grover also acknowledges the support of family during challenging times and encourages learning from mistakes. His memoir serves as a guide for aspiring entrepreneurs, offering valuable insights and lessons from his own experiences.
In conclusion, “Doglapan” is a memoir that delves into the realities of life and startups, providing valuable insights and lessons for entrepreneurs. Ashneer Grover’s journey of resilience and growth serves as inspiration for those embarking on their own entrepreneurial paths.