‘Entrepreneurs rarely open up as candidly as Nistha has gotten them to. Kudos to her’ – Allwin Agnel (Founder/CEO at PaGaLGuY.com)

Don’t miss the sneak preview of the book!

Overview


India, ranked 100th among 190 countries for ease of doing business, is not the choicest place for startups. Only a handful of founders have been able to beat the odds.

What’s in their journey that can be dissected and emulated?

This curiosity led Nistha to pursue those who rose from humble beginnings yet making a dent in the Indian startup universe. This book is a record of that eighteen-month journey.

In her incisive one-on-one interviews with 15 ambitious founders of India including Girish Mathrubootham, Nithin Kamath, Jaydeep Barman, Gaurav Munjal, Tarun Mehta and others, Nistha uncovers the decisions and insights that led these startup founders to find their unique roadmap to success.

One thing that underlined all the stories was the founders’ belief in NO SHORTCUTS.

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Read the never-heard stories of Freshworks, Faasos, Unacademy, Zerodha, Slideshare, Pulse, Aspiring Minds, Madhouse/Morpheus, Akosha, Ather Energy, Instablogs, Greyb, LikeaLittle, Wingify and Fashiate.

Featuring the Icons

  • Ankit Gupta
    Ankit Gupta Pulse

    How did two Stanford graduates build an iPad app, Pulse, that Steve Jobs praised in his WWDC Keynote? Ankit Gupta tells how Pulse evolved from a design course project to a LinkedIn acquisition.

  • Tarun Mehta
    Tarun Mehta Ather Energy

    India has never been known for new product (hardware) development but that might change with the vision of Tarun Mehta. Ather Energy is the most serious and promising attempt at creating India’s own smart electric scooter and it is here to stay.

  • Prasanna Sankaranarayanan
    Prasanna Sankaranarayanan Like a Little

    How did a genius programmer, Prasanna, build a product LikeaLittle that grew faster than any social medium ever? What happened after he turned down $50M offer from Facebook and $100M from Google?

  • Ankur Singla
    Ankur Singla Akosha

    How did a lawyer from Chandigarh, Ankur Singla, start Akosha that processed 3M customer complaints? A story of how nothing can hold a driven entrepreneur back!

  • Ankit Maheshwari
    Ankit Maheshwari Instablogs

    How did serial entrepreneurial couple Ankit and Nandini build India’s first multi-blog network, Instablogs, when no one even knew what a blog is? They came up with successful content marketing practices long before the term ‘content marketing’ became so popular.

  • Roman Saini
    Roman Saini Unacademy

    Roman is the Doctor from AIIMS, and an IAS officer who resigned to start Unacademy. The startup started off as a YouTube channel but now it is a learning platform where anyone can teach! The story of crossing 20M views a month and 5 lac app downloads is told by the young and fiery founders – Gaurav Munjal, Roman Saini and Hemesh Singh.

  • Deepak Syal
    Deepak Syal GreyB

    How did 3 engineers build a leading patent research firm GreyB without any external funding? Hear most fascinating sales, marketing and team building stories from Deepak and Chakshu!

  • Varun Aggarwal
    Varun Aggarwal Aspiring Minds

    Varun Aggarwal from MIT takes up the challenge to solve the talent and recruitment problem of India with a sophisticated adaptive test behind Aspiring Minds. His story of convincing engineering colleges, students, and companies alike to recruit via his platform is an inspiring one!

  • Paras Chopra
    Paras Chopra Wingify

    After 4 startup failures, all Paras wanted was to earn Rs 50k to prove to himself that he’s not a destined startup-loser. Then Wingify happened and now he’s running a $15M annual revenue bootstrapped company (and he still thinks he’s just beginning).

  • Chakshu Kalra
    Chakshu Kalra GreyB

    How did 3 engineers build a leading patent research firm GreyB without any external funding? Hear most fascinating sales, marketing and team building stories from Deepak and Chakshu!

  • Gaurav Munjal
    Gaurav Munjal Unacademy

    After selling Flatchat to Commonfloor, Gaurav is building Unacademy. The startup started off as a YouTube channel but now it is a learning platform where anyone can teach! The story of crossing 20M views a month and 5 lac app downloads is told by the young and fiery founders – Gaurav Munjal, Roman Saini and Hemesh Singh.

  • Nithin Kamath
    Nithin Kamath Zerodha

    Nithin Kamath went on from losing INR 4 lac in trading to bootstrapping an INR 240 crores high tech trading platform, Zerodha. Read the story of a self-made man and a smartly built business.

  • Nandini Rathi
    Nandini Rathi Instablogs

    How did serial entrepreneurial couple Ankit and Nandini build India’s first multi-blog network, Instablogs, when no one even knew what a blog is? They came up with successful content marketing practices long before the term ‘content marketing’ became so popular.

  • Girish Mathrubootham
    Girish Mathrubootham Freshworks

    Girish Mathrubootham joined MBA to save himself from the embarrassment of having no job. Today Freshworks is aggressively moving towards the unicorn valuation of 1B USD. Read how he spotted an opportunity and ran away with it.

  • Nikhil Rasiwasia
    Nikhil Rasiwasia Fashiate

    How did 3 Yahoo! research lab scientists and engineers build and sell a company Fashiate in five months to Snapdeal? Nikhil Raiswasia shares his version of the fairy tale.

  • Amit Ranjan Slideshare

    How did a non-tech-inclined, Mechanical Engineer, Amit Ranjan, manage a distributed team between Delhi and Silicon Valley to build the famed Slideshare?

  • Jaydeep Barman
    Jaydeep Barman Faasos

    From selling Kolkata rolls to finding new ways to recruit talent and create buzz about his company, Faasos, Jaydeep Barman is building a food company that users and investors love alike. The craziness began in the name itself!

  • Sameer Guglani
    Sameer Guglani Morpheus, Madhouse

    How did Sameer Guglani build Netflix of India – Madhouse that became one of the first successful exits for an Indian startup? What lessons did he carry on to building the successful startup accelerator Morpheus?

What will you learn?

Did you know that Jaydeep came close to shutting down Faasos when things were going hopelessly wrong in Mumbai? Same with GreyB – Deepak thought he will never find right employees in Gurgaon! But all of them turned the corner by taking some right decisions. The stories here are all about those decisions and what you can learn from them.

Whether you are an ambitious entrepreneur, a college graduate, a young professional harboring loftier dreams, a corporate executive unhappy with status quo or just a curious soul, the interviews featured here would leave you with a more realistic understanding of startups and how to move forward when you are stuck.

NO SHORTCUTS is a must-read for anyone who dreams of building a successful startup. You will find answers to:

Where did the original idea for the startup come from?
How did the startup get its first 100 users and grow from there?
Why did the founder bootstrap or seek funding?
What decisions did not work well and how did the founder recover from it?
How did the startup figure out its business model?

And many more…

Advance Praise

Nistha’s first-person stories make vivid the effervescence that characterizes entrepreneurship in modern India – the twists and turns, the ups and downs, the creativity and sheer exhilaration. Read and enjoy!

– Prof Tarun Khanna
Jorge Paulo Lemann Professor, Harvard Business School
Director, Lakshmi Mittal South Asia Institute, Harvard University

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Entrepreneurs rarely open up as candidly as Nistha has gotten them to. Kudos to her

Allwin Agnel, Founder/CEO at PaGaLGuY.com

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Entrepreneurship can be a lonely journey and while every entrepreneur learns valuable lessons each day, not everyone’s story comes out to inspire others. These stories are important for all aspiring entrepreneurs in the journey. Nistha has done a great job there. A must read!

Ashish Tulsian, CEO at POSist

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A fascinating peep into struggles and successes of varied startups that lucidly brings out the diversity of experiences and provides a nuanced introduction to entrepreneurial processes

Rakesh Basant, Professor of Economics, IIM Ahmedabad

Indian startup ecosystem needs relatable inspiration and this book brings that. While it is fascinating to read about Jobs, Musk, Gates, and Zuckerberg, our entrepreneurs can learn more from home-grown entrepreneurs whose challenges and approaches are much relevant to our business models. I was especially fascinated to read the story of Girish Mathrubootham.”

Balaji Viswanathan
CEO at Invento, Most follower writer on Quora

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This is a “must read” for all entrepreneurs. Nistha has truly captured an authentic perspective of what it takes to build companies in India!

Prashant Mehta, Partner, Lightbox

___

I worked with Nistha for several years – she has a tremendous intellect and a fearless entrepreneurial spirit. This will be a fun read!

– Ken Wilson, CEO, Tower Research Capital Markets

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“The Indian flavor of entrepreneurship is as creative, vibrant and colorful as the country itself. Part textbook and part tour guide, ‘No Shortcuts’ captures that flavor in a way that delivers both generalizable lessons and insights into the unique character of Indian entrepreneurs in their environment.”

– Stuart Read, Professor, Willamette University

nisthareadingbook

ABOUT NISTHA


A successful Wall Street professional and early employee in Manhattan startups, Nistha returned to India in 2012 to start her own Indian entrepreneurial journey. After a couple of attempts, she found success in Scholar Strategy, an education counseling company that prides itself in helping 100s of students getting into top universities across the world including Harvard and MIT. This unique lifestyle business allows Nistha to work only 6 months a year, spending the remaining time traveling and writing.

Her first novel, Seven Conversations, interpreted Bhagvad Gita in a modern context and gathered rave reviews. With 32,000+ followers, and 4.5M+ views on her answers on the popular American QnA based website, Quora, Nistha writes extensively on careers, entrepreneurship and pursuing one’s passion. Her articles have appeared on Entrepreneur, Times, DailyO, DNA, Tribune and other leading media outlets.

Previously, she studied Computer Science at University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign and dropped out of MBA program at NYU Stern where she organized Stern’s first Entrepreneurship Summit inviting the likes of Seth Godin.

Apart from running Scholar Strategy, she conducts aspirational talks for students and writing workshops for bloggers.

Contact

For press and media queries, please contact creative@nisthaonweb.com
For speaking engagements, please contact speaking@nisthaonweb.com

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