Total Pages
Inspirational Stories
Star Reviews
Best Business Book Award

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.

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.


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.

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Girish Mathrubootham


Girish joined MBA to save himself from the embarrassment of having no job. Today Freshworks is a unicorn.

Nithin Kamath


Nithin Kamath went on from losing INR 4 lac in trading to bootstrapping an INR 240 crores high tech trading platform, Zerodha.

Tarun Mehta

Ather Energy

India has never been known for new product (hardware) development but that might change with the vision of Ather Energy.

Jaydeep Barman


From selling Kolkata rolls to finding new ways to recruit talent and create buzz, Faasos is building a food company that users and investors love alike.

Gaurav Munjal


After selling Flatchat to Commonfloor, Gaurav started Unacademy as a YouTube channel is now a learning platform where anyone can teach!

Amit Ranjan


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

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.

Ankur Singla


How did a lawyer from Chandigarh, Ankur Singla, start Akosha that processed 3M customer complaints?

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About The Author

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Nistha Tripathi

is on a mission to make business books interesting to read. 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 100,000+ followers and 12M+ 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. Read more about her here.

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
  • “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
  • “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


For press and media queries, please contact speaking@nisthatripathi.com