This book is part of the series ‘Entrepreneurs who built India’. Tell us more about why you wanted to write about something like this.
This is the third book I have written on family businesses, and is the first of the series ‘Entrepreneurs who built India’. The reason why I write on this subject is that I work in this area. I believe family businesses are the unsung heroes of the Indian economy. We know they exist around us but we don’t give them the acknowledgement they deserve. Many of them also have special family issues that are often not discussed.
Through my writing, I want to bring out the success stories of various family business owners. In particular, this series showcases the entrepreneurs who existed before liberalisation, even before independence and they set the foundation for the Indian industry as it exists today.
When can we expect more under this series?
I have just submitted my second manuscript to Harper Collins. It is the story of Lala Shri Ram. His name is associated with the DCM group and there are many more to come.
DCM would be among the stories that began pre-independence. How do you go about researching and writing these stories?
The challenges that exist for writing this series are very different from the other books I have written. The other books are about people who are still alive, and still in the business. It is easy to speak with them or people who know them or work with them. But this cannot be done with people such as Gujarmal Modi or Lala Shri Ram, who are no longer with us and whose contemporaries too are no longer alive.
I have to go through archives that exist but in a very unorganised manner. I have to also talk to family members and rely on their memories. This needs some care because in some cases, it is the third generation that I speak with and their memories are passed down from what they have heard from the previous generation. It is tedious but I find it very enjoyable as it brings alive the people and the stories that have contributed to India.
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