Gaja Capital Business Book Prize to enable entrepreneurs to learn and share their stories: Gopal Jain, Co-founder & Managing Partner, Gaja Capital
We hope that the annual Gaja Capital Business Book shortlist becomes the de facto, must-read list for every CEO, entrepreneur and student, says Jain.
The last two decades demonstrate that Indian businesses are thriving to tell new stories and are finding unexplored paths. The chroniclers of Indian business stories endure painstaking efforts to capture the romance, struggle and joys of entrepreneurship.
The Gaja Capital Business Book Prize is created to honor these travellers, their journeys and their chroniclers. The Awards celebrate and recognise the best narratives of Indian companies, entrepreneurs or events that have transformed the business ecosystem in India.
In an interview with BW Applause and Everything Experiential, Gopal Jain, Co-founder & Managing Partner, Gaja Capital shared the idea behind the awards, their relevance in the current scenario and more.
There are very few awards that recognise business writings in India. When and how did the idea of Gaja Business Book Prize germinate?
Business bookshelves are dominated by western stories of business and entrepreneurship. As the Indian economy scales and the Indian entrepreneurial and investor ecosystem matures, we will have many more stories and lessons for the world, from India.
As investors and entrepreneurs in the Indian market, we have witnessed several such journeys first hand. We would like to make a small contribution in encouraging Indian writers, journalists and entrepreneurs to tell their stories and tell them well, for the world.
Tell us about the selection process. How are the books shortlisted and the winner selected?
The Gaja Capital Business Book Prize is in its second year. This year we reached out to major publishers for nominations of books published between 1st April 2019 to 31st March 2020. The Gaja Capital Business Book Prize jury comprises of industry experts, investors, CEOs and senior members from the areas of public policy and governance.
This year the focus of the shortlist was to curate a representative list of books that tell diverse business stories from India. The books cover business families, large sectors like pharmaceuticals, the challenges of large companies implementing a digital strategy and success stories from India’s startup ecosystem.
The jury will meet to decide the winner. Besides the overall quality of narration and research, the winning book will be judged on the quality of its insights and ability to inspire and educate young entrepreneurs. A good story, told well will need to be well researched but also relatable and inspiring. The jury will aim to strike a balance between these two important aspects.
How relevant are these awards in the current scenario?
India is at the cusp of a once in a generation opportunity to leverage its demographic dividend, strengths in chemistry and health sciences, technology and a high growth consumer market to create tremendous business value and innovation for the world. Over the next few decades, Indian entrepreneurship and business models should be written about, critiqued, celebrated and improved to create a vibrant business ecosystem, that is built to last. We hope that these awards encourage young entrepreneurs to read and learn from the experience of others and for writers, journalists and entrepreneurs to share their stories and create a body of knowledge for others to leverage and build upon.
Will we also see a virtual edition of the awards in the coming times?
Yes, we are actively considering a virtual edition in the coming years.
What are some of your future plans for the awards?
For now, we would like to stay the course. We would like to invest in these awards for a long time. We hope that the annual Gaja Capital Business Book shortlist becomes the de facto, must-read list for every CEO, entrepreneur and student looking for inspiration and insights about Indian business and entrepreneurship.
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