Amrit Raj’s ‘Indian Icon: A Cult Called Royal Enfield’ Wins Gaja Capital Business Book Prize 2021

Gaja Capital Business Book Prize 2021: Amrit Raj’s, ‘Indian Icon: A Cult Called Royal Enfield,’

Amrit Raj’s ‘Indian Icon: A Cult Called Royal Enfield’ Wins Gaja Capital Business Book Prize 2021

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Amrit Raj’s, ‘Indian Icon: A Cult Called Royal Enfield,’ is the winner of the much-awaited Gaja Capital Business Book Prize 2021. The book tells the captivating story of an iconic Indian brand that is going global - the ups and downs of the company’s corporate history as well as the leaders who made it what it is. It is a story of change, the old guard clashing with the ideas of the new, ultimately leading to dramatic and positive changes in the business. In a first, the book bares the behind-the-scenes takeover dramas and the uphill struggle to create a premium Indian consumer brand for India and global markets.

Leading Indian Private Equity firm Gaja Capital instituted the award two years ago, to encourage Indian entrepreneurs, writers and journalists to tell stories of Indian business and entrepreneurship for the world. Gopal Jain, Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Gaja Capital, said, “The 2021 shortlist covered a wide spectrum of themes, including public policy, entrepreneurship, ethics, and philanthropy. Indian Icon is a fast-paced, engaging, and well-researched title, and Amrit has been spot-on in his analysis of how a rare global brand from India was built, unbiased in his criticism and balanced in his praise. On behalf of the jury and Gaja Capital, we congratulate Amrit on a deserved victory.”

The Gaja Capital Business Book Prize offers an award of Rs. 15 lakh, making it the biggest book prize to honour authors transforming the business ecosystem with their creativity.

The winning author Amrit Raj, said, “Let me begin by saying it is an enormous honour to be receiving the Gaja Capital Best Business Book Prize 2021. This prize encourages me to take a deep dive into stories of cult Indian brands and bring them to the fore. I want to thank the jury for choosing the winner from an outstanding shortlist comprising books and authors that I hugely admire. I also want to express my gratitude to the organizers of the Gaja Capital Business Book Prize for creating a platform to celebrate the stories of Indian business and entrepreneurship. This effort will go a long way in encouraging new writers to tell untold stories of Indian businesses and personalities.”

Talking about his book, Raj added, ‘Indian Icon’ is the example of one such story where a group of like-minded Indians resurrect a brand that’s over a century old, and in the process, rewrite some chapters of global motorcycling history. The book is as much about a motorcycle company, the cult around the brand, and its ups and downs, as it is about the vision, grit, determination, passion, and perseverance of us Indians.

Besides ‘Indian Icon,’ this year’s shortlist for the Gaja Capital Business Book Prize 2021 included:

· Azim Premji: The Man Beyond the Billions, by Sundeep Khanna and Varun Sood, is a rare account of the very fiercely private Azim Premji, the businessman who built Wipro into a multi-billion-dollar conglomerate and a philanthropist who counts among the Top 10 global philanthropists of the last 100 years.

· Yes Man: The Untold Story of Rana Kapoor, by Pavan C. Lall is the story of Rana Kapoor and his whirlwind rise; ultimately resulting in an abrupt end with the YES Bank crisis. The book raises important questions about the Indian banking system, the regulatory environment and the systematic dismantling of governance and oversight that resulted in YES Bank and its shareholders, depositors, and employees to be taken to the precipice.

· Overdraft: Saving the Indian Saver, by Urjit Patel, Former Governor of the RBI throws light on the massive bad debt challenge in Indian public sector banks. He throws light on RBI’s 9R strategy which came very close to being implemented before Indian Bankruptcy Code lost political steam and was forced to make a hasty retreat. The book reminds us of importance of staying the course on these reforms which, if implemented right, can protect our savings, rescue our banks, and protect them from unscrupulous racketeers.

· Getting Competitive: A Practitioner's Guide for India, by R C Bhargava, the Chairman of India’s biggest car company, Maruti Suzuki, provides practical suggestions for stimulating manufacturing in India, which is key for India’s growth. Bhargava’s experience as a government IAS officer and then building India’s No 1 carmaker, uniquely positions him to bring his readers this informed perspective.

Past winners of the Gaja Capital Business Book Prize include – Mihir Dalal for his debut book, ‘Big Billion Startup: The Untold Flipkart Story.’ The 2019 prize was won by Girish Kuber and Vikrant Pande for their book, ‘The Tatas: How a Family Built a Business and a Nation’.