“Supercouples” is yet another addition to the fast growing field of literature on Indian Business as well as Indian Literature, which makes it one of the groundbreakers in these fields. Just a few years ago, there was a complete silence on writing in India, about India; bookstores were filled with Western stuff, even on matters pertaining to India! It was hard to find anything – good or otherwise – by Indian Authors, writing in India & about India. Happily, this is now beginning to change, with a series of excellent works in any number of genres; the current book carries this happy trend forward.
The concept is simple – it tells the story of 19 husband-wife couples who ventured into Business, the big bad / good, new and challenging world of Start-ups. That by itself is quite sufficient to grab attention; a couple going into business is, shall we say, a solution that most people would avoid, as it does tend to create problems. At least that is the general impression some people will have – self included. And when you hear of 19 people who have done it – your interest is decidedly peaked. That is for sure, as I can state with authority, giving my own example.
The variety of business ideas will hold deep learnings, as well as a vital re-training of your mind, enabling it to appreciate, spot and analyse the contained lessons as you are repeatedly exposed to people spotting an idea which can be developed into a successful bread-earning business. What is special is that these 19 ideas are as alike as chalk and cheese; making for a very wide breadth of exposure, which is vital in the modern day.
The range covered in terms of business is startling : Art, Nutrition, Brands, Deals & Coupons, Toys, Software, Events, Gifts, Sweets and Clothing! This drives home a very strong and powerful message – the change that is happening in India, as well as the disruptive power of the internet, and its capability of reaching into the gut of existing systems, turning markets inside out – a topic I have covered earlier in this blog, as well as one with an upcoming article.
Thus, this makes it a book that is a small but valuable set of case-studies on Emerging India, as well as on Start Up India. That is where I felt the only weakness in the book; there was a strong opportunity to develop it into a superb set of case studies, much like Anisha Motwani’s landmark book Storm The Norm, or the class compilation by Anuradha Goyal “The Mouse Charmers”. The author, being a Management Graduate herself, in addition to a Start-Up Enterpreneur, could certainly have done that, and with consummate ease.
This is an excellent short, sharp and happening book; the short length, though in some ways a minor hindrance, is in many other ways a big plus, as it makes for a quick read. This is a book that can be read either in one sitting, polished off in one reading. Or you can choose to read it chapter by chapter, and absorb the various learnings from it. This makes it an excellent time-pass and yet engaging book, one that can reside on your coffee table, or in your travel handbag in your journey as a companion!
I will not go into the details of the stories of the couples it look at; read the book for yourself – trust me, you wont regret it. If you cant equate with the reasons given above, the other side is the Human Interest angle, which might be attractive to you. The way in which we get to read of 19 couples who started a business together, the problems they faced and how they overcame the same makes for an engaging read, that is for sure. The way in which work division was implemented, the candid admission of differing viewpoints and the way they were overcome make for a fascinating read. All in all, I rate this book 4 stars out of 5, and a very richly deserved 4 stars!