Free Press Journal

I DID IT MY WAY by Bikram Dasgupta: Review


Title: I Did It My Way
Author: Bikram Dasgupta
Publisher: Rupa
Price: Rs. 595/-
Pages: x + 221


This book has everything that one will find in a Bollywood blockbuster, that is, god, mother, friendship, love, song, jealousy, fight, ups and downs, climax and anti-climax. Yes, it is a book on a first generation entrepreneur, but who says entrepreneur’s life is dull and boring? One can call this book to be a book on salesman or a book on an educationist or simply a book on a pioneer and visionary and he will still be correct. In a nutshell, this is an exciting book.

The author states that the book is not a rags to riches story intentionally and he has made it into a ‘fascinating insight into the life and times of someone who didn’t shy away from thinking big – and for whom, progress meant creating his own road and establishing new milestone’, and he has succeeded in doing so.

The book starts with the journey of Bikram Dasgupta in IIT Kharagpur and goes on to cover his 30 years of working life. Bikram not only worked in different companies and in different roles but also worked in different cities and wherever he has got the opportunity he has described the city. Salesmen can learn a lot from this book. In fact, his eye-popping $50 million hardware export deal with Dell, sorry with Michel Dell himself is now a benchmark in the Indian IT industry and is worth a full-length feature film. Bikram and his team did surprise Japanese also with their sales and negotiations skills.

Bikram started his professional life with selling oxygen cylinders and went on to be dubbed as an ‘ideas man’ by non-other than Shiv Nadar. He co-founded PCL and then helped West Bengal government feature on the IT map of India. Currently, he runs Globsyn Business School.

No, it is not a book on a workaholic. It is a book on an entrepreneur who not only enjoyed music, drama, and sports but also actively took part in it even during his working life. It is a book on a lively fun loving entrepreneur and not on an IT nerd. Bikram is friends with anyone who is someone in the IT industry and mind you it is not an easy task. The comments in the book on the author by the doyens of Indian IT industry is a testimony to the same. At the same time, the book demonstrates how one can work with the government rather communist government as well.

This book provides not only business lessons but also life lessons for any budding entrepreneur. It emphasises the role of friendship and family in the success of the business. What adds to the glory of the book is the author’s ability to name all his friends and bosses from his earlier jobs and acknowledging their contribution.

The book does provide an insight into the growth and development of Indian IT industry as well as working style of Shiv Nadar and Rajendra S Pawar, making one understand why they are great. Author emphasises on the importance of collective growth of industry and hence the importance of formal and informal associations. Author did play an important role in reshaping the industrial exhibitions in India, especially with a focus on IT industry and offers a meaningful insight on the same.

More importantly, the author has not shied away from frankly speaking about his failures and tough times both in personal and professional life. Author’s professional setbacks are as mighty as his success. This approach adds to the credibility of narrative. The way he resurrected his business and innovated to comeback is enthralling. The pride of being self-employed and rewards of thinking big and executing is clearly visible in the book.

The learning from the book is enormous. It clearly showcases that if one is focused and honest, he can succeed in any business. After all, the author went on from sailing oxygen cylinders to computer hardware to real estate to educational programmes.