Indian Express Rural Affairs Editor Harish Damodaran wins Gaja Capital Business Book Prize

Broke to Breakthrough: The Rise of India’s Largest Private Dairy Company (Penguin Viking, Rs 699), an account of the rise of Hatsun Agro and its founder RG Chandramogan, written by The Indian Express’ National and Rural Affairs and Agriculture Editor, Harish Damodaran, has gained the Rs 15 lakh Gaja Capital Business Book Prize 2022. From humble beginnings in Tamil Nadu to later turning into the chairperson of a nationwide enterprise value crores, the guide traces the journey of Chandramogan and the main dairy firm he constructed.

“I was interested in this business because it didn’t rise from a community that is a traditional mercantile business caste like the Marwaris or the Baniyas. This business began in the south, as a regional enterprise and was interesting for me as I like documenting businesses that go through all possible stages. This one did too: first, it was tiny, then small, then medium, then big, and finally, large.”

This 12 months’s jury comprised famous teachers and industrialists from a number of fields, together with Manish Sabharwal, Vice-Chairman TeamLease (Chairman, Jury), Imran Jafar, Managing Partner & Co-founder of Gaja Capital, Dr Lakshmi Venu, MD of Sundaram-Clayton Ltd (SCL), Michael Queen, Former Chief Executive of 3i (British Multinational PE fund), Prithvi Haldea, Founder Chairman of Praxis Consulting (Prime Database), Neelkanth Mishra, Managing Director and Head of Equity Strategy, Asia Pacific for Credit Suisse, Shailesh Haribhakti, Founder and Managing Partner of Shailesh Haribhakti & Associates Chartered Accountants and Upendra Kumar Sinha, Former Head, RBI Expert Committee on Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).

“This book is an exemplary Bharat story of entrepreneurship, and we hope stories like this help inspire the next wave of thousands of budding entrepreneurs from all across and within India to emerge, grow, innovate and excel,” mentioned Gopal Jain, co-founder and Managing Partner, Gaja Capital.

Announcing the winner, the jury assertion mentioned, “Broke to Breakthrough is the inspiring and moving journey of a pioneering first-generation Indian entrepreneur. Necessity is the mother of invention. And a necessity driven by both personal circumstance and industry with strong incumbents spurred Mr Chandramogan to create an enterprise that has innovated in every part of its business from cattle breeding and fodder to commercials and marketing.”

The different books within the operating included Narotam Sekhsaria’s Ambuja Story: How a Group of Ordinary Men Created an Extraordinary Company, TT Jagannathan and Sandhya Mendonca’s Disrupt and Conquer: How TTK Prestige Became a Billion-Dollar Company, Harsh Mariwala, and Ram Charan’s Harsh Realities: The Making of Marico, Harish Mehta’s Maverick Effect: The Inside Story of India’s IT Revolution.

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