Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Simply Fly - Captain Gopinath's Story

The story of Air Deccan is something which is close to many of us, it in a way symbolised the impact of liberalisation on the common man. It was with this curiosity of getting an insiders view into the story of Deccan Air that I eagerly picked up the book 'Simply Fly', though most of my expectations were met , then I wouldn't say I was fully satisfied. I would start with the reasons why I was not happy, then look at the positives, which outnumber the negatives.

First complaint is with the expected coverage on Air Deccan Story, looking at the length of the book, running into more than 350 pages , I was expecting more on Air Deccan , but then Captain Gopinath has devoted about one third of the book to that venture which might be ok looking at the number of new ventures he started from his farm , to hotel, to politics, to aviation , but I personally felt that he could have devoted some more pages to Deccan Airlines, and the abrupt end to Deccan Air story also leaves me unsatisfied with a feeling that he has not shared the story fully , which maybe prudent from his perspective looking at the fact that the story is too recent and some of the details might hurt his image or that of some of his partners. And another minor complaint was the lack of dates and timeline in the book , which makes it a little difficult to read at times.
But then looking at the positives, reading through the book gives one a very good insight into how an entrepreneurs mind works, and the sheer variety of businesses that Captain Gopinath started and succeeded. Through the stories of his various ventures he gives us an overview of the business realities in Indian market and the challenges which are there in the present context. His constant struggle with the bureaucracy is some thing which should serve to forewarn new entrepreneurs, but then he also share the incidents where he could get things done by sheer persistence.
I think what attracts most of the readers to books of these kind if the 'rags-to-riches' angle, but I feel there is much to be derived out of the book in terms of the variety and number of opportunities which exist in Indian market. And I think anyone who wants to do business in India should read this book....

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