Kamal Agarwala is the founder & CEO of La Exactlly Software Pvt Ltd. He incorporated La Exactlly Software Pvt. Ltd. in 1997 and started his entrepreneurial journey focusing on Software Product “EXACTLLY”. He is among the few early entrepreneurs who saw potential and value in Software as Products and today EXACTLLY has more than 40000 users spreading across 17 countries.
Not only an entrepreneur, he is the chairman of NASSCOM East, Hon. Sec. of TiE Kolkata and board member of NASSCOM.
We asked him about entrepreneurship and what books an entrepreneur should read!
What’s Entrepreneurship / leadership to you?
Entrepreneurship is all about solving the problems, which means closing the gap between things desired and things as perceived.
Entrepreneurship and leadership go hand in glove. Leadership is about bringing out the best in others. A Leader is one who inspires, motivates and treats others with courtesy and respect. A Leader is one who understands that all people are different and may need different direction and guidance to help them be the best they can be, and in order to achieve the same he should leads by the example and not mere set the vision and pass the order.
Why should entrepreneurs read more books ?
Simple, life is just too short to keep repeating the mistakes that others have already done. To be successful in this fast changing dynamic world, it is very important that we minimize our mistakes, we learn from the mistakes others has done in the past and avoid repeating them, books if nothing more can definitely help you in doing so. When you are reading, you are actually gaining the knowledge and experience of someone. It can fasten your success towards the goal as you don’t need to repeat the same mistake while focusing on the right path in achieving the goal.
I strongly recommend every entrepreneur which ever stage he or she is into, must read books on regular basis. It should be made part of their daily routine. I see them as the most important source of learning today. One not only gets to learn what the successful entrepreneur has done to be successful but also gets to learn what mistake he or she has done and how it can be avoided to achieve the goals faster.
Which books would you recommend?
By Peter Thiel
Investor and entrepreneur Peter Thiel divulges his knowledge about how to add value to the world, start-ups and the world of risks that an entrepreneur encounters all through his journey. It also boasts of the fact that its been the #1 NYT bestseller with the likes of Mark Zuckerberg and Elon Musk recommending it!
By Rolf Dobelli
The Art of Thinking Clearly written by entrepreneur Rolf Dobelli dwells into human psychology and more to find answers to common questions that haunt most of us. The book endeavours to change thinking, mindsets of people and help them take better decisions and lead a better future.
By Ben Horowitz
Ben Horowitz, cofounder of Andreessen Horowitz and famous entrepreneur provides a guide on building and successfully running a start up. Giving out practical solutions, the book tries to cover areas that Ben has learnt from in his own life.
How Successful People Become Even More Successful
by Marshall Goldsmith
The author, an executive coach takes a look into the harsh corporate world and provides and insight on what to change in your behaviour that may take you to the top in w world filed with competition and intelligence.
By Andrew S. Grove
Written by the CEO of Intel Corporation, this books reveals this leaders strategies when faced with the worst kind of challenges that every leader always dreads. It looks into charts of success and failure and how he made it through.
By Radhakrishnan Pillai
Chanakya, was one of the most skilled, and shrewd scholar of economics and political science and his foresight and tact is incomparable. The author , Radhakrishnan Pillai makes use of sutras and solutions provided by Chanakya in his book Arthashastra to decode solutions to the problems faced by modern economies and businesses.
By Richard Rumelt
Good strategy Bad strategy is a book where each chapter looks into a different angle of strategy frameworks. It explores dimensions that are not given too much importance in most cases and tries to find the basics that make up a good strategy in the corporate life.
Mr. Agarwala, what would you be your message to young entrepreneurs ?
Please do not built your business for investors, built it for your customers. Do not fall in the trap of creating a business model or business plan to please an investor. Please Do not carried away with the valuation stories you keep hearing, only fraction of startups get funded, so focus on building a business that is self-sustainable and would not die, even if you do not get investor’s money.