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Patriotism plus passion: stories of 20 entrepreneurs from small towns in India

Source | YourStory : By MADANMOHAN RAO

Guess what? The world’s largest company in value-added spices, one of the world’s Top 10 publishing BPOs, India’s biggest exporter of hand-knotted carpets, largest machine tool manufacturer, largest honey exporter, and largest leather exporter all started up in small towns in India, not the big metros.

Over the decades, big ideas and successful entrepreneurs have made a mark in small-town India, as shown by the 20 profiles in the new book by Rashmi Bansal, Take Me Home.

TakeMeHomeInsideArticleHunger for success, inspiration, diligence and persistence are also the hallmarks of success of entrepreneurs in smaller towns, where glamour may be lacking but the quieter and gentler way of life as well as the desire to hang on to local roots are assets in their own right.

Rashmi Bansal is the author of a number of books on startups and social entrepreneurship, such as Poor Little Rich Slum (see my review). She graduated from Sophia College in Mumbai and IIM Ahmedabad.

The book (357 pages, published by Westland India) covers three kinds of entrepreneurs: those who left India and then returned to launch their ventures, those who never left India, and those who have a broader social vision. Each entrepreneur profile in the book is about 15-20 pages in length, and includes key takeaways along with the ups and downs of each journey.

Vinod Khutal grew up near Indore and studied architecture, before studying computer science. An ad by game developer Gameloft on Naukri.com led him to a job in their Hyderabad office, where he eventually became a game designer. In 2009, he founded Twist Mobile, with apps such as Age Effect. He tied up with VServ to use their app-wrapper technology for ads embedded in apps. Success stories included becoming the first Asian company with 10 million downloads on Noki’s Ovi store. “Today’s killer app is tomorrow’s delete,” says Khutal, who has now branched out into Android and iPhone apps.

Sriram Subramanya grew up in Pondicherry and started work in the auto ancillary business, with postings in Chennai and Bangalore and training in Germany. He later moved into the desktop publishing business, migrating from print designs to digital content. Sriram’s wife had to sell her jewellery at one stage to fund the growth of the company, Integra. A tight focus on quality, precision and business culture helped grow the company into one of the world’s Top 10 in publishing BPO. The company also won the Gender Inclusivity Award from NASSCOM.

Read On…

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