Dhandha, meaning business, is a term often used in common trade parlance in India. But there is no other community that fully embodies what the term stands for than the Gujarat is.
Shaba Bonder’s Dhandha is the story of a few Gujarat is: Jaydev Patel-the New York Life Insurance agent credited with having sold policies worth $2.5 billion so far; Bhimjibhai Patel-one of the country's biggest diamond merchants and co-founder of the ambitious 'Diamond Nagar' in Surat; Dalpatbhai Patel-the motelier who went on to become the mayor of Mansfield County; Mohanbhai Patel-a former Sheriff of Mumbai and the leading manufacturer of aluminum collapsible tubes; and Hersha and Hasu Shah-owners of over a hundred hotels in the US. Travelling across continents-from Mumbai to the United States-in search of their story and the common values that bond them, Dhandha showcases the powerful ambition, incredible capacity for hard work, and the inherent business sense of the Gujarat is.
Shobha Bonder is a celebrated and much published Marathi writer. She has been writing for the last 25 Years and has published13 books many of them bestsellers that have gone into over 25 editions.
The non Marathi reading word is now keen to read her work and her book are being translated into English Hindi and Gujarati. She has written articles, short stories and columns for prestigious publications like the Maharashtra Times Lokprabha Maher Kirloskar etc. She has also written dialogues for many poplar Marathi T.V series like Abhalmaya Manasi Oon Pause and Ardhangini.
In the last few years personality profiles of from various walks of life has become Shobha’s forte for this she interacts closely with her subjects understanding them in their social familial emotional and economic settings. She has won many literary awards for her work including the Maharashtra State Awords for Best Novel in 1997, for Saata Samudrapar.
It is nice to receive an appreciable effort by shobha Bonder in the translated version of the book named Dhandha. The success stories are narrated nicely glorifying Gujarati culture and courage. Their ways to tackle tough situations with tenderness and to enter the word of entrepreneurship are unique but diverse. The traits, tricks and tolerance for success are the inherent business sense of Guajarati’s with hard work and habit to toll till the road to success and path for progress is caved out.
The reasons for the roaring success of the Guajarati is their sharp intellect tremendous will power and incredible capacity for hard work Success has instilled in them the sound values and high sense of responsibility for society, Caring attitude and humane approach elects in their Professional dealing and dedication to service. Once the challenge is taken, there is no looking back self confidence .Once the challenge is taken there is no looking back self confidence is something to be treasured and lasts for a lifetime.
The characters depicted in the book possess the grace glory, and guts as expected of Gujarati cloture. The honesty and hopes the respect of relationship and fairness in dealings are directing forces for each one’s success. The lively language and warm words picked up to portrait the personalities will touch every heart.
I compliment Random House India for a worthy publication as well as the Marathi Granthalaya Association for awarding the best book Award to the original version.
I hope Dhandha will inspire all to explore and expand the instinct to go ahead in life, ahead the Gujarati way of branding an bonding.
As one travels across the length and breadth of Gujarat one comes to know how kings had built their massive empires from humble beginning. Today It’s the Gujarati businessmen who have repeated history by building business empires.
Business acumen is something that Guajarati’s seem to inherit rather then acquire. Did you Know that it was Ranchodlal Chotalal,a Gujarati, who brought the textile industry to India? Or that it was Gujarat’s Gondal Maharaja who Collaborated with the British for laying down railway track for trains? There examples tell us how business flows in the veins of Gujarati Community.
In this book Shobha Throws light on some of the stellar performers in the Gujarati business community. Man who didn’t just create wealth for themselves but the nation as well. Men who didn’t just earn money but respect too.
Let’s hope this book serves as a source of pride and inspiration for people all over the world
Baniya-a derivative of the Sanskrit word yanij, is a term synonymous with India's trader class. Over the decades, these capitalists spread their footprint across vast sectors of the economy from steel and mining to telecom and retail. And now even e tail.
Nikhil Inamdar's Rokda features the stories of a few pioneering men from this mercantile community -Radheshyam Agarwal and Radheshyam Goenka, founders of the cosmetic major Emami; Rohit Bansal, co-founder of Snapdeal; Neeraj Gupta, founder of Meru Cabs; and V.K. Bansal, a humble mathematics tutor whose genius spawned a massive coaching industry in Kota-amongst others. Through the triumphs and tribulations of these men in the epoch marking India's entire post independence struggle with entrepreneurship-from the License Raj to the opening up of the floodgates in 1991, and the dawn of the digital era- Rokda seeks to uncover the indomitable spirit of the Baniya.
Nikhil Inamdar is a Mumbai-based financial journalist. He was a prime time news presenter with NDTV Profit and worked for several years as a television correspondent at other reputed news channels after completing a postgraduate degree in broadcast journalism from the UK. He is currently consultant columnist at Business Standard Online. This is his first book. Nikhil can be reached on email at email@example.com and his Twitter handle: @nik_inamdar.
The `Baniya' is a loosely used expression in India, employed interchangeably to refer to the corner shop kiranawallah, the calculating money lender or the quintessential Marwari businessman next door. The connotation is often negative, bait the etymology of the word is found in the Sanskrit term, vanij, which simply means trader or merchant. Originating primarily in the northern and western parts of India, the Baniyas have historically been engaged in professions ranging from money lending, commodities trading, stock broking, and shop keeping. In the present day however, they straddle sectors of the modern economy as varied as internet enabled retail, mobile telephony, and oil and gas exploration.
They are a separate Indian caste with specific sub-castes - Maheshwaris, Agarwalas etc, religious affiliations-Hindu and Jain, distinctive social customs, also have typical surnames on the basis of the clan to which they belong - Bansal, Mittal, Singhal, Goel, Garg and so on. In a wider context, the term Baniya is also used in parts of the country to refer to a conglomeration of people from diverse geographical and religious backgrounds, engaged broadly in commerce.
When I was approached to do this book that would feature the growth stories of five Baniya entrepreneurs, the first thought that crossed my mind was whether entrepreneurship could be dissected from the prism of caste alone. Could I possibly use old social segregations and hierarchies as a basis to pick a group of entrepreneurs and tell their stories? Wouldn't that only restate community stereotypes that may or may not hold true any longer?
As I began approaching people I was interested in featuring in the book, one young whiz kid-whose online restaurant-discovery portal had just received millions of dollars in private equity funding-banged the phone down on me asking never to call again. `Baniyas in business?! Why would you want to categorize me in that manner?' he almost shrieked, evidently annoyed at my appeal to let his new-age success story be identified by the caste to which he was born.
Paiso is such an interesting read because it not only talks of Sindhi business leaders but also of their lineage, culture and circumstances. Who better than Maya to weave these stories in such an exciting way'-Ameera Shah, managing director, Metropolis Healthcare
'With Paiso, Maya has carved yet another niche and milestone in bringing out the enterprising nature and spirit of our community' -Neeta Lulla, costume designer, couturier and fashion stylist
'Maya's engaging book on Sindhi personalities is truly a delight to read'-Rattan Keswani, deputy managing director, Lemon Tree Hotels
Maya Bathija has been a journalist for more than a decade, contributing to magazines such as Mercedes-Benz India and Global Gujarati. Personality profiles have always been her forte and she ably headed the Sindhian, her family magazine, for thirteen years, compiling content and writing a popular column called MayaSpeak. She has interviewed subject experts and professionals in top positions the world over. She currently travels extensively as a lifestyle and travel consultant with FWD Life and wants to continue telling interesting stories. This is her first business book.
Sindhis are the descendants of the Indus Valley Civilization, which historians today, after fresh evidence has emerged, regard as the oldest in the world. Yet its rich and ancient culture has mostly gone unrecognized. That Sindhis possess solid business acumen is a part of popular folklore. I am glad that a serious attempt is being made through the subsequent pages to decode this folklore.
Historically, being traders and entrepreneurs, Sindhis formed the financial backbone of our homeland, spanning the western part of undivided India. Professor Claude Markovits, in his seminal work The Global World of Indian Merchants, 1750-1947: Traders of Sind from Bukhara to Panama,' examines the medieval trading history of India where he outlines that modern banking methods like bill discounting and promissory notes have their origin in the systems of 'hundis' and `parchis', which were introduced by Sindhi traders for global trade. Thus, Sindhis were the original transnational business community of India, which managed its businesses successfully despite waves of European mercantile trade and colonial onslaught. My father, late Shri P.D. Hinduja, was the president of the Sarrafa (trader) Association of Shikarpur.
Sindh witnessed numerous invasions for centuries, but Sindhis not only survived them but also thrived despite them. The bigget reason for that was our ability to find opportunity in adversity. The partition of 1947 was catastrophic for the community. We became stateless as we had to migrate from our ancient homeland. Our never-say-die attitude helped us embrace the numerous lands that we migrated to. We built ourselves from scratch to regain our prosperity by being true to our business heritage. When it comes to business, Sindhis are opportunity-centric and sector-agnostic. The community has attained success in many diverse businesses globally because of the focused approach of its members towards profit and growth. Little do others realize that Sindhis are not only wise in terms of earning their wealth but also in spending it intelligently.
We have a unique ability to assimilate into the local milieu, the way spices mix with our rich food and make it more flavourful. Wherever Sindhis went, they contributed to the local culture and society through their philanthropic efforts. For instance, in spite of the hardships of Partition, the education and healthcare foundation of Mumbai was built on numerous well-known Sindhi institutions. My father, the founder of Hinduja Group, also started two such institutions-the Hinduja College of Commerce and the Hinduja Hospital, which today are the pride of Mumbai.
Sindhis are a community originally from Sindh, which is now in Pakistan. Even in the earliest references, Sindh has been known as a beautiful land, rich in natural resources. Since thieves can only steal from lands of abundance, the inhabitants of this area had their peace and harmony disturbed from time to time by plunderers. From the Mohenjo Daro and Harappa excavations, archaeologists discovered the city structure that ran with underground drainage, and dug up bricks and jewellery, proving that 5,000 years ago a full-fledged civilization lived in Sindh, on the broad plains and valleys of the Indus River.
The Sindh is were predominantly Hindu by religion, but some later converted to Islam and Sikhism. There was a time when some Sindhi families promised their eldest sons to Sikhism, who wore turbans in the same way as Sikhs.
A lot of the Sindhi heritage and history was destroyed by invaders. Chach Namah,' the oldest known historical account of Sindh, was written by an Arab historian accompanying the forces of Mohammed bin Qasim, who attacked Sindh in 711 AD. It has also been established that there existed Sindhi Hindu dynasties, such as the Samma, Samra, Khairpur, Kalhore and Talpur.
Sindhis were primarily businessmen and traders. Their skills did not naturally allow them to take part in warfare, but they were known for their perseverance and business acumen even centuries ago. The main trading castes were the Lohana, Bhatia, Khatri, Chhapru and Sahta. These castes were occasionally divided into occupational groups, such as the Sahukarst (merchants) and the Hatawaras3 (shopkeepers).The most affluent Sindhis were the merchants who owned trading firms (kothis4) in the major towns of Sindh. Eventually, the name Amil5 was given to any Sindhi who was engaged in government service. Post-Partition, many of them who moved to India, having left everything behind, experienced much poverty and hardship. And there has been many a proverbial rags-to-riches story in the community.
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