10 Books Indian Entrepreneurs Read & Recommend

Richard Branson Quote

Every successful business person has a constant need to learn new things. Where for most of the population, learning essentially stops after formal academic education, for an entrepreneurs it’s a part of their daily routine. And this learning isn’t restricted to one’s core field of expertise, knowledge needs to be gained for all aspects of business management and self-management. Here is a list of 10 books for Indian startup entrepreneurs recommended by various successful entrepreneurs themselves.

  1. Zero to One by Peter Thiel

Zero to OnePeter Thiel’s Zero to One came out to be the most recommended book in our survey. Shashank ND. Founder & CEO, Practo says “Thinking first principles is one of the principles spoken about in depth in the book. This insight is critical to be able to deliver continuous innovation and long term success in cracking difficult problems.” 

While Oyo Rooms’ Chief Ritesh Agarwal shares that “This is an inspiring and thought-provoking book that teaches you how to think like a leader. It makes you think about innovation in new ways, and ultimately that is the foundation of great success. The world requires original thinkers to match the pace of progress in the 21st century. You put the book down as thoroughly charged up with conviction in original ideas!”

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2. The Art of the Start by Guy Kawasaki

The Art of the StartWhat does it take to turn your idea into action? Make My Trip’s Founder Deep Kalra recommends Guy Kawasaki’s ‘The Art of the Start’ for entrepreneurs seeking answers to such questions. This book by the marketing specialist and venture capitalist, takes you through the different tactics involved in building and scaling up a business.

From raising capital investment, to recruitment, to marketing, to building a community and more, the book encapsulates all the aspects you need to know for managing a new business.

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3. First, Break All The Rules by Marcus Buckingham


Freshdesk’s Founder & Chief, Girish Mathrubootham recommends this book not just to Indian entrepreneurs but to his own team as well. It highlights the importance of matching the natural talent of a person to his job. The book talks about the difference between skill, talent and knowledge.

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Team plays a key role in building up any business. It is always highly critical for Founders to hire and retain the right people in a team. The book gives an insights into managerial aspects of hiring, retaining and driving A players.

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4. Dream with your Eyes Open by Ronnie Screwvala

Dreams with your eyes openDream with your Eyes Open is a book by entrepreneur and investor Ronnie Screwvala. Recommended by Lenskart Founder Peyush Bansal, the books is a good read for both first time startup founders and those looking to start up.

The author shares his lessons from over two decades of his entrepreneurial journey. It tackles with the founder’s dilemma of ‘Will my idea work?” and shows how things can be done if one aspires.

With anecdotes and examples from his own journey, the author has presented examples with most entrepreneurs can relate to.

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 5. The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon  by Brad Stone

The everything Store Delhivery’s Co-Founder & CEO, Sahil Barua calls the book “A phenomenal insight into the making of what I think is the greatest business on the planet.”

The book is all about what went into building the global technology company, Amazon. It presents Jeff Bezos’ journey into understanding and creating market demand, along with the mind process and ground work that went behind creating innovations.

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6. Good To Great by Jim Collins

Good to Great Good to Great by Jim Collins is a book that Capillary’s Co-Founder & CEO, Aneesh Reddy recommends for mature startups.

This management book presents examples and data from different companies, both great and not so great. It talks about the strategies important for the long run, and emphasises that great businesses are neither built overnight nor by sheer luck. Good to Great is relevant for businesses across sectors, as well as for managers leading teams and departments within an organisation.

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 7. Every Business Is a Growth Business by Ram Charan

Every Business is a Growth BusinessBuilding a business isn’t sufficient unless it’s growing. In a true sense, startups focus on fast execution and even faster growth. Every Business is a Growth Business by Ram Charan is a book all about profitable business growth year on year.

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Ram Charan is a world-renowned business advisor who has spent over 35 years working with many top companies and CEOs. Sharing his experience of working closely with profitable ventures, he writes about how every business is sustainable only if it’s growing without losing money.

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 8. Design of Business by Roger L. Martin

The Design of BusinessDesign of Business: Why Design Thinking is the Next Competitive Advantage by Roger L. Martin is a book on innovation for capturing the market.

It presents examples of how different successful companies have used design thinking to innovate and win. The author urges the readers to go beyond just analytical thinking for making business strategies and growth decisions.

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 9. The High Performance Entrepreneur by Subroto Bagchi

The High Performance EntrepreneurOne of the biggest challenges a Founder faces is to stay motivated even in the time of crisis. The book ‘High Performance Entrepreneur’ is about how to start up and manage your own business.

It is an essential read for the first time entrepreneurs, particularly for those who want to start up after years of job experience. Subroto Bagchi, co-founder and chief operating officer of MindTree Consulting shares anecdotes from his own life and journey as an entrepreneur for the readers to relate and understand.

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 10. The Hard Thing About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz

The Hard Thing About Hard ThingsBen Horowitz is a technology entrepreneur, investor and co-founder and general partner along with Marc Andreessen of the venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz.

In this book, Ben talks about the crude reality of the tough situations faced by startup founders. From his experience as an entrepreneur & investor, he shares wisdom on how to survive and scale. ‘The Hard Thing About Hard Things’ is the book you should read to know how to deal with the inevitable hard decisions you would have to make as a founder.

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Are there any other useful books that you would like to recommend? Please share in the comments section below, we would take them up in our second post in this series.

  • Pramod Deshmukh

    Thanks for sharing. This is an impressive list,