Journalist-author Harish Damodaran's "Broke to Breakthrough'', a detailed and perceptive account of the rise of dairy company Hatsun Agro and its founder RG Chandramogan, has won the Gaja Capital Business Book Prize 2022.
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The winner was selected from a diverse and compelling shortlist of five books—including "Ambuja Story: How a Group of Ordinary Men Created an Extraordinary Company", "Disrupt and Conquer: How TTK Prestige Became a Billion Dollar Company", "Harsh Realities: The Making of Marico", and "Maverick Effect: The Inside Story of India's IT Revolution"—showcasing the vibrant Indian business ecosystem.
Instituted in 2019, to encourage Indian entrepreneurs, writers, and journalists to tell their stories to the world, the award, now in its fourth edition, offers a prize money of ₹15 lakhs—making it the "largest business book prize" in the country.
"These books are excellent stories of Indian entrepreneurship and enterprise. Each one is a winner, and it wasn't easy to pick one. Damodaran's book is an exemplary Bharat story of entrepreneurship, and we hope stories like this help inspire the next wave of thousands of budding entrepreneurs from all across and within India to constantly emerge, grow, innovate and excel," said Gopal Jain, co-founder and managing partner, Gaja Capital—a leading private equity firm.
Published by Penguin Viking, the "Broke to Breakthrough: The Rise of India's Largest Private Dairy Company" is the story of Hatsun Agro, starting from its humble origins of selling ice- creams in pushcarts in Tamil Nadu in the 1970s to growing into a publicly-listed company that generates more than ₹6,000 crores in revenue.
The jury for the award, which comprised stalwarts from the worlds of industry, investments, academia, public policy, and governance, was headed by Manish Sabharwal, vice-chairman TeamLease.
"The book is the inspiring and moving journey of a pioneering first-generation Indian entrepreneur. . . Chandramogan's ability to constantly try, fail, learn, pivot and scale successes is both instructive and inspirational for every entrepreneur at any stage in their journey. For a young India that is bursting with ambition, this journey of endurance and integrity combined with vision and agility is a must-read in today's VUCA (volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity) world," read the jury's citation.
In 2020, journalist Mihir Dalal won the award for his debut book, "Big Billion Startup: The Untold Flipkart Story"; and author Amrit Raj for his "Indian Icon: A Cult called Royal Enfield" in 2021.