Former Mint journalist Amrit Raj won the Gaja Capital Business Book Prize 2021 for his book Indian Icon: A Cult Called Royal Enfield, which tells the story of how an Indian motorcycle brand build itself into a global one.
The book was selected from a shortlist that included a biography of Azim Premji by Sundeep Khanna and Varun Sood, two books on the banking system – one on Yes Bank and its controversial founder Rana Kapoor by Pavan Lall and the other by former RBI governor Urjit Patel, and R.C. Bhargava's Getting Competitive: A Practitioner's Guide for India.
Established in 2019 by private equity firm Gaja Capital, the prize that seeks to recognize business writing and celebrate entrepreneurship carries a citation and a cash award of Rs15 lakh.
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Announcing the winner virtually, Gopal Jain, co-Founder and managing partner, Gaja Capital, said, “The 2021 shortlist covered a wide spectrum of themes, including public policy, entrepreneurship, ethics, and philanthropy. The titles were well researched, brilliantly articulated, and gripping reads, and the jury had a wonderful time poring over them.”
The jury for the third edition comprised experts from the worlds of industry, investments, academia, public policy, and governance with Manish Sabharwal of Teamlease acting as chairman of the jury. Others on the jury included Imran Jafar, managing partner and co-founder of Gaja Capital, Dr. Lakshmi Venu, MD of Sundaram-Clayton Ltd, Michael Queen, former chief executive of British PE firm 3i and Narayan Ramachandran, former country head, Morgan Stanley India.
The jury said that the book “takes readers through the riveting story of the creation of a powerful Indian brand, and balances balances the story of the brand with lessons in management and entrepreneurship.” The book traces the evolution of the iconic Royal Enfield brand from the 1950s till today, capturing its near-collapse and eventual revival. It also captures the clash of Royal Enfield’s old guard with the new management, and details the events that led to dramatic changes in the company and its business.
A former Mint journalist, Amrit Raj now works with a technology company. In its inaugural year, the prize was won by Girish Kuber and Vikrant Pande for their book The Tatas: How a Family Built a Business and a Nation. Last year, it went to former Mint journalist Mihir Dalal for his Big Billion Startup: The Untold Flipkart Story.
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