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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 Gujaratis. Shobha Bondre’s Dhandha is the story of a few such Gujaratis: Jaydev Patel—the New York Life Insurance agent credited with having sold policies worth $2.5 billion so far; Bhimjibhai Patel—one of 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 Gujaratis. Shobha Bondre’s Dhandha is the story of a few such Gujaratis: 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 aluminium 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 Gujaratis.


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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 Gujaratis. Shobha Bondre’s Dhandha is the story of a few such Gujaratis: Jaydev Patel—the New York Life Insurance agent credited with having sold policies worth $2.5 billion so far; Bhimjibhai Patel—one of 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 Gujaratis. Shobha Bondre’s Dhandha is the story of a few such Gujaratis: 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 aluminium 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 Gujaratis.

30 review for Dhandha: How Gujaratis Do Business

  1. 4 out of 5

    Riddhi Kishnadwala

    Being a Gujarati myself, I felt very proud to read this! The stories are inspiring and the ideals of determination, perseverance, hard work, courage and the excellent business sense of the entrepreneurs described in this book are exemplary and motivating to emulate. From stories of domestic shores to success in USA, the grit and never say die attitude of the Gujarati es penned down gives many valuable business lessons as well as personal and emotional lessons. The translation is crisp and to the Being a Gujarati myself, I felt very proud to read this! The stories are inspiring and the ideals of determination, perseverance, hard work, courage and the excellent business sense of the entrepreneurs described in this book are exemplary and motivating to emulate. From stories of domestic shores to success in USA, the grit and never say die attitude of the Gujarati es penned down gives many valuable business lessons as well as personal and emotional lessons. The translation is crisp and to the point. Of all the stories and incidents narrated, I liked best the anecdote of "The Circle of Life" revolving around the life and business of Mohanbhai Patel. His fire power personality combined with a intuitive business acumen and tremendous problem solving skills made for a gripping and exciting read! I would say that this a must read business book without the usual jargon s and terms found in majority other business related books and reads. It is easy to read and a provides a refreshing view on the lives and times of business and their founders with plenty of takeaways to be taken!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Gunjan Gupta

    This book is collection of stories which narrate the success stories of Gujaratis. I have heard a lot about this community but this book gives us insight of the success ingredients of Gujaratis. These success stories describe that it is the simplicity, humbleness, relationship building and honesty that leads to success. Moreover I learned that these qualities are the core values of any Gujarati and is wired in his DNA. One more thing I learned and loved about Gujarati people is the trust and resp This book is collection of stories which narrate the success stories of Gujaratis. I have heard a lot about this community but this book gives us insight of the success ingredients of Gujaratis. These success stories describe that it is the simplicity, humbleness, relationship building and honesty that leads to success. Moreover I learned that these qualities are the core values of any Gujarati and is wired in his DNA. One more thing I learned and loved about Gujarati people is the trust and respect they give to the women. Most of the stories explained that many a times businesses were lead by women and they played very important role in shaping the business by their hardwork and risk taking abilities. This community has now earned by respect. About the book: It is a collection of very stories written in simple English and beautifully narrated.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Vishal Mehta

    A must read for every budding entrepreneur.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Arcopol Chaudhuri

    We're well aware of how enterprising the Gujarati community is, and we got a taste of it on screen when the film Kai Po Che opened to critical acclaim earlier this year. A book that captures some of the community's successes in running businesses is therefore a welcome addition to our knowledge pool and perception about this strictly vegetarian community. Dhandha: How Gujaratis Do Business is a translation of Shobha Bondre's well received Marathi book. There must have been many successful Gujara We're well aware of how enterprising the Gujarati community is, and we got a taste of it on screen when the film Kai Po Che opened to critical acclaim earlier this year. A book that captures some of the community's successes in running businesses is therefore a welcome addition to our knowledge pool and perception about this strictly vegetarian community. Dhandha: How Gujaratis Do Business is a translation of Shobha Bondre's well received Marathi book. There must have been many successful Gujarati businessmen to choose from, but Shobha profiles a select few viz. Jaydev Patel, the New York Life Insurance agent credited with having sold policies worth billions of dollars, diamond wizard Bhimjibhai Patel, motelier Dalpatbhai Patel who got elected as a Mayor in a US county, Mohanbhai Patel, who we must remember every time we squeeze paste from alluminium collapsible tubes, and Hasu and Hersha Shah, owners of over a hundred hotels in the US. A common thread running through each of their stories is the incredible amount of hard work, perseverance and patience each of these people had to build their existing business empires. Despite being from fairly conservative backgrounds, and their aversion to meat and liquor, some of these profiled individuals have made their mark in alien lands through consistent labor, often doing double shifts to raise enough capital and taken risks no matter what the odds. The contribution of their spouses cannot be underestimated and the author must be congratulated on documenting their side of the story as well. The ladies' version of the events in this learning curve does add a more humane dimension to their success stories. What's also remarkable is that the profiled gentlemen have retained their humility, and were blessed to be surrounded with people who supported and guided them on their path. Each of the business families written about in this book also gave back a lot to their rural roots in Gujarat, and their generosity and ability to remain rooted to their origins is commendable, especially in the face of powerful ambition. Two thumbs-up for the the first person narrative structure of the book - it managed to create a far greater empathy with each of the interviewed businessmen. It's really difficult to pick a favourite amongst all the inspiring stories in this book, but the particular rise of Bhimjibhai Patel and how he became one of the country's biggest diamond merchants, is a tale that'll stay with me for a very long time. This one's solid, feel-good, inspiring non-fiction for the masses. Do check it out.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Anshul Goel

    Dhandha is a very well written compilation of success stories of Gujarati businessmen in and outside the country. The book is a perfect depiction of how a business mindset works. How a Gujarati looks for a business opportunity out of nothing and how calculative he/she is while taking risks. Out of all the stories, I liked the first one the most which talks about how a poor fellow goes to become a diamond king. It highlights various points that need to be taken care of if someone wants to grow bi Dhandha is a very well written compilation of success stories of Gujarati businessmen in and outside the country. The book is a perfect depiction of how a business mindset works. How a Gujarati looks for a business opportunity out of nothing and how calculative he/she is while taking risks. Out of all the stories, I liked the first one the most which talks about how a poor fellow goes to become a diamond king. It highlights various points that need to be taken care of if someone wants to grow big - vision, desire to grow, honesty, skillset, extreme hardwork, unflinching dedication and optimism towards your goal. It's a good inspirational read. I will give it a 4.5/5.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Samarpita Sharma

    http://sankshvet.blogspot.in/2013/06/... http://sankshvet.blogspot.in/2013/06/...

  7. 5 out of 5

    Santosh Chaskar

    Really good book by shobha bondre. inspirational stories .. must read ... business secrete of Gujjus.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Vedasri Siddamsetty

    With a wife and then a brother behind them. That's how Gujaratis do business. Apart from some serious insight, hardwork and will-power ofcourse!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Tejas Nimbargi

    One of the best books on Gujarati Mindset and lives of great mean who have shown us how big businesses are built. A must read for everyone.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Shitiz Srivastava

    I found this book at someone’s office and I loved the title of the book which appeared to me to be very brash and bold. I wanted to read this book. It felt that the book was going to offer me secrets of the business methods of some millionaires of India. The book didn’t disappoint me. I had always wondered how come there is no poor Punjabi's, why does Gujrati's are good at business and Marwari's good at accounting. No, the answer is not in this book, specifically. But you will get an idea about I found this book at someone’s office and I loved the title of the book which appeared to me to be very brash and bold. I wanted to read this book. It felt that the book was going to offer me secrets of the business methods of some millionaires of India. The book didn’t disappoint me. I had always wondered how come there is no poor Punjabi's, why does Gujrati's are good at business and Marwari's good at accounting. No, the answer is not in this book, specifically. But you will get an idea about that from the book. The book comprises of four separate stories of four different people who started from humble beginnings and went on the become rich beyond their imaginations. All of them are Gujaratis, as mentioned in the title. The thing I learned, as far as my intellect goes, is that there are two things which matter most when it comes to becoming something in any field. First is Patience and second is perseverance and third and most important is taking active steps, even when you are not ready and even when you are scared like a pooping cat. Now these are things that we already know but the human mind has a problem – they want the proof of everything. This book is a living proof that if a man desires about something and is ready to dedicate his entire life for the cause of it then he will become super successful someday. For some, the day comes earlier and for some, the day comes later, but the day always comes. The stories of four Gujrati’s mentioned in the book are highly inspirational and I would suggest that you must read this book. I have read this book twice and have also gifted it to many people. The writing is very simple and there aren’t too many complex words and sentences which makes it an easy read. The book I had had big fonts and more than enough space on the page which made it very soothing to read and in my case, write my notes. Overall, a must read.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Binit Agrawal

    Undoubtedly an interesting and inspiring read. Written in an extremely readable style, broken into short stories of success, it was a quick read. But its not as if one cannot see no pattern in the book. All the stories can be broken down to some basic elements which should tell you why Gujaratis succeed. I found relationship building, humility and relentlessness as the most important reasons behind their success.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Pooja Vidyashankar

    Inspirational Anyone who wants to enter into business, must read this book. This book gives immense confidence and courage to start up business. One needs to learn from gujaratis that how dedicated, courageous and intellect they are in any field they are working for . Truly inspirational.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Piyush Patil

    Exceptional book. Everyone has to read this book one time in life specially the people who thinks they are made for more with the life not for 9 to 5 job. This book includes stories of successful hard worker businessmen . At the start they haven't known anything about their business still on their intitution they were able to make successful enterprise over the globe.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Nanz

    I love this book. This book consists of short stories about the Gujurati community & their way of doing a business. This is truly an inspirational book. The language is easy to understand. Anyone who wants to start their business should read this book. I love this book. This book consists of short stories about the Gujurati community & their way of doing a business. This is truly an inspirational book. The language is easy to understand. Anyone who wants to start their business should read this book.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Mathew Nelluvely

    Not an academic study of Gujurati Modus Operandi Homosepian Gujuratensis are a herbivore species' of herd mentality mammalians often migrating large distances in search of fresher pastures in the western hemisphere.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Pramod Rps

    It clearly tells how Gujaratis people can turn the business into with their hard work and vision. It's great that it's there in their blood which makes even family members support the business in excelling.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Vipul Musani

    Good book to read for all enterprising people.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Yellapu Pramodh

    Nice journey of couple of like-spirited entrepreneurs which is quite enterprising. Great part is all of them started from zero and made themselves.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Chandresh J

    Good book for all new entrepreneurs

  20. 4 out of 5

    Supriya Kajjidoni

    Many of these stories are worth telling, no doubt. But I wish the author had done more. Many stories were so caught up in their own narrative that they forgot to be critical of themselves.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Sourabh Gupta

    This books has some good stories of some Gujarati businessman.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Rishikesh Ranjan

    It tells about how some Gujaratis have grown from rags to riches. It is well crafted and briefed to bring out the key learnings from their lifestories.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Imran Amin

    Who wants to know how Gujaratis do business

  24. 4 out of 5

    Rajesh Kumar

    After reading it u will know how gujratis do business.

  25. 4 out of 5

    ritupon deori

    How Gujaratis setup and expand their businesses? How hardships are fought, accepted and then turned into successful businesses. All explained in perspective of the people themselves..

  26. 4 out of 5

    Satya Nutella

    This is one of the most inspiring and interesting books I've read. It is a collection of short stories about successful Gujarati entrepreneurs who started with nothing. I loved the way the author begins each chapter with an interesting incident in the entrepreneur's life and then proceeds to explain the series of events that led to that incident. I didn't know Indians own a significant portion (55 percent at one point) of the hospitality business in the US! I wished the book talked a bit more ab This is one of the most inspiring and interesting books I've read. It is a collection of short stories about successful Gujarati entrepreneurs who started with nothing. I loved the way the author begins each chapter with an interesting incident in the entrepreneur's life and then proceeds to explain the series of events that led to that incident. I didn't know Indians own a significant portion (55 percent at one point) of the hospitality business in the US! I wished the book talked a bit more about the challenges and failures these people had along the way. But I still give it 5 stars!

  27. 5 out of 5

    Arkam Frz

    It's interesting to read how they achieved success with so much hard work and sacrifice.

  28. 5 out of 5

    VaultOfBooks

    By Shobha Bondre. Translated by Shalaka Walimbe. Grade: B+ As an ardent student of the subject and a budding entrepreneur, I have always been intrigued by the classic Indian habit of stereotyping ourselves. How our Punjabi’s are loud and brash and irreverent; the Madrasis are conservative and serious; the Baniyas are thrifty and wily. As recent forays into behavioural economics prove, most these traits are well deserved. Another such quirk is the enterprising nature of the Gujarati community, whi By Shobha Bondre. Translated by Shalaka Walimbe. Grade: B+ As an ardent student of the subject and a budding entrepreneur, I have always been intrigued by the classic Indian habit of stereotyping ourselves. How our Punjabi’s are loud and brash and irreverent; the Madrasis are conservative and serious; the Baniyas are thrifty and wily. As recent forays into behavioural economics prove, most these traits are well deserved. Another such quirk is the enterprising nature of the Gujarati community, which is what Marathi writer Shobha Bondre chronicles in Dhandha. To drive her point home, Shobha Bondre chooses five stellar examples: Bhimjibhai Patel (Diamonds Are Forever), Mohanbhai Patel (The Circle Of Life), Dalpatbhai Patel (Motelier Becomes Mayor), Jaydev Patel (Life Of A Salesman) and Hasu & Hersha Shah (Not Only Potels). All five share common traits. They came from less than privileged backgrounds and battle seemingly insurmountable obstacles. The support of their family through the especially rough times, and the faith placed in them, kept them grounded and away from temptation. Unexpected kindness from unexpected quarters altered their lives and perceptions, and kept them going when they would have given up. And lastly, hard work. Boy, did they toil. Pulling two jobs simultaneously, working for nineteen hours a day, breathing their work, and not cutting themselves some slack even when they deserved it, was pretty much the norm. Even when they could afford to, they did not stop and take a deep breath to appreciate what they’d accomplished. Zealous, driven, they only saw the miles they had to go before they could sleep. The message is simple: success is not a toss of the coin or lottery ticket. There are no short-cuts. If you want it, you have to pay the price. You have to bleed, and if you bleed enough, you will be rewarded. The effort would never go vain, even if the results take time to fruition. It’s powerfully motivating if you let it be. The foreword by Narendra Modi, and introduction by Amitabh Bachchhan only adds to its charm. The language is plain and simple, with no twists and meandering, delivered straight up in rudimentary English. Author Shobha Bondre brings in more humanity by exploring not only the point of view of the lead character, but also that of the family surrounding him. She takes care to showcase both the successes and the failures, even if the latter is more rose-tainted and quickly narrated. It’s not an intense, powerful all-knowing guide, but if you’re looking for a quick, dry read that will harden your fraying resolve and strengthen your faith in yourself – go for it. Originally reviewed at Vaultofbooks.com, a close-knit community of fanatical readers. We are looking for perceptive readers who can write well, and we are eager to provide lots of free books in exchange for reviews. Shoot us a mail at [email protected]

  29. 4 out of 5

    Ravish

    Amazing book on Gujratis and their style of doing business. Insider account of 5 Gujratis ranging from Diamond trader to Tube manufacturer to Salesman to Motelier(Mayor). Shobha Bondre has done a fabulous job on scripting stories of the individuals in a fashion of inspiring stories which they indeed are. The 5 people include 4 Patels and 1 Shah family :- Diamond trader = Bhimjibhai Patel Aluminium Tube manufacturer = Mohanbhai Patel Motelier-cum-Mayor = Dalpatbhai Patel New York Life Insurance TOP Ag Amazing book on Gujratis and their style of doing business. Insider account of 5 Gujratis ranging from Diamond trader to Tube manufacturer to Salesman to Motelier(Mayor). Shobha Bondre has done a fabulous job on scripting stories of the individuals in a fashion of inspiring stories which they indeed are. The 5 people include 4 Patels and 1 Shah family :- Diamond trader = Bhimjibhai Patel Aluminium Tube manufacturer = Mohanbhai Patel Motelier-cum-Mayor = Dalpatbhai Patel New York Life Insurance TOP Agent = Jaydev Patel Hotelier = Hasu & Hersha Shah All 5 stories are heart warming and totally inspiring to read. It envisages the fact that Gujratis are true entrepreneurs. I especially loved the story of Mohanbhai Patel who has established himself in India and in a particularly difficult sector of manufacturing. After reading his piece, I sat for a while imagining the life struggles this man has gone through and fought back. An absolute respect comes naturally for him. Other stories too are inspiring in terms that these people established themselves, being away from home and still attached to home through various initiatives like Jaydev who rebuilt 2 schools in his hometown. It is a heartwarming tale indeed. Thanks a lot Shobha.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Kamlesh Joshi

    I must say the most inspiring book I have ever read about Gujaratis. Dhandha- How Gujarati jumps in the business and work out it on the track and take it to the sky with no limit in his inbuild determination, perseverance, hardwork, courage and excellent business ability in any corner of the world. The new 5 names I have learned who have been invariably different mined business personnel and started in new horizon of the sight in United State of America. They have faced immense difficulties in th I must say the most inspiring book I have ever read about Gujaratis. Dhandha- How Gujarati jumps in the business and work out it on the track and take it to the sky with no limit in his inbuild determination, perseverance, hardwork, courage and excellent business ability in any corner of the world. The new 5 names I have learned who have been invariably different mined business personnel and started in new horizon of the sight in United State of America. They have faced immense difficulties in their life and solved them according to the situations. Thanks to Shobha Bondre who has already written it originally and translated by Shalaka Walimbe. If one really wants to be an entrepreneur, he suppose to read this book thoroughly and follow the prime principles given inside for making better future to achieve the excellence with immense satisfaction. All this would lead you if you follow the pattern that has been followed by Gujarati community. I am really proud to read this book and want to meet pastorally to some more people like Mohanbhai, Jadevbhai, Dalpatbahi, Bhimjibahi and Hasubhai. I would highly recommend this book to readers.

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