Published: March 2020
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Irrationally Passionate reveals the inside story of how a rebel, train-wreck kid transformed himself into a successful young entrepreneur and business leader who became one of the top ten paid executives in India while only in his 30s. From getting his first job as an assistant to Jackie Chan in Hong Kong, to learning strategy from champion Muay Thai fighters in Thailand, to tackling huge personal setbacks, to becoming a CEO in 60 seconds, among many other stories – Jason’s inspiring journey across countries, industries and companies has something for everyone, right from students to entrepreneurs to corporate CEOs to even parents of students and entrepreneurs. Irrationally Passionate is a highly personal, authentic, open and complete account of a young entrepreneur’s life. Brimming with practical advice and philosophical insights, it will force readers to reflect on how they perceive life, work, family and spirituality by giving them a fresh perspective.
As an entrepreneur, I enjoy reading memoirs by industry leaders. I am particularly fond of reading case studies of turnaround stories. I had followed the story about Snapdeal’s revival. Irrationally Passionate: My Turnaround from Rebel to Entrepreneur by Jason Kothari promised insights from the turnaround expert and I was keen to read it.
The book grabs you from the word go and is tough to put down. One would expect a memoir of an entrepreneur to be full of industry jargon, statistics, and figures. On the contrary, the writing style is personal and easy to read. The book is straight from the heart and the author does not sugarcoat. It is a raw account of his journey from a bullied child to a troubled teen to his experiences as a Thai boxing trainee and finally a turnaround expert.
“No entrepreneur’s path is ever a straight line.
Setbacks are constant, disappointments guaranteed.”
The book can be broadly divided into two sections. The author’s personal life and his entrepreneurial journey. The narrative is linear where the author begins with his first bargain success in Agra at the age of six. Next, you are amazed by the business acumen of the schoolboy as he relates his success with the comic book trades.
Against well-intentioned advice, what inspires one to go all ahead to save a sinking business? It is the insights on his entrepreneurial journey from Valiant Entertainment, followed by Housing.com, Snapdeal, and FreeCharge makes the crux of the memoir. He shares some business truths and learnings along the way. As a business owner, I could relate to a lot of them. You cannot help but be taken in by the author’s drive and clarity of vision.
“Irrational passion is the fuel that empowers us to achieve beyond what we think is possible—and it taught me that it’s never too late for a turnaround.”
This book is not just for entrepreneurs. Jason Kothari includes a lot of life lessons that are universally applicable. It is a book for thought leaders, managers, and even parents too.
What can be considered the biggest takeaway of the book is where Jason Kothari shares seven golden pillars of an ideal start-up. These are not something out of the box. An established business model and scalability are essential for any startup. But as been proven with case studies, these essentials are not always a priority for the business owners. And often the reason for the downturn.
I enjoyed reading the book. It is not a one time read, but one that I would be returning to quite often. I highly recommend the book if you are an entrepreneur. If you are one on the crossroads to follow your passion, this book might just be the push you need.No entrepreneur's path is ever a straight line. Irrationally Passionate: My Turnaround from Rebel to Entrepreneur by Jason Kothari Book Review #BookReview @HarperCollinsIN Click To Tweet
About the author
Jason Kothari is a passionate entrepreneur and business turnaround leader. While still in college, he acquired the bankrupt US-based Valiant Entertainment and led its transformation as the CEO to the third-largest superhero entertainment company after Marvel and DC and a sale for $100 million, a record industry return. Subsequently, Jason was the CEO of Housing.com, where he led the transformation of the distressed company and a merger with News Corp’s PropTiger to create the $350 million industry leader. Following this, he was the Chief Strategy & Investment Officer of Snapdeal, where he played a lead role in transforming the distressed company from a monthly loss of over $20 million to a profit, the first for an Indian e-commerce company. Jason was also the CEO of FreeCharge, where he led the sale of the company to Axis Bank for $60 million. In addition, he has been a senior advisor to Softbank; Noon.com, a Middle Eastern e-commerce company that has raised $1 billion; and is a Board Director of Emaar India, which has over $2 billion in real estate assets. He is also an Executive Producer of Bloodshot (Sony Pictures) starring Vin Diesel. Jason holds a B.S. from The Wharton School and lives in Mumbai.
This review has been wriiten as a part of the BlogAdda Book Review Program. All opinions are my own.
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Image by Garik Barseghyan from Pixabay
June 15, 2020 @ 10:27 am
There are so many endearing and inspirational stories that we are never aware of. Had I not stumbled upon your book review I may never have known of Jason Kothari. Thank you for bringing these stories out in the open.
June 15, 2020 @ 10:48 am
My pleasure Sonia. They are so many such stories out there. Snapdeal’s turnaround was all over the news, but I had no idea how instrumental Jason Kothari was in it.