Jan 05

Book ImageWhy can’t a bania play hockey or football for India? Because every time he gets a corner, he builds a shop! The Buck Stops Here begins with these lines and they grab your attention immediately. The book narrates the journey traversed by Guardian Pharmacy, India’s second largest pharmacy retail chain that started with a simple ingredient: the power of dreams. The founder, Ashutosh Garg made a bold transition after 25 years as a top manager into an entrepreneur. The book is a must read for all budding entrepreneurs and will motivate dormant entrepreneurs to take the plunge.
Garg’s life epitomizes the phrase, ‘The Buck Stops Here’, made famous by US President Harry S. Truman. At his first job as Credit Manager at ITC Maurya Shertaon, he shot off a ‘pay up or else’ reminder to a very important customer, since it was his responsibility to do so, it’s another matter that he had to then camp outside the customer’s house to prevent the postman from delivering the letter, or else he would have been fired from his job for having done his job.
The book blends the rich and varied experience of the author, highlighting his joys, frustrations, successes and failures. From being chastised by his boss, ‘When I call you, I expect you to drop all other calls and speak to me immediately’, to his son asking him, ‘How can you build a business waiting for people to fall sick?’

Being a first generation entrepreneur, Garg had to learn a lot of things all by himself. But, he isn’t shy to admit the mistakes made by him during his entrepreneurial journey. He is as fallible as any one of us, but he admits his mistake, dusts it off, moves on and makes a note of the lesson learned. This sets him apart from others, because there is no post-mortem involved and he has been able to keep his sense of humour intact through all this.

The Buck Stops Here is full of anecdotes and lessons from real life that will guide and prepare the reader to recognize hidden opportunities and identify dead-ends on the road to building a new business that can be scaled up into a nationwide business. The author isn’t shy to divulge his quirks either. Two of his significant acquisitions are: a plot of land on the moon and a piece of the Berlin wall. All in all the book is a must read for anyone harboring entrepreneurial ambitions as it is strewn with many quick tips and watch-outs from his personal learning journey.

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