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Wednesday, June 26, 2013

How I Braved Anu Aunty and Co-founded A Million Dollar Company by Varun Agarwal

Title: How I Braved Anu Aunty and Co-founded A Million Dollar Company 
Author: Varun Agarwal 
Publisher: Rupa Publication India  
Genre: Non-Fiction/Humor
Date:  2012
Price: Rs. 140
Pages: 256

First of all I would like to thank the author Varun Agarwal for sending me a copy when I expressed my interest to read the book. It was one of the coolest reads of my life with the flavours of humor, thrill of a true story and lessons on entrepreneurship.

Snapshot:  This is the story of Varun himself and his journey to establishing "Alma Mater", his million dollar company, against the advises of Indian parents and society projected by the 
character of Anu Aunty.

The Story from Critics Perspective: 
To begin with the coverpage is brilliant and eyecatching, I am sure anyone who saw it and read the title will sure pick up the book. So this is the story of varun, a cool guy, not brilliant in academics but has a mind of his own and is the street-smart type. Varun doesnt want a job where his interests dont lie, though most of his friends appear for entrances, opt for jobs, go abroad for higher studies, Varun has something else on mind - Entrepreneurship.

Also let me tell you this story is set in 2009, when e-commerce just started and flipkart wasnt an integral part of our lives as today, so imagine what would happen when nobody understands what you did? That was Varun's life.

Starting from the start, one day on a friends get-to-gather Varun decides to talk to his friend Mal, who is his most enterprising friend and obvious choice as a partner for his business idea. Mal likes the idea, which is making customised Hoodies and T-shirts for college and students. They chalk out a rough plan and decide to test their idea at the reunion or Old Boys Day at their own school Bishop cotton Boys. The idea is loved by everyone and they run out of hoodies and hence is born -Alma Mater.

This incident gives them confidence to proceed and they start making these hoodies for different schoold. Oh now if you thought Varun's parents are happy with it. NO, hold it there. Like every Indian parent his mom too wishes that he gets a high paying job and gets settled. Though India is one country which has produced the most successful and exemplery entrepreneurs, this career track is not what parents want their kids to choose.

So Varun hides it from her what he does. On the other hand how can we forget, we live in a society and are bound by its rules and more often people. So there comes the aunties or those people who have nothing great to do with their lives but compare themselves with other women, gossip and see whose son earns most. The head of these aunties or the icon of a group of such people is Anu Aunty. 

Anu Aunty- the ring leader of the group of all kitty party aunties, the proud mother of a son who was good at studies in school and earns well in a 9-5 job, gives his mother all his salary, and someone who thinks she is "the know it all". She makes sure she knows what is going on with everyone around her.

She helps Varun's mom fix up a job for him, right when alma mater begins and there begins their first problem. However crossing each step one at a time they begin doing decenty well. This story is not just about the ups and downs in varun's life with Alma Mater but its about life which always has ingredients of friendship, of love. Ofcourse it is the road to being the coolest and the most versatile being called - Entrepreneur fighting Anu Aunty. The best thing Varun says is the title does look cool but these are people who do all sorts of odd jobs to the most important ones for their company. 
Read it to enjoy and learn little yet important things about starting a company.

The Review:

Positives: Hilarious and educating.

Negatives: The Mother Swear chaper was just not needed.

The Verdict: A must read for everyone who is about to startup, You will certainly be motivated and get some of the most useful gyaan while enjoying varun's fight with Anu Aunty. Even if you aren't going to be one read it for fun. 4 stars on 5.

About the Author:
Varun Agarwal is a 25 year old Indian author, entrepreneur, photographer, and filmmaker. The author did his schooling from Bishop Cotton, Bangalore, and holds a BE degree in Telecommunication. His start-ups are Alma Mater, Reticular, a social media marketing company, and Last Minute Films, a film production house. Agarwal used to write blog posts on Facebook which became very popular. He sent a few articles to Rupa Publishers, who later asked him for a complete manuscript. This is how his debut book was born.


  1. Is this book is available for a review?
    Title: How I Braved Anu Aunty and Co-founded A Million Dollar Company
    Author: Varun Agarwal