The winner was selected from an eclectic and compelling shortlist of five books, showcasing the vibrant Indian business ecosystem.
Established in 2019 by Gaja Capital, a leading private equity firm, the Gaja Capital Business Book Prize is one of the leading initiatives connecting the world of business and writing. With a purse of Rs 15 lakh for the winner, it is the biggest business book prize in the country to honour authors and their chronicles celebrating the spirit of entrepreneurship in India.
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. After spending long hours deliberating over and debating the books, the jury came to a unanimous decision of awarding Amrit Raj and his book, Indian Icon: A Cult called Royal Enfield as the winner of the Gaja Book Prize 2021. Indian Icon is a fast-paced, engaging, and well-researched title, and Raj has been spot-on in his analysis of how a rare global brand from India was built, unbiased in his criticism and balanced in his praise.”
The 2021 shortlist consisted of a diverse range of stories of enterprises and their protagonists including, the remarkable story of a titan, Azim Premji: The Man Beyond the Billions by Sundeep Khanna and Varun Sood; the rise and fall of a financial superstar, Yes Man: The Untold Story of Rana Kapoor by Pavan Lall; the making of a global Indian brand, Indian Icon: A Cult Called Royal Enfield by Amrit Raj; and agenda for the Indian banking system: Overdraft: Saving the Indian Saver by Urjit Patel; and the story of a rare manufacturing success at scale: Getting Competitive: A Practitioner's Guide for India by RC Bhargava.
While the Royal Enfield brand has been well known for decades, very little has been known about the people and the company behind it. The book narrates the drama and the action that created a premium home-grown consumer brand for the Indian and global markets. Extensive coverage has been done of the brand, the company, and the individuals over the last few decades. The book also captures well the clash of Royal Enfield’s old guard with the new management, and details vividly the events that led to dramatic changes in the company and its business. The mystery of this cult brand has been narrated with lots of inputs from people associated with the brand in both official as well as unofficial capacities. The author has made the effort to talk to key players in the brand's history and many of bike’s lovers.