The Reluctant Billionaire: How Dilip Shanghvi became the Richest Self-Made Indian

On Friday, 22nd October 2021, NMIMS Bengaluru campus hosted a Book Talk event, a monthly event of NMIMS University featuring the biography “The Reluctant Billionaire:  How Dilip Shanghvi became the Richest Self-Made Indian,” authored by Ms. Soma Das. The book lends itself to an effortless read because of its episodic nature. The session was moderated by Dr. Narayani Ramachandran (SBM, Bengaluru) and Dr. Madhavi Gokhale (SBM, Mumbai). The protagonist- the reluctant billionaire – Shri Dilip Shanghvi, and the author Ms. Soma Das graced the event through their involved participation.
The book showcases the meteoric rise of this great business empire. A lucid narration of the key pointers on what built the Sun Empire – high drive, forgiveness and allowing mistakes, unconventional thinking, keeping the flock together by valuing loyalty, and always prioritizing long-term over short-term gains.
During the talk, Shri Dilip Shanghvi suggested that students focus on short-term execution and long-term opportunity. He also emphasized how learning is a lifelong activity, and one can learn not only from books but also by observing people and their behaviour.  He explained how he uses feedback as a tool not to miss the opportunity to correct mistakes.  While detailing the Indian Pharma Industry requirements to become a global giant, he emphasised the necessity of product discovery and required changes in the regulatory framework for clinical trials. With the rise of private equity and venture capital in the capital markets, investors are currently willing to take up high-risk projects with the expectation of high returns. In the pharma industry, one product discovery will feed in for multiple product discovery failures.
Ms.Soma Das eloquently narrated her journey of authoring the book and enriched the discussion with her quips and incidents; she also extolled Mr. Shanghvi’s modest lifestyle and philosophy. The audience asked several questions related to Shri Shanghvi’s aspirations, struggles, and the life lessons he has gleaned.
The event attracted more than four hundred active participants. The gripping narration and powerful story-telling of the book merits a read. And the story of Shri Dilip Shanghvi is a must-know for all aspiring young Indian minds who wish to follow a higher purpose in life and work.

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