Book Review ~ The Mouse Charmers by Anuradha Goyal
The Mouse Charmers: Digital Pioneers of India
Before I started reading Anuradha Goyal’s “The Mouse Charmer: Digital Pioneers of India”, I went through some of the reviews that were already up on the internet. One reviewer suggested to keep a pencil in hand as the books contains lot of information. I followed the advise, but by the time I finished reading the book, I had landed up underlining almost the entire book!!!!
Anuradha’s Mouse Charmer is not just a bag full of information on the digital pioneers, but the story of India’s successful digital entrepreneurs put together in the most systematic and innovative way.
Anuradha, herself a pioneering blogger from India and successfully running three blogs for over a decade, covering diversified areas like travel, innovation and book reviews. In her book she shares the behind the scenes stories of successful digital enterprises like Flipkart, Zomato, Make My Trip, Indibloggers, etc.
Today, the urban Indian is well aware of the digital business and ordering things via the Flipkart or glancing through the menu in Zomato has been a daily routine for the netizens of India.
Only a few bother to think about the secret behind these successful online brands, this is where Anuradha’s, The Mouse Charmers, comes in. The story of successful people harnessing the power of the mouse and turning the ancient land of snake charmers to the modern land of mouse charmers.
Anuradha covered 12 digital entrepreneurs classifying them under 3 broad categories of Commerce, Content and Connectors, with 4 enterprises featuring in each.
In each case, there has been detailed discussion about the business plan and the technology platform used, but Anuradha, with her natural flair of English, has kept the discussion simple and avoided use of business and technical jargons as far as possible, thus making the book reader friendly.
The business model clearly describes the revenue model and usually contains a time line showing the enterprises growth. The business model also describes the strategies the company adopted in making the initial market penetration, but also in their long time survival and growth.
The book deals with adoptive measures like Cash on Delivery (CoD) model of Flipkart and Big Basket, the freemium (Free + Premium) model of Shaadi and the Studio, Network, Application and Portal (SNAP) model of Games 2 Win.
For the commerce section, Anuradha has discussed the huge logistic involved in the delivery of bulk products for Flipkart, highly perishable products of Big Basket to the highly expensive products of Carat Lane. In the content section, Anuradha mentions about the intricate network of Zomato’s menu upgradation system. In the connector section, the author discusses the steps taken by Shaadi to stop fake profiles.
The book also deals with the offline activities of the digital entrepreneurs, including stores of Make My Trip and showrooms of Carat Lane. The Carat Lane showrooms, are showrooms in the literally sense, as customer can only see and try out the product but buying still remains online.
The book contains a series of interesting statistical tables and screen shots. However, some of the screen shots are too small and are not quiet visible. But the debut novel by Anuradha, forwarded by none other than Sam Pitroda, is a must read not only for aspiring mouse charmers but every netizen, who look beyond their daily net usage.