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Founder's Office

Founder's Office

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What separates great business leaders from the average is largely their ability to take the right decisions more often. And one way to become better at that is by having enough information to guide those decisions.

Sarthak Ahuja works closely with entrepreneurs of all kinds and is one himself. He reads and researches extensively on business and masterfully connects conventional wisdom to the present context.

This book is a collection of actionable insights across leadership, business finance, marketing, pricing, and startups.

With 150 crisp chapters, the reader can pick and choose topics to read based on their interest and need. Every page is structured to provide value regardless of the order of chapters or sections. It’s a perfect companion for the busy and ambitious professional.

 

About the Author: Sarthak Ahuja

Sarthak Ahuja has over a decade of experience in startup advisory. He is a Chartered Account and a Gold Medalist from the Indian School of Business.

As an investment banker, he’s worked with companies in SaaS, eCommerce, and D2C, in industries such as FinTech, EdTech, Gaming, Healthcare, and F&B, among others. He’s also an Executive Coach and a faculty of M&A at top-tier business schools in India.

He creates educational content for the founder community on his social media platforms with a combined following of over 425K as of June 2023.

He is also the author of Daily Coffee & Startup Fundraising, a detailed guide on starting up and raising funds in India and the Middle East.

You can follow him on LinkedIn and on his Instagram handle @casarthakahuja.

 From the author: "This book is a collection of 150 impactful lessons I’ve collated over the 11 years of working with organizations of different sizes and through an extensive study on business in general.

Treat it like a deck of cards with each containing a useful note, rather than one long book you need to read in order."

The book is divided into 5 parts.

Part 1 - Leadership: Taking the Right Decisions

The first section of the book covers general business concepts and frameworks. You may have come across some of them yourself - Porter’s 5 Forces, the concept of moat, red ocean vs. blue ocean, and more. And there would be others which you may not have seen earlier - like a framework for luck, or calculating the number of freeloaders in your company.

Broadly, the goal of this section is to provide food for thought to any entrepreneur, leader, or manager, give them new perspectives, and help them build better strategic muscle.

Part 2 - Business Finance: Measure What Matters

“If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it.” This is a quote mostly attributed to the famed management guru Peter Drucker. Although there may be others who claim it, the point is that it’s true. You indeed can’t improve something you don’t measure and track frequently.

In this section, the author has collated notes on topics related to measuring the right things the right way. Some chapters are about plain, hard metrics that every business must track, and there are others that are more guiding principles on specifc topics.

This section will equip you with the right approach towards measuring data. The specific lessons will help you build the right mindset about measuring what matters.

 Part 3 - Sales & Marketing: Let Them Know, Make Them Buy

“The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well the product or service fits them perfectly and sells itself.” - Peter Drucker (again).

Marketing is a perfect combination of art and science. It’s equally a game of numbers and creativity, and the two are almost always connected. This is one department of the organization that needs to have a healthy diversity of individuals and backgrounds to obtain the best results. Ultimately, good marketing is the difference between a customer paying a premium for the same product that may have otherwise sold at par with its alternatives.

This section contains some fascinating insights into marketing, consumer behaviour, branding, and pricing. Like other sections, we haven’t explained the basics of sales and marketing that get taught in colleges but covered a lot of things that colleges should teach but don’t.

Part 4 - Startup Notes: Things Startups Go Through

Being a founder of a startup and making it successful is one of the hardest things for any professional to accomplish. Although it’s impossible to predict every challenge that can arise, everyone can still consume wisdom from people and resources around and give themselves the best chance to succeed.

In this section, the author collated some interesting insights about building a startup without going into the details. The topics range across idea generation, market size, product building, marketing, and a few other fascinating theories. Treat this section like a collection of startup notes which most founders and leaders wouldn’t have come across elsewhere. While the author's last book, Daily Coffee & Startup Fundraising, helped you understand startups and fundraising in detail, this section is like the revision notes that keep you afloat and stimulated.

Note that neither can be interchanged with the other, and whether or not you have read the author's first book, you will find value here regardless.

Part 5 - Fundraising: Getting Money in the Bank

This section is dedicated to various aspects of fundraising. Although this is still largely a startup subject, the author has kept the topic of VCs, valuations, pitch decks, legalities, and things specific to raising money separate.

This section is similar to the previous one on Startups, just that the subset has been reduced to topics related to fundraising. You’ll find actionable insights on things to do across your fundraising journey - before you approach investors, while talking to investors, and after you get a term sheet. Some of the chapters will help you understand how VCs think and evaluate and help you prepare accordingly. And there are a few highlighting the pitfalls founders tend to fall into during their fundraising journey.

Bonus: A list of 20 books that the author, Sarthak Ahuja, highly recommends to learn about frameworks for scaling up your business.

Details:

  1. Release date: 5th July 2023
  2. Pages: 280
  3. ISBN 978-81-962223-6-9
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