Book Review: No Shortcuts by Nistha Tripathi



Genre: Non-Fiction

Publishers: SAGE Publications

Price: Rs. 395/- (I got the book for review from the author)

Behind the Book

Ranked 100th among 190 countries for ease of doing business, India is not the choicest place for start-ups. Only a handful of founders have been able to beat the odds. What’s in their journey that can be dissected and emulated?

This curiosity led Nistha Tripathi to pursue these founders, who rose from humble beginnings yet made a dent in the Indian start-up universe, including a couple of founders from the Silicon Valley. This book is a record of her 18-month odyssey.

In her incisive one-on-one interviews with 15 ambitious founders from India, including Girish Mathrubootham, Nithin Kamath, Jaydeep Barman, Gaurav Munjal and Tarun Mehta among others, Nistha uncovers the decisions and insights that led these start-up founders to find their unique roadmap to success.

One thing underlined all the stories—the founders’ belief in ‘No Shortcuts’.

Read the never-heard stories of Freshworks, Faasos, Unacademy, Zerodha, Slideshare, Pulse, Aspiring Minds, Madhouse/Morpheus, Akosha, Ather Energy, Instablogs, Greyb, LikeaLittle, Wingify and Fashiate.


Nistha’s first-person stories make vivid the effervescence that characterizes entrepreneurship in modern India – the twists and turns, the ups and downs, the creativity and sheer exhilaration. Read and enjoy!

(Prof Tarun Khanna, Harvard Business School Jorge Paulo Lemann Professor, Harvard Business School; Director, Lakshmi Mittal South Asia Institute, Harvard University)

Entrepreneurs rarely open up as candidly as Nistha has gotten them to. Kudos to her

(Allwin Agnel, Allwin Agnel, Founder/CEO at

Indian startup ecosystem needs relatable inspiration and this book brings that. While it is fascinating to read about Jobs, Musk, Gates, and Zuckerberg, our entrepreneurs can learn more from home-grown entrepreneurs whose challenges and approaches are much relevant to our business models. I was especially fascinated to read the story of Girish Mathrubootham.

(Balaji Viswanathan, CEO at Invento, Most follower writer on Quora)

A fascinating peep into the struggles and successes of varied start-ups that lucidly brings out the diversity of experiences and provides a nuanced introduction to entrepreneurial processes.

(Rakesh Basant, Professor of Economics, IIM Ahmedabad)

“This is a “must read” for all entrepreneurs. Nistha has truly captured an authentic perspective of what it takes to build companies in India!“

(Prashant Mehta, Partner, Lightbox)

I worked with Nistha for several years—she has a tremendous intellect and a fearless entrepreneurial spirit. This will be a fun read!

(Ken Wilson, CEO, Tower Research Capital Markets)

The Indian flavour of entrepreneurship is as creative, vibrant and colourful as the country itself. Part textbook and part tour guide, No Shortcuts captures that flavour in a way that delivers both generalizable lessons and insights into the unique character of Indian entrepreneurs in their environment.

(Stuart Read, Professor, Willamette University)

Entrepreneurship can be a lonely journey, and while every entrepreneur learns valuable lessons each day, not everyone’s story comes out to inspire others. These stories are important for all aspiring entrepreneurs in the journey. Nistha has done a great job there. A must-read!

(Ashish Tulsian, CEO at POSist)

About the Author

A successful Wall Street professional and early employee in Manhattan startups, Nistha returned to India in 2012 to start her own Indian entrepreneurial journey. After a couple of attempts, she found success in Scholar Strategy, an education counseling company that prides itself in helping 100s of students getting into top universities across the world including Harvard and MIT. This unique lifestyle business allows Nistha to work only 6 months a year, spending the remaining time traveling and writing.

Her first novel, Seven Conversations, interpreted Bhagvad Gita in a modern context and gathered rave reviews. With 32,000+ followers, and 4.5M+ views on her answers on the popular American QnA based website, Quora, Nistha writes extensively on careers, entrepreneurship and pursuing one’s passion. Her articles have appeared on Entrepreneur, Times, DailyO, DNA, Tribune and other leading media outlets.

Previously, she studied Computer Science at University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign and dropped out of MBA program at NYU Stern where she organized Stern’s first Entrepreneurship Summit inviting the likes of Seth Godin.

Apart from running Scholar Strategy, she conducts aspirational talks for students and writing workshops for bloggers.

When the author approached me for a review of this book, I was impressed with both, her and ofcourse the book. She comes across as someone who is extremely passionate about the entrepreneurial aspect. In her book, she manages to bring forward her passion merged with the passion of so many other entrepreneurs to deliver an unforgettable experience for the reader. This book feels more like a booster shot for anyone and everyone who is looking for motivation in their long and at times tiring journey towards being a successful entrepreneur.

Written in first person, the anecdotes and experiences feel surreal. They give you goosebumps as you get the witness the raw power of one's determination and how far can one go to fulfill their dreams if one decides to chase them. Like Paulo Coelho had rightly said ,'If you aspire for something wholeheartedly, then the whole Universe conspires to make it happen for you." Made immortal by Shah Rukh Khan in Om Shanti Om, these lines have defined the true spirit of dreamers for years now and this book is like a testimonial on the power of dreamers who aspire to inspire in every single word.

What an interesting line up of interviews of entrepreneurs! When someone is successful, we always see their success and automatically conclude how lucky they are. What we fail to notice is their hard work and all the struggles they went through before this. This book allows you to have a close glimpse into their life. Their struggles, their journey, ideas, progress, failures and everything that led to them being what they are today. It is truly inspiring and motivates all entrepreneurs who are looking for a sign to stride ahead.

The author has kept the language extremely lucid without using any difficult jargons to make it an easy read, not only to understand but also to interpret. I read it and re-read it, while I am also sure I will keep going back to it every time I feel I need some motivation to keep moving ahead despite the road blocks that come my way.

Strongly recommended, to all entrepreneurs and aspiring to be ones! This is a must have on your shelf.

Foodie Verdict

This book is like Malai Pyaz Sabji- consists of simple ingredients but tastes delectable.