From Ajit Balakrishnan, the founder of rediff.com, a fascinating account on the dawn of Information
15 October, 2012, Mumbai: Pan Macmillan India is delighted to announce the publication of Ajit Balakrishnan’s book The Wave Rider this month. Filled with personal anecdotes, The Wave Rider provides a window into a successful entrepreneur’s life and times, someone who has been on the cutting edge of technology. It chronicles the journey of how the dot-com fever that gripped the industry to where the internet is today.
In 1995, Ajit Balakrishnan was quietly experimenting with fascinating technologies of the Internet a time when the dot-com fever gripped the world. Venture capitalists, investment bankers and lawyers pounded at the doors of his tiny office in a low-rent area of Mumbai urging him to take his company public on New York’s NASDAQ stock market. Balakrishnan sets out on this enterprise and a path that has taken him through the world’s financial centers of London, Hamburg, New York, Boston and San Francisco.
The story recounts on how he battled adversaries many times his size; fends off avaricious lawyers who tried to extort money through class action suits in the tough courts of lower Manhattan; rebuffs investment bankers who tried to engineer the sale of his company; and tries to make sense of a world where technology and business models change every few months.
He steads his company through the financial crashes of 2000 and 2008; watches in awe as terrorists bring down New York’s World Trade Centre towers; puzzles over the decline of once famous names such as AOL and Netscape and the rise of new behemoths like Facebook and Google; wrestles with India’s legal system; and pushes to bring Rediff into the new world of the Internet. Gradually, he realizes that the battles he is part of are not just business battles – they signal the dawn of the Information Age.
Speaking on the forthcoming publication of his book Ajit Balakrishnan says, ‘I hope this book will be of use for anyone one who is thinking about the emergence of the Information Age and the changes to society that it will entail. I do hope that it will also interest people who study and think about entrepreneurship.’
Saugata Mukherjee, Publisher, Pan Macmillan India adds ‘Ajit Balakrishnan is a visionary in the world of Internet related businesses and in his book he gives us a peek into mind of an entrepreneur working against all odds. The Wave Rider takes us back to a time when the Internet industry was taking baby steps while discussing the challenges that lie ahead of us in the era of Facebook and Google. It’s not a just book which tells us about the workings of a business and gives us an insider’s view but also highlights the indomitable spirit of the new Indian. A must read for all readers of creative non-fiction!’
About the author
Ajit Balakrishnan is the founder and CEO of rediff.com, a pioneering Internet company with its head office in Mumbai and which trades on New York’s NASDAQ stock market.
He is a graduate of the Indian Institute of Management Calcutta, where he is presently Chairman of the Board of Governors.
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