By Vidya Kabadi
Sir, i am really honored to find you on LinkedIn and get connected with you. I recently read your book “Underdog thinking” and i have to say, i am really impressed with your book sir . You are such an inspiration to everyone, i have reviewed the book, i will try my best to suggest this book for most of the people. The whole journey which you have mentioned, just triggers and teaches so many things. Thank you so much for such a good book sir. I tried searching you on other social media but i couldn’t find you. I urge you to give lessons to people like us, so it would help us
Thank you sir
I hope you read my few words for you❤️
“Underdog Thinking by Atul Vir is an inspiring story. The book talks about the author’s struggle to build a business from scratch. The story is divided into 20 chapters, and they are very well-organised.
The story follows the author as he shifts from India to Europe in order to build his career. He then gets a job at a company in Africa. This company had a downfall because his boss was reluctant to pay attention to any of the suggestions made by the employees. Following this tragic event, Atul moves to New York. He was unable to find any job there as a result of which, he moved to Texas and after a lot of research and market analysis, he started his own company.
The thing that I liked the most in this story was its honesty. Unlike other books on entrepreneurship, this book doesn’t paint an image of immense wealth and overnight success. This book has portrayed the struggle and risk involved in starting your own business. The writer makes you aware that you need to make sacrifices to take your business to the next level.
I’ll rate this book 4 out of 4 stars. I absolutely loved this book. It is inspiring and reiterates the fact that success cannot be achieved overnight. I also liked the narration style of the writer. The pace of the book changes according to the circumstances. When the writer talks about not finding a job in New York, you can feel the uncertainty and pain in the narration. If you are looking for a fast-paced story, then this isn’t the book for you. I did not have any problem with the pace of the story, so I’ll not reduce the rating. There wasn’t anything that I could dislike in this story.
Another thing that I noticed was that the author hasn’t filled the book with industry terminologies. This helps the readers to continue reading without being overburdened with terminologies. The motivational quote placed at the beginning of every chapter is very useful and helps to motivate the readers even more.
I did not find any errors in this book. I felt that the book was well-edited. I’ll suggest this book to budding entrepreneurs and also to people who love to read about the journey of various companies. After reading this story, I feel more alert and open-minded to grasp any new opportunity that comes my way.
I hope you can absorb the lessons from this book and use them in your daily life.“.
By mohamed benziane
“The book Underdog thinking is a gripping biography of both a business and its owner, Atul Vir has been dreaming about living in Africa since he was a child, now after he has been living there thriving for a few years, things happened that made him determine that it’s not for his best interest to stay, so he immigrates to America, the land of dreams, however as soon as he arrives life slaps him on the face, so he decides it’s time to take matters into his own hands and start a business of his own. Atul tells his journey of the unexpected undulations in entrepreneurship, the shocking crumbles, betrayals, the sudden turn of events that changes what though to be a head-turning evolution into an unimaginable downturn. He also recounts that; with every failure, there is a success, sooner or later, the important thing is that you don’t give up and surrender but fight your way to the top.
I enjoyed the book Underdog Thinking, it has a very meaningful story of perseverance, integrity, and hardship, it is a story of possibilities for people who follow through, and never give up on their dreams no matter what happens, he ensures that anyone will succeed, even if it takes a long time, you will eventually get where you want. The author has done an exceptional job telling the tale that is based on his life to the smallest detail, it is fascinating how he never gave up or gave in to anything even though he went through any and every problem you could think of, he is definitely a person to look up to and admire.
I can’t say that there were things that I didn’t like about the book because it is based on a real story, and actual true events, not fiction, nor made-up information. Self-help books are made of facts, experiences, and opinions of people, that’s why it’s not appropriate to judge them from a negative point in my opinion.
I would rate this book a 4 out of 4 because it is an inspiring true story that the author was courageous enough to tell, he chose the ladder of success, and he rode it even though he stumbled and fell many times, but he always stood up and started climbing again until he reached the top, and that is incredible.
I recommended this book to all readers of all ages who are mature enough to start working on their own, it is a fascinating book filled with lessons learned, mistakes to avoid, and advice. The book has no profanity whatsoever, nor any religious or sexual content, so it is appropriate for everyone who wants to gain knowledge, as they say, “better to ask someone who tried rather than a doctor”.
“Underdog Thinking by Atul Vir recounts the author’s entrepreneurial journey as an Indian immigrant who became an American business owner. Despite his experience working for an international import business, Vir struggled to find a company that would give him a chance upon arriving in the United States. From the beginning, Vir was determined to prove the naysayers wrong, including one potential employer who told him that he didn’t know a thing about American business.
Instead of continuing to pursue a position as a corporate employee, Vir started his own company. His goal was to bring the combo washing machine/dryer to the United States and popularize it, which turned out to be much easier said than done. Along the way, he overcame multiple setbacks to build and maintain a successful company without compromising on his values.
Atul Vir compellingly tells the story of his business. Who knew there could be so much drama and suspense in a story about selling washing machines! Vir recounts how the idea took shape and how his vision became a reality with the help of many people who supported him at just the right moment along the way. His path was not without challenges, of course, and reading about how Vir overcame setback after setback makes for an inspiring story. His treatment at the hands of disloyal distributors and other unscrupulous business partners nearly ruined his company, requiring him to bring his business back from the brink when all seemed lost. Despite his mistreatment, Vir refused to compromise on his values and continued to do right by his customers even when it cost him personally. His story demonstrates the power of persistence and the importance of remaining true to one’s values, honesty, and integrity.
The book’s first half was effective and well-paced, but the second half suffered from some repetitiveness. Understandably, Vir was deeply affected when dishonest companies and individuals betrayed him; however, the betrayal story is retold several times without introducing new insights. The book also suffers from formatting errors that are likely not the author’s fault and could be related to compatibility issues with Kindle, such as extra spaces within some sentences and inconsistent spacing of headings.
I rate this book 3 out of 4 stars. It is an inspiring read that demonstrates the power of persistence and the importance of maintaining one’s values even in the face of adversity. The repetitive portions caused me to deduct one star, but don’t let that stop you from picking up this book if you enjoy business stories with a well-written narrative. Atul Vir’s advice is excellent for business leaders and would-be entrepreneurs alike.“
By Shreeya Tambe
“Underdog Thinking by Atul Vir, chronicles the incredible story of an Indian immigrant who aspired to build his own company. I discovered a fantastic success story in this book, along with valuable business lessons on overcoming severe hurdles that one may experience when starting a business. Underdog Thinking is an instructive and valuable book for anyone interested in learning about corporate ethics, integrity, customer trust, and commitment to customer service, as well as the desire for creativity.
Atul Vir describes how, as an Indian immigrant, he rose to become the CEO of a company and remained in that position for more than 25 years. It’s a unique piece of writing that encourages and urges readers to make the most of a situation. This book proves that there is a way where there is a will. One can learn not only how to start a business, but also how to compete against larger corporations. Along the way, the author teaches concepts that can be implemented by business owners. It serves as both a fun narrative and a practical business guide. This book is a proof that one can succeed in a task with the right amount of determination, perseverance and hard work. The book, occasionally, has beautiful quotes which really teach you important lessons, not just related to entrepreneurship, but also about life!
Life, as we all know, is full of the unknowns. Atul Vir almost lost his business due to some unforeseeable situations. The author’s writing style, business lessons, and decision to write about every bump in the road he encountered, were all excellent. Atul Vir dared to vent his anguish, frustration, and each and every headache he had to deal with. He never lost faith in his customers, despite the hardships. Customers were, as they should be, the most important aspect of his company, and one can see how it contributed to his success. The most important lesson learned from the author’s life is to “Never Give Up”. The book has a lucid language and is also free of any mistakes. The author’s strive for perfection is reflected in the book’s writing quality.
The readers are left with a vivid sense of Atul Vir’s resilience, enthusiasm for entrepreneurship, and pure fighting spirit. The book is a testament, also, to the human soul. What one gets out of life is directly proportional to what one puts in, underscoring the axiom that the journey is far more essential than the destination. This is an excellent read for aspiring entrepreneurs. In giving the book a rating, I considered the author’s strong messages and the ease with which they are conveyed. Therefore, I decided on four out of four stars.
Underdog Thinking by Atul Vir is an inspiration. If you’re thinking about starting a business but don’t have any business experience or education, you can read this to obtain a rough notion. The author’s life in this book has been an awe-inspiring journey, full of adventure. This is an immigrant’s journey out of his homeland, and it is never simple. Atul Vir demonstrates that in order to succeed in another country, one must be persistent. The author failed countless times before building a massive empire, but when his destiny arrived, he took full charge of it. This book is not just for entrepreneurs; everybody who wants to achieve anything or work hard to obtain something should read it. Underdog Thinking an excellent book, you won’t be able to keep it down.“
By Poojitha Borra
“Many flow with the force of stream when it comes to choosing a career since it’s safe and there is less unknown. Very few go against the flow, and further, emerge victoriously. Underdog Thinking is one such story that belongs to the latter. The story is about Atul Vir, the writer himself. Despite coming from a strict and structured family background in India he turned the tables and this is his journey to entrepreneurship. Odyssey of different cultures, “never give up” motto, being blindsided, and rising from the ashes. A very raw and genuine story facing the turbulence of entrepreneurship head-on.
This book made me experience the vibrant culture of several different countries like Africa and China to name a few, through their way of doing business and how important it is for the business functioning as well. Getting insight into Atul’s business from humble beginnings by a powerful thought, keen observation, necessity, promptness, and pursuit of perfection is inspiring and moving in many ways. I am surprised by the amount of engineering and heavy lifting that goes into making a combo washing machine and what it takes to bring a product from idea to shelf. I have found newfound respect for every electrical appliance. I learned several life lessons that have been beautifully laid throughout the book as one follows along his journey.
In terms of narration, characters, and writing, there is little to criticize here. Personally, would have liked to know how Atul’s wife and children coped during difficult times and their thought processes. As a curious person, I would have liked to know elaborately the reasoning behind the decisions taken, such as not looking for a better manufacturer quickly.
The way the chapters are structured is nice and adorned with catchy well-thought-out headings. This book reading felt like an amazing rollercoaster ride filled with highs, lows, and obstacles. The experiences narrated have valuable wisdom. In the true sense, anything that’s forever constant is “change” itself, and continuous innovation is the only way for any industry to thrive. There was never a dull moment in the book. I got a lot of insight into the cold business world, how deals are made and how loyalty is not easy to forge between people. I am elated to give this book a well-deserved 4 out of 4 stars.
There is no profanity in the book and is exceptionally well-edited. For people who are into entrepreneurship, business in general, personality development, looking for an inspiring or a great come back story to read, this book has you covered.
By Dhanya Nambiar
“Atul Vir’s Underdog Thinking is his partial autobiography of being an entrepreneur in a foreign country. Atul comes from India, with a full-fledged dream to have an adventure while exploring various cultures and traditions; this strong sense of adventure has led him to a continent that is known for its diverse and vibrant culture—Africa. He works in an import-export company in Nigeria, interacts with different people and regions, and leads the company to new heights. Then, suddenly he loses his job. To survive and take care of his family, he decides to move to the United States, hoping to find a job. But his hopes were shattered and he was rejected again and again; not ready to accept failure, he started his own company. His life then turns interesting almost as if a novel—his drive to succeed, hard work and innovation give him the highs in business, but when he was the least expecting gets betrayed and backstabbed, which almost destroys his business and reputation, making him almost a recluse and depressed. However, he bounces back, seizes the opportunity before him, and carefully rebuilds what had been destroyed. So basically, Underdog Thinking is the story of Atul Vir, who begins a new journey, steering alone, creating bonds and relationships, tasting sweet success and then the bitterness of life yet moving forward determined without losing his vision.
Underdog Thinking as the title says is exactly that. The book narrates an interesting ‘come back’ story. To learn about the vast amount of hard work, innovation and precision behind the development of a washing machine were quite enlightening; this made me think about all the new technologies in a new light. I appreciate that the author underlined the importance and the impacts of having ethics and trust and then the lack thereof. On reading the book, one can understand the importance of such values, as they can build and destroy someone without a moment’s notice. One of the things I liked about the book is that Atul describes his life in lessons, and then gives advice from them in an expert way unlike the clinical way of having bulletin or line by line advice; besides he made sure to emphasise what he learned from each phase of his life by putting out mini title/pointers. And I must say that even though the book is a non-fiction read, it was still fascinating to read it. It was not like reading a book with lots of ‘high-level’ ideologies, instead, the book had numerous facts and suggestions that are discernible to the common person. In between giving the readers the treasure of his business lessons, he also made sure to acknowledge the importance of having a good schooling, supportive family and friends, and the nurturing of strong, good habits. What’s more, Underdog Thinking will help new businesspersons to identify mistakes, understand and prepare for any obstacles they may encounter, adjust their business pace, and comprehend what to and what not to expect.
Everyone’s journey is unique, so like any other book this book too may not be a guarantee for a successful business, but I hope the book may help them in their journey. Furthermore, the ups and downs and then the comeback will raise one’s spirit and morale to go forward, not blindly but cautiously optimistic.
There is not much I didn’t like about the book. Even though I am not an entrepreneur, the book gave me some suggestions to look at life differently; however, I think the author could have modified the pace at which the story went. I have also felt the book repeating the same things more than once, and I believe certain situations like too many letters from the customers could have been avoided. Another thing that nags me is a certain lack of explanation here and there; towards the end, during the beginning of his comeback, there was no mention of the money source even though he was financially struggling. Other than this, the book is well-edited and can be beneficial.
I shall give the book a rating of 4 out of 4 stars. Although this book is not exactly for non-business people, I could still relate to certain aspects, however, in some cases, I was a little bored with the business-oriented writing. I must say it’s not a perfect 4, but I don’t think it is fair to give the book a 3.
If you want to understand the difficulties in the business journey without making it too boring, then this book is for you. Even though the book mostly targets entrepreneurs, it may also be helpful for anyone, so everyone can give it a shot regardless of age and gender. Happy reading!“
“Underdog Thinking by Atul Vir is a non-fiction story about the Atul himself, an Indian immigrant who decides to create his own legacy and opportunities, and explores entrepreneurship when he could not secure employment in America. Atul started his business to support his family, defying the narrative that he knew nothing about American business back when he started. His business grew at an exponential rate within a short period and all goes well until it does not. This is a story about an entrepreneur who climbed his way to the top facing several betrayals, failures and recouping his business and integrity.
This is an inspiring book about a persistent entrepreneur’s journey across Africa, Europe, China, and America. The author did an impeccable job outlining his life story in a chronological flow which captured his career, monumental successes and catastrophic failures in business, and the road to Equator’s revival from what seemed like the impossible. This book is intriguing and it kept me in suspense throughout. The author takes the audience through his remarkable journey as an entrepreneur and the challenging facts about choosing this path. In this book, we learn about the true meaning of entrepreneurship and staying the course.
There is not a single aspect of this book that I did not enjoy. The book is totally captivating and so genuine and pure that you will be left with nothing but inspiration. This book is a classic example of ‘The American Dream’ and triumphs against difficult odds. I appreciate that the author has resided and done business in different continents, this was evident in the richness of the text that he was talking from an informed perspective.
The storyline is seamless and easy-going which makes it relatable to the masses. The book appears to be professionally written and edited with no grammatical errors noted. The author did a stellar job in the writing style and expressing his life story honesty. He really gave himself to the audience in the text, he was brutally honest about his downfalls, expressed the heydays vividly, and deliberate about the book’s theme. It is because of this reason that I rate this book 4 out of 4 stars.
Every one of us loves a good story, and this one is excellent. This book will be a thrill for anyone who has ever sought any sort of business or entrepreneurial venture. However, this book will be appealing beyond that audience as it is a story about the ‘underdog’ thinker, the strategist, building formidable relationships and partnerships, and most importantly never giving up on your dreams. This book is the good stuff, I absolutely lost myself in it.“
“Underdog Thinking is a non-fiction inspirational story by Atul Vir. In this book, the author recounts his journey as an immigrant entrepreneur in the United States.
Atul Vir was born and raised in India. He came from a humble background, but after completing his education at a secluded boarding school and getting employment, he moved to Africa to work for an export-import company. The story begins with the author’s travels across Africa, focusing on Sub-Saharan Africa and countries such as Nigeria, Ivory Coast, and Togo. After a series of misfortunes, Vir decided to leave and immigrate to the United States, where the real challenges begin.
Atul Vir came to the United States with the hope of providing a more secure future for his family, assuming that because he had so many experiences, he would be able to find work quickly. Unfortunately, each job application resulted in another rejection. He was told he knew nothing of American business. Then Vir had a brilliant idea and decided to start his own company and explore the world of entrepreneurship on his own.
From his personal experience, Atul Vir provides a comprehensive insight into the elements of American entrepreneurship. He not only cautions the reader about all the risks that come with becoming an entrepreneur, but he also assesses his mistakes so that the reader may learn from them.
The author writes in a conversational, vibrant, and direct style. His friendly and sensitive tone encourages the reader to learn from his story. Aside from offering helpful business advice, the author shares some of his personal struggles, providing the reader with many life lessons as well. There are also numerous intriguing quotations from notable individuals, as well as diagrams and flowcharts, throughout the book.
There was nothing about this book that I didn’t like. It was pleasant to read, fluent, and not excessively detailed. I haven’t found a single error in the book, thus it appears to be professionally edited. I wasn’t sure whether I’d like this book because I’m not particularly interested in business, but the author wrote with such honesty that I found myself interested in the subject and learning from this book.
I am happy to rate Underdog Thinking four out of four stars. It was a pleasure to be caught up in the story of this series while still learning something new. I would recommend this book to future entrepreneurs as well as anybody interested in business strategies and genuine life lessons.“
By Kanchan Sharma
“Underdog Thinking by Atul Vir is a wonderful guide for entrepreneurs. The writer is giving a lot of ideas for a business. He is explaining the measures that can be taken to start a business, run it, and handle the problems that may come during the journey. The fortune and fame he received in the world is the result of his dedication and determination and not accidental.
He started his career with an African-based company. As a fresher, he hadn’t expected the role he was offered. He was hired to uncover the financial losses the company was going through. It was a tough call because he didn’t know whom to trust or not. Soon, he gained a lot of money and a good position in the organization. One political move in the country altered everything in his professional life. He was left with no choice. He planned to start his career afresh in the United States. He kept applying in one organization after another, but nobody was ready to hire him. Then he decided to start his own business in Houston. He named the company Equator and not anything related to his name, which shows his modesty. He discussed how a personal need leads to the startup of his new business.
For his business he traveled almost half of the world starting from India, he went to Africa, America, Europe, and China. He had learned a never-give-in attitude in his army boarding school. He encountered a lot of hurdles in each step, but his attitude helped him come out as the winner. His upbringing was done conservatively, as his grandparents had relocated during the partition of India and Pakistan. When he expressed his willingness to get into business to earn money, his entire family was taken aback, because most of them were in jobs.
The book has many positive aspects. It is written in a very interesting way. There is a grip in the book which holds the reader. Anyone who has the will to start up a new venture can follow the book stepwise. He has shown that there is always a way out of every problem. The size of the problem doesn’t make a difference but one should focus on the opportunity hidden behind it. I have liked the quotes in the book “obstacles are meant to be overcome”, and “It always seems impossible until it is done.” The best part of his entire journey was that he never adopted the wrong means to get his work done. He always kept his commitments.
There is nothing negative about the book. It’s a good read for entrepreneurs. It is a very touching and inspiring story. Most people would lose hope for the rest of their lives in the situations that the author has gone through. He experienced betrayal almost from everyone around him in the business. Still, he managed to come up. It’s really very inspiring.
The book is exceptionally well-edited. I did not notice any errors in it. The language used is very technical and professional. I would give the book a rating of 4 out of 4 stars. The book has been written with a great flow and one can’t stop reading it. The set of rules he applies for his business doesn’t come from any book, but it comes from the practical experience he gained while solving each issue.
The content of the book doesn’t contain any foul language. The vocabulary used in the book was really good. The story is very captivating. I never knew that a book on business can be written so interestingly. The author has a positive mindset that helped him resolve big problems. The recommended audience of the book can be anyone above the age of 20. The younger generation may not have the seriousness about reading the topic. It’s technically for people who are willing to start something big on their own but others can also learn good lessons from it.“
By Roopali S
“The book, Underdog Thinking, by Atul Vir, is an exceptional book based on his entrepreneurial journey. The book follows a story-telling format and wonderfully captures the ups and downs of running a business. By reading the book, one travels the whole world in search of business-related solutions. The book starts with a positive note by the introduction of various recommendations and a chapter stating why the author felt the need to write this book and what benefits it could bring to the readers.
The book was thoroughly captivating and professionally edited. The book used a moderate level of vocabulary which could be understood by a majority of the audience. However, there is frequent use of business jargon which may need to be looked up in a dictionary to get a better understanding of the plot. There is frequent mention of business principles and ethics throughout the book. These ethics are always supported by solid evidence from the author. Sometimes a principle is introduced first followed by evidence and reasoning behind it while at other times, it is the other way around.
I rate this book 4 out of 4 stars. The book taught great business do’s and dont’s and it was also evenly divided into chapters and further divided into sub-parts. The best part of the division was that each chapter started with a famous or motivating quote which gave a bit of an insight into what may be coming up next. However, the introduction of a range of people and companies in the story makes it a bit overwhelming to remember and place what role each plays in the narrative.
I would recommend this book to all aspiring and budding entrepreneurs who need practical insight into the business world. It will not only encourage the reader to pursue their passions in the business field but will also help in understanding how even small details in a venture are extremely vital to keep a check on.
The book not only takes the reader on a business adventure but also warns the reader of the different forms of betrayal that one can face in the business industry. It is an eye-opener to the entrepreneurial tactics, however, the experiences of the author should not be generalized in real life. Every person has to face different circumstances and these define one’s journey further ahead. To answer the question of whether Atul realizes his dream of becoming a successful business entrepreneur, you will need to plunge into his story yourself and find out.“
By Bhaskar Rogha
“Are you searching for a book on someone’s entrepreneurship journey which is also enjoyable? If yes, read on.
Underdog Thinking by Atul Vir is exactly the book every aspiring entrepreneur should be reading. In the book’s description, the book has been reported as ‘a captivating story’. I wanted to test this claim. I am happy to report that it truly is. It has all those thrilling tragedies which we search for in the movies. This book is about how and why Atul started his entrepreneurship journey, reached great heights, fell steeply, and bounced back again.
The tone of the book is conversational. The book contains many moments of laughter as well. For example, while commenting on the Grand Canyon, Atul said, “To the early inhabitants, seeing their environment and cave homes destroyed by external forces beyond one’s control would have been devastating. But ages later, millions of people journey from around the globe every year to see beauty in the devastation.”
The vocabulary in the book is discerning. The book has shown the rich variety of thoughts and emotions that went on inside Atul’s mind and the resulting actions he took in the outer world, in response to the events triggering those thoughts and emotions. This impresses the reader from time to time. The thing which cannot be skipped at all while mentioning positive points of the book is the lessons that Atul imbibed on his journey. They have been written in bold and capitals so that the reader remembers them well. The book also has seven diagrams to crystallize the process-driven ideas and the ideas having multiple aspects. The thrill that this book provided me was matchless. I remember saying “Oh my God” under my breath at least on three occasions.
There were some problems with the editing. There were five instances when a sentence was broken in one line only to continue in the next line. Many page numbers mentioned in Appendix II are wrong. If the first diagram had directional arrows in it, the reader wouldn’t get confused. Since Atul has told his journey starting majorly in the early 1990s and has also included some incidents from his childhood, there’s a fat chance that he misremembers at least a few incidents. The reader should be aware of this fact.
I would rate this book three out of four stars. I couldn’t give it four stars as there were typos and editing errors that do have a bearing on the reader’s experience. I didn’t give it only two stars because the story is very compelling.
This book is highly recommended to those who want to know the first-hand account of an international businessman and don’t mind going through a few editing errors for that purpose.“
By Ritesh sharma88
“Underdog Thinking by Atul Vir shows us the journey of an entrepreneur who completed his studies in India and due to the situation, he became an entrepreneur in America. Some people become an entrepreneur by choice and some become by destiny. Sometimes situation forces you to become an entrepreneur. After completion of his studies in India, the author got his job in Africa. His boss discussed the problem of corruption in Africa and told him to solve it. The author successfully solved this problem and fired almost everyone in the office. The author helped the company to drastically increase its profit. The author had all the money and connections which he needed to live a successful life but then a military coup changed everything. Military coup destroyed the value of the company. The author selected America for his next adventure. Soon his adventure turned into a nightmare when he failed to secure a job. He had a wife and a daughter with no source of income. His experience and connections in Africa were of no value in America. He got rejection after rejection because he didn’t know much about American businesses. After he failed to secure a job in America, he decided that he will start his own business.
He picked Texas for the headquarter of his new company. The author was the first entrepreneur in his family because of their family history. The author’s grandparents used to live in modern-day Pakistan before the partition of the country. They moved to India and left their possessions in Pakistan. His family preferred jobs as they were more stable. Once his grandfather told him that money should be the by-product for doing something productive. This view of his grandfather motivated him to become an entrepreneur who will produce something productive in the world. After starting his own business, the author was working continuously without any break. He and his wife used to spend their free time on beaches in Africa but now his wife was also busy doing the laundry. Doing laundry was horrible as there was a separate washer and dryer which increased the time and effort. Back in London, they had a more efficient combo machine. The author saw his opportunity and decided that he will import this product into the market of America. The author’s journey was full of obstacles from finding the manufacturers to fulfilling the security and efficiency standards for importing this product in America.
The thing which I liked most about this book was how the author faced his challenges. He was not having enough money to pay for his orders but he continued his effort to bring the product into the market of America. He took the risk and convinced others to have faith in him. He applied for the credit card but got rejected still he found the way and got the credit card. He was not having a warehouse for his product but still, he managed and solved this challenge. He was not getting any customers but still, he kept working hard, and finally, the product became successful.
There is nothing to dislike about this book as this book is very interesting and the readers will surely enjoy this book.
I will give four out of four stars to this book as this book is professionally edited. It’s well written and has some serious amount of knowledge which can do wonders for your business.
I would recommend this book to any person who wants to be successful in his life. The character and journey of the author will inspire every reader of the book.“
“Underdog Thinking: A Bold Idea, A Business Adventure and 101 Lessons Learned Along the Way is a nonfiction book written by Atul Vir. A business comeback story, it delves into the experiences of Vir’s company’s rise, fall, and recovery, giving helpful tips and lessons to readers about how to think like an underdog.
Indian-born Atul Vir moves to America after an eventful working experience in Africa. His consequent job hunt proves unsuccessful, leading him to launch his own start-up in Houston, Texas. In the middle of this, an issue manifests at home with the use of coin-op laundry machines not having a combined washing and drying feature. What if he found a solution to this problem? Inspired, he embarks on a journey halfway across the world to see his vision made a reality. This doesn’t come without its own set of difficulties. At the peak of his success, everything comes crumbling down when he’s side-lined by his own manufacturer. Like a domino effect, issues begin cropping up. Vir’s and Equator’s reputation take a downfall, eventually being abandoned by those Vir thought he could trust. Vir has to rise from the quagmire he’s entrenched in, using the lessons learned from his failure to reforge his company.
I liked seeing how Atul manages to navigate the cultural aspect of the business world, especially how he implemented it as a crucial feature of his business model. He has experience from his dealings in India, Africa, Germany, England, Germany, and China. He details the subtle and obvious differences found in each group’s way of going about business. I appreciated that the customized approaches for the respective cultures and places were highlighted and not skimmed over. The fact that Vir himself displayed a personal appreciation for these differences, successfully transmitted to the reader, was also a boon.
Vir tackles a host of things in this relatively short book. He demonstrates the best way to deal with rejection (by persevering), climbs hurdle after hurdle, underscores the importance of taking a step back when faced with a seemingly insurmountable problem, and illustrates the harsh realities of the business world. He uses his own experiences, philosophical and business quotes, to wrap up the main points. One thing that stood out to me was the way in which he found innovation in his day-to-day activities.
I can’t say that there is anything I disliked about this book. It delivers on what it says it is – a business guide. It doesn’t go into the nitty-gritty of his personal life, venturing there only when discussing something pertinent to his story. There are twenty chapters, along with two appendices, full of quality content, helped along by quotes, headings, and diagrams.
I found this book to be a great read. This was reinforced by both the style of writing and its general correctness. What sets it back has to do with the number of errors found. Most of these were simple and easily corrected, and another check could have weeded them out. Because of this, I assume this book has not been professionally edited.
I rate this book 3 out of 4 stars. The number of errors is the only aspect of this book that warrants a lower rating, and I think deducting one star is fair. I would recommend this book to people looking for guidance and inspiration for their entrepreneurial journey, whether they’re just starting out or already have some experience in this field. I do not think that this book would be suitable for readers on the hunt for books of the nature of self-improvement guides.“
“Underdog thinking” is the real-life story of the author, Atul Vir, which is nothing short of a gripping fiction novel. The author takes the readers on an adventurous journey, crisscrossing continents, surpassing unexpected hurdles, and learning important life lessons along the way. The single-minded pursuit of the author to make his innovative product reach the masses and make their life easy is awe-inspiring. The evolution of Atul Vir from a wannabe immigrant entrepreneur to a successful American businessman makes for a compelling guide to a budding entrepreneur.
Reading the book felt like sitting up close with the author while he put forth his life story. Readers can feel every emotion of the author, from his frustration at no one giving him a job in America, his pride at having built a spectacular headquarters for his operation, his feeling of loss while he lost the said building, to his satisfaction at having found an innovative comeback product. The description of characters in the story, such as Romano’s, “His voice was raspy from years of smoking unfiltered Nazionali cigarettes.”, makes the reader feel as if they are a known acquaintance.
The navigation of a former export-import company manager in the treacherous world of business, going against giant corporations, feeling lost at the betrayal of friends, longing for an ethical business relationship, and finally finding the recipe for success, customer satisfaction, is a remarkable feat. The book demonstrates the importance of developing mutual trust and maintaining integrity in the world of business. In today’s era of giant corporations swallowing up innovative start-ups days or even hours before their IPOs, the unrelenting attitude of the author in the face of adversity is worth emulating.
The book is a well-edited and very engaging read. The only negative aspect of the book is its momentum in the middle, where the initial all-consuming vibe is lost. But the author makes up for it in the final chapters.
I rate this book four out of four stars. Atul Vir could pursue a career in writing if not for his consuming passion for business. The quotes in the book resonating with the trials and tribulations of the author are stimulating. After the deliberate acts of betrayal committed by his friends and foes alike, the wait for the resurgence of the author in the final chapters is a nail-biting one.
The target audience for the book is everyone because anyone who has ever had a dream can identify themselves with the author. The young and aspiring entrepreneurs of today’s world can learn a lot from the wisdom of this once underdog entrepreneur.”
By Wangui Githiomi
“The book, Underdog thinking by Atul Vir is a fictional book which explains the ups and downs in business that the writer; Atul Vir came across before finally becoming successful. It starts with him being in a military school for fifteen years in India. After his studies he got a job in London as a financial auditor at the age of twenty five. The writer together with his boss takes a flight and were both arrested in Nigeria for corruption. It was from there that his life took a different turn where at first he was made the manager of a company in Nigeria.
Life does not always seem to be fair and for one to succeed in whatever they undertake to do, you need to have the passion and determination. After Atul Vir was made the manager of the company, he got sucked and now had to go back to America and look for a job there. So sad that the job application letters he sent to various companies all turned him down. The bitter part is when he had gone for an interview only for the manager there to tell him that he was not qualified for American job.
The story revolves around the challenges you have to face in business and how to overcome them. I loved the spirit Atul Vir had of starting his own business despite being turned down because his company was not known. In addition the determination he had even after his manufacturer of combo became a threat to his flourishing business he took that as a challenge and looked for ways to overcome it. The positive aspect in this book is the moral lessons I fetched while reading it. In the course of the book, I also realized what mainly kills a business is dictatorship. Atul Vir’s previous business in Nigeria came down as a result of arrogance and pride from his boss, where he didn’t listen to suggestions made by his employees but rather ran the business according to his will.
I really loved the book and did not come across any profanity or vulgar language used. Honestly, the book is just excellent and there is no negativity in it.
The book is also professionally edited and does not contain any error and for that I would give the book a four out of four stars. Good job to both the writer and the editors of this book.
I would recommend the book to a mature audience and specifically enterprenuers and also those willing to venture into business.“
By Jennifer Aldo
“Underdog Thinking by Atul Vir is a true-life story about a compelling journey around the world and down the often bumpy road of invention by Atul Vir. He was flying high on his growing success as the owner of a fast-growing company until a fateful moment when everything changed and he was betrayed by people he trusted the most. Subsequently, everything came crashing down.
Through his commitment, persistence, perseverance, and resilience, he navigates through the peaks and valleys of an entrepreneur’s journey as he tries to build on the second chance he was given and head back to the top once more.
An eye-catching part of the book was the author’s apt description of the ups and downs he experienced throughout his years of being a businessman. I loved the fact that the author was utterly sincere and blunt in his description of the good, the bad, and the ugly sides of the business world. There were enough eye-catching and sour moments in the book which doesn’t make it seem like a boring sequence of monotonous business activities. The author paints a story that highlights the key areas of the business world, betrayal, greed, perseverance, innovation and a will to survive despite all odds.
Secondly, I loved that the entire story was filled with suspense and unpredictability, it kept me hooked and it fueled my desire to get to the base of the author’s story about his rise from grass to grace to grass and then to grace again. I was captivated from the first chapter to the last. How the author was able to open up his travails as a businessman, giving hints and key points on the mistakes you should avoid should you ever decide to dabble in the business world as well as being able to teach and inspire me never to give up no what the circumstances might be, was a very beautiful one. For me, the book in its entirety was an inspiration to me. This was what I liked most about the book.
Although I think the book a masterpiece, I felt some parts of the book were mainly used as fillers to prolong some scenes. This is what I disliked most. To me, they could have been chopped out entirely from the book as I deemed them surplus to requirements.
Notwithstanding, the book was a thoroughly fantastic read. The book was professionally edited and I could find no grammatical errors in the book. Owing to the inspirational storyline and life-changing events laced within its pages of the book and its beautiful writing, I rate Underdog Thinking 4 out of 4 stars. I would recommend the book to readers who enjoy reading books about adventures and inspirational events.“
By Bipul Barla
“An entrepreneur is like an artist painting a canvas that needs continuous improvement.”
Underdog Thinking: A Bold Idea, A Business Adventure and 101 Lessons Learned Along the Way by Atul Vir. Though this book is all about entrepreneurship, the author has written this book as a story. This is the story of the author himself; who has completed his schooling in India, went to Europe in search of a job, joined an International Import and Export company as an accountant, Sent to Africa by the employer to save the company. He was contented with his job and earnings but as we all know times are not always the same. Due to a political situation, the company lost its business in Africa. And that was the end of the author’s adventurous life in Africa. He moved to the United States of America and looked for a job to support his family. Despite all his efforts, he was rejected by every employer. And finally, he thought to do business. And that’s the beginning of a new journey of Atul Vir and his company “Equator”.
In this book, the author is talking about the lessons he learned in the fight to survive in the corporate world. The business theories taught within the four walls of a classroom or studied from the textbooks may not that easy to assimilate and relate them in the real world, because the problems an entrepreneur may face are never the same. Since entrepreneurs are the pioneers of a new way the problems they face are also new, they always have to find the solution by themselves. Every entrepreneur has to learn it the hard way the author has learned it as well. And besides the theories and business rules, there’s something which has a great impact on business. And that is ‘attitude’; which also includes trust, ethics, loyalty, accountability, persistency, etc.
I liked this book and I read this book in three layers: 1. As a story: good quality literature which can be seen in the writing style; business lessons are always tiresome but in this book, the author didn’t allow to feel the pain of learning with his impressive storytelling skills. 2. Entrepreneurial lesson: Launching your business, Growing your business, Managing your business, Developing Relationships, Innovating, Never Accept Defeat, Excellence, Ethics, The Customer and Failure. These topics are covered in a simple manner. 3. A book for motivation: I am astounded by the author’s patience, willpower and courage. When he was looking for a job in America he was rejected from everywhere in such a situation normally people get nervous, but he decided to start a business even though he had no idea about American business or how to start a business in America. Another instance when he was looking for a producer for his washer-dryer combo washing machine in Germany. It is pretty difficult and needs patience to wait till the last to hear the affirmative response. There are lot more instances where we can see the outstanding personality of Mr. Atul Vir.
From my point of view, this is a very good book, professionally edited with moderate vocabulary. The flow of writing is simple and attractive even if it seems a little bit tangled in the middle but I think that’s alright. The author has described the incidents so beautifully that the reader won’t have the slightest feeling that he/she is reading non-fiction. Entrepreneurial qualities, Principles of Management, Roles of a CEO are explained in a unique style. I would like to give this book a 4 out of 4-star rating. And I would like to recommend this book for teenagers and adults.“
The best path to achieving great success often comes from learning from people’s experiences. In this book, Underdog Thinking, Atul Vir teaches the reader how to remain motivated through life challenges to become successful. The book’s presentation is simple. It has an initial introductory chapter and other chapters where he listed up to 101 life lessons. This self-help book also emphasizes the importance of focusing more on self-growth and development over achieving success. In this book, the author takes the reader on a journey through his life as he faces different challenges in different parts of the world. One example is how the insecurity in Nigeria, a country in the African continent, spurred him to start his business.
Most motivational books dwell on achieving success and acquiring help. However, I liked that Atul motivates his readers by encouraging them to grow and develop their wellbeing. From his life lessons, he opined that growth prepares one for success and riches. I also liked how educative he made his journeys through several continents. Many of the countries he visited left him with life lessons that he found useful while in another country. For example, complete security in America and the uncertainties in Nigeria prepared him to expect irregularities in any business venture.
Furthermore, I liked that his writing style is conversational, expressive, and simple. I felt I was having a chat with the author. Most of the motivational quotes were relatable to normal daily life. . I readily could assimilate them into my life. Anyone who reads this book would find it very easy to practice what Atul advises. The book was professionally edited, and I saw no grammatical errors.
If you desire to save yourself frustrations from rejections, then this book should be on your shelf. It is a life-engaging and motivating book that will bring in positivity. Also, I recommend this book for entrepreneurs who desire to seamlessly cross the chasm and beat the challenges of running a startup. The book promises the best strategies, encouragements, and personal life lessons. These would encourage such people to attain any height they desire.
The fact that this book is written from personal experience makes it a perfect guide for people who need motivation. Also, the author’s intentional desire to grow and develop individuals and entrepreneurs stands this book out from the many self-help business books out there. As such, I rate this book 4 out of 4 stars.“
“UNDERDOG THINKING: A Bold Idea, A Business Adventure and 101 Lessons Learned Along The Way by Atul Vir retells his entrepreneurial journey in the United States. The book starts incredibly strong, sharing the point of view of an entrepreneur who has lived how raw and enriching an experience it really is compared to the more conventional corporate journey. As a new entrepreneur the impactful and introspective introduction deeply related with my current mindset and drew me into the story. Atul started his journey in India, with the start of the book introducing his move to Africa to rebuild the local company branch with his boss. An ego trip caused the ruin of his boss’ company, with Atul left behind to try and frantically glue the pieces back together. Following the inevitable demise of the company, Atul decides to uproot his family and fly them across the world in chase of the infamous American Dream. After struggling to find a job in the US due to his lack of experience on American Soil, Atul decides to launch his own Import-Export business without a penny to his name, armed with nothing but his experience and completely blind trust. His willingness to pay this blind trust forward regardless of the recipient and bad gut feelings will prove to be his greatest challenge in his entrepreneurial journey. I really enjoyed the fact that within each chapter there were multiple life and business lessons, with the following paragraphs the recollection of the event that led to this realisation. The book reads nicely with the more worrying events dragged slightly for suspense. Atul is a talented storyteller with an impressive capability to weave in his 101 values for life and business without reading like a self-help or business for dummies book. The only part which I felt could have been shortened was his fall which was spread across multiple chapters, taking over most of the storyline. Some of the lessons across those chapter started feeling somewhat repetitive, with some communicating a certain level of perceived bitterness. Overall, I rate this book 3 out of 4 stars as the beginning and ending of the book were excellent, and I would recommend this book to others who are starting their own business. Readers without this shared interest could find the chapters covering the fall difficult to relate to. It serves you tough love with compassion from a perspective wizened by experience. I highly appreciated the fact that his entrepreneurial journey was not sugarcoated or romanticised, with many others in his niche skimming over the challenges and sharing the lessons from a successful point of view. He shows both how difficult and how rewarding it can be if you never lose hope and learn to enjoy the journey instead of waiting for the destination to learn to trust others, trust yourself and be happy.
By Gregory Nath
“The book Underdog Thinking by Atul Vir is an inspirational story that follows the professional pathway of the author, an entrepreneur. The author’s journey begins in India with his early childhood experiences and education. His life then takes him on a global trek that spans continents and cultures, which finally end in the United States. The experiences and events that shaped the pathway for his failures and successes are highlighted with many references to the main business strategies used to propel his ventures. For example, he makes references to the “five why’s” and “Kaizen”, both of which are famous concepts in business academia. The style of writing and the language used is easy to read and follow. This maintains the reader’s interest and makes for a gripping story, from beginning to end. The inclusion of diagrams and the appendix at the end provides somewhat of a textbook feel to the book. These are great additions for the reader since it illuminates many of the business concepts and terminology for those who may be unfamiliar. The appendix also provides the reader with an easy method for revisiting concepts that the author considered critical to his success. The lack of pagination throughout the book made it difficult to keep track of or revisit previous ideas. This negates the efforts by the author in including an appendix. The chapters are not numbered, this adds to the difficulty in referencing for the reader. There seems to be some inconsistency in the life experiences that the author describes. For example, he talks about coming from humble means; however, he attended private school in India. He also describes situations where he was financially ruined, but then purchased furniture for a new office. Some unrealistic situations become apparent too. One, in particular, is repeated throughout the book. It pertains to the acquisition of loans and proving creditworthiness. Banks and commercial offices do not usually provide their services just on a person’s word. This aspect of the book casts an unrealistic overtone on the author’s story. I rate this book 3 out of 4 stars. This rating takes into account the lack of pagination and numbering of the paragraphs as well as the unrealistic tone of the story. The addition of the appendix indicates that the author would like readers to be able to easily reference ideas and concepts in the book, so the lack of pagination and chapter numbering is a significant drawback. While only so much detail can be included in one book, it was clear that the author was trying to strike a balance between a textbook and a novel. With this in mind, and given the nature of the subject, the financial matters described should be believable. I would recommend this book for budding entrepreneurs and seasoned business people alike. The book is a gripping and inspirational story that will appeal to an audience of any age. There is also a significant international appeal since the story spans many territories and cultures as the author makes his journey to the United States.“
By Moddesser Elahi
“Underdog Thinking is a powerful read that could boost your morale if you are an entrepreneur or are planning to start a business venture. Atul Vir has shared his invaluable wisdom as a long-time businessman in this memoir. Atul Vir’s professional journey began in Africa as an employee of an export-import company. The company ultimately shut down which led Atul to move to the US. He was in search of a job in the US, and he believed he would get one quickly given that he had gained good professional experience working in Africa. But things didn’t work out accordingly. The one statement – “You don’t know a damn thing about American business”, uttered by an interviewer shook Atul. He could forget the rejections that he faced in different companies, but this statement crossed his mind over and over again. He had been involved in the policy-making decisions for the company that he had earlier worked for; how could someone tell him he doesn’t know a damn thing about business. Atul was not destined for just a job, and that interviewer’s statement could hardly discourage him. Soon he began his entrepreneurial journey with bare minimum resources and the smartness and confidence that he possessed. The export-import business started rolling, though, he shifted his gear and got into innovating a product. The product was a washer-dryer combo, and ultimately Atul launched his appliance brand “Equator”. The journey of innovating a brand in a new country did not comprise a straight-forward path. You got to read this memoir to know what inspired Atul to launch a brand; you would also learn about the tremendous challenges and the invaluable lessons that were part of Atul’s journey as an entrepreneur. I am quite interested to read about the lives of inspirational entrepreneurs and learn about their experiences. Atul’s life journey as a businessman is truly inspiring; he sustained his business amid the challenges and the betrayals that seemed devastating. Atul never gave in, and by doing so he followed the motto that was enshrined in his mind from the schooldays. There was an inscription in his school corridor that said – “Never give in.” Atul’s storytelling technique is also quite remarkable, and this memoir seems like an interesting story. I was drawn to this read right from the beginning, and I could say that this book kept me intrigued till I reached the last page of the last chapter. This seems like an exaggeration; however, I would not have similar comments for a lot of other books that I have read previously. There is a lot to learn from the author’s life as an entrepreneur. Atul was an underdog in a foreign land, but that thing was never a barrier for him; he was determined to build his own brand. I learned quite a bit from this story that could be helpful for me in my professional life. Atul discovered the opportunity and developed a product with the help of his associates and other manufactures. The product was launched and his business was snowballing. But somehow, he was ditched by almost everyone around him, and was back to square one. Ultimately, his company Equator is now in a strong position, because he never gave in. His character has created an impression that is going to stay for long in my mind. I also learned about various important traits that an entrepreneur should possess, which seems to be invaluable knowledge. I rate this well-edited book 4 out of 4 stars, with nothing negative to say about it. I would highly recommend this memoir to budding entrepreneurs, and also to people who are already into some kind of business.
By Tomes 2 Read
“Underdog Thinking by Atul Vir is a book about entrepreneurship in its rawest and most personal form – a surprisingly unfiltered and honest account of the author’s entrepreneurial journey and the important lessons he learns along the way. Atul Vir is a young man with a sense of adventure. When he realizes a long-standing dream, it is filled with rewards, unexpected challenges, and extreme tests of will. Along the way, he learns valuable lessons about business, environments, people, and life. And as his journey takes him thousands of miles away from his dream, he embraces and redefines entrepreneurship. Rather than accept the universal idea of entrepreneurship as inspirational or destined for the few, he redefines it through his experiences and epiphanies. Entrepreneurship is more than about profit – it is about higher goals and a larger perspective. And through Atul Vir’s raw account of his entrepreneurial journey, he makes a strong argument for his definition. Underdog Thinking debunks the universal concept of entrepreneurship and delivers a surprisingly exposed account of Atul Vir’s entrepreneurial journey borne of circumstances and necessity. There are numerous books that speak to the vision, challenges, and rewards of entrepreneurship. But I think Underdog Thinking has many positive attributes that make it exceptional. It is indispensable because of Atul Vir’s dual ability to communicate and demonstrate a higher purpose for entrepreneurship. Each milestone in the author’s journey is infused with wisdom, quotes, and perspective that is inspirational and beneficial. Another positive aspect is that he doesn’t romanticize the consequences for following this higher purpose – this approach does not make anyone immune to mistakes, failures, or people who value money above all else. The insightful affirmations at the beginning of each chapter are also inspiring and encourage me to think deeply about this new perspective. While I love the content and delivery of Underdog Thinking, the spelling and grammar errors were considerable enough to affect my rating. However, this is the only negative aspect I had about the book and I highly recommend it. I rate this book 3 out of 4 stars. I give this rating because the author communicates his entrepreneurial experience honestly and effectively, providing a strong argument for viewing a higher purpose for entrepreneurship. He is a guide and mentor, encouraging us through his experience, insight, and meaningful quotes to approach entrepreneurship as more than a means for profit. I recommend this book to aspiring and seasoned entrepreneurs. Both will be persuaded by the author’s journey to adopt a higher purpose of entrepreneurship. I also recommend this book for young adults as suggested reading in and outside of standard education, as they will benefit from its lessons in today’s business and entrepreneurial environments. Atul Vir’s Underdog Thinking is a persuasive book that imparts wisdom through experience while stretching and challenging us in unimaginable ways.”
By Mitesh Sharma
“A business story, as expected a rollercoaster ride, has been beautifully unfolded in the book Underdog Thinking by Atul Vir. It is the autobiography of an Indian entrepreneur who, like all other people, started his journey from scratch and reached heights with consistent hard-work and efforts. Atul Vir was an Indian immigrant who went to the United States to try his hands in American business. The book narrates the entire journey of the author from his struggling days to his sucessful life ever after. Like all new comers, when Vir went to the United States he was underestimated and was told that he is not a good fit for American business. But, as they say, bad times bring out the best in you; Atul found himself as an entrepreneur with loads of opportunities waiting ahead. In a very short period of time he scaled his business to sky heights and soon became a renowned CEO, business ethics thought leader, speaker and an author. But, fate had other plans for him. When he was just about to take his business to the next level an unforeseen downfall came out of nowhere. During these harsh circumstances the young entrepreneur had two choices- to give up or to hustle hard; and quite evidently he chose the second one. This business adventure book gives out valuable business lessons right from the author’s treasure of 25 years of experience. It also has interesting mind maps for better understanding of the practical concepts shared inside the book by the author. The best part about the book is that all its conceptual knowledge is blended with a captivating personal story which makes the book suitable even for people who don’t like non-fiction reads. The books also has bits of case studies from different multinational companies that played a major role in Atul Vir’s entrepreneurial journey. The things I liked the most in the book were the powerful quotations used in every chapter that gave an overview of the upcoming plot. The quotes were unique and extremely inspiring. The book has been written in simple language and can even be read and understood by beginners the who are interested in business reads. Also, the book seemed professionally edited with zero grammatical or spelling errors. The only issue I faced while reading the book was that the chapters were stretched unnecessarily. The book could have been a lot more short and crisp if the author only included relevant details in it. Considering all the positives and negatives, I would like to rate the Underdog Thinking by Atul Vir, three out of four stars. The book gave me an exceptional reading experience except for the unnecessarily lengthy chapters which made me deduct a star from the rating.”
“The book Underdog Thinking by Atul Vir is a sensational story of Vir’s personal experiences as an immigrant in America striving to start his company “Equator” and excel in the unforgivable American market. Vir’s moral principles of integrity and trust will prove to be his demise, as well as his saving grace. Equator is an import-export company that made its headway in the niche of household laundry appliances. This company, built on trust, innovation, and superior customer service, has an invigorating story of highs and lows as it is challenged by ruthless competitors and disloyal partnerships. Vir uses his story to illustrate what starting a business is genuinely like in America, as well as how much harder it is for an immigrant to make a start. Each twist and turn in his journey serves as a foundation to teach the lessons he has learned to his readers. Vir’s story is a crucial lesson for any new American entrepreneur to understand the ebbs and flows of the market, as well as how to survive as a moral business surrounded by giants who cheat and deceive to make their way to the top. Underdog Thinking has a multitude of positive aspects. One of which being the sincerity and full transparency of Atul Vir’s journey and its impact on his morale. Vir had a full understanding of the impact events had on his life and what he had to do to correct problems that would instantaneously pop up. His unclouded judgement makes this book a valuable source of information for anyone looking to learn what responsibilities an entrepreneur must undertake to become successful and to unveil the mystery behind such an adventure. This book is also carefully organized so each segment of Vir’s journey is partitioned into a lesson for the reader. Such organization makes each lesson more impactful and unforgettable. Some respects of the book could be improved such as a couple grammatical errors that made the book slightly less fulfilling to read, but the book was enjoyable overall. Other than the few minor flaws in editing, I have no complaints. Again, it was a very well written book that holds the intrigue of the audience from start to finish. I would rate Underdog Thinking 3 out of 4 because it was a very enjoyable read and it had a lot of valuable lessons interwoven in the story. Besides a few grammar errors, the book was well edited. Vir’s book captures the audience’s attention with an invigorating story and a plethora of artful language. Metaphors are often employed such as when Vir stated, “… money was at the root of the relationships going awry, the vehicle for shattered trust.” (Vir 200) Such rhetoric sets Underdog Thinking apart from its dry counterparts. This book is essential to anyone seeking an inside scoop of the realities of owning a business in America; particularly for individuals who are pursuing a path down that road such as business majors. Despite this book being geared towards an audience interested in business, I would recommend everyone to read it. Readers will quickly gain an appreciation for the gears behind every product that is readily available in stores. This book, although it does not contain any derogatory words, is best suited for an older audience such as high school or older due to its reading level.”
“Underdog Thinking tells the story of an Indian businessman through his rise and fall; from his humble beginnings to his global status. Like any aspiring entrepreneur, he is faced with the harsh reality of doing business in a world that doesn’t want to do business with him. This is truly an inspiring story with invaluable lessons. First of all, I must compliment the author, Atul Vir, for writing an outstanding book. On the surface, this may appear as yet another book that’s meant for people who are starting out in the business world. Surprisingly, this book not only accomplishes that but also serves as a fantastic read for just about anyone looking for a book with a great story. It really is remarkable how a small complaint from a spouse produced a multi-million dollar company that does business worldwide. There are also quite a number of other surprises in store. I really loved the way in which the story was told. The author narrates this remarkable tale while also simultaneously teaching us the ins and outs of the business world without making it feel like a boring textbook. For those who are new to entrepreneurship, this book goes into detail about the process of decision-making, the role of a CEO, and more. The lessons that the author learned along the way are not only useful in a business but can also be applied to our daily lives as well. I don’t have much to say about what I didn’t like about this book. There were a couple of occasions where I felt the timeline of certain events were told in a confusing way. This is just a minor observation from my side, it’s not something that would ruin the experience of reading this book. Aside from that, there were relatively few errors. I would recommend this book to pretty much everyone. If you’re an entrepreneur wanting to learn a thing or two about business, someone looking for a good motivational or inspirational book, or just a bookworm wanting to read something with a great story, then look no further. This book has also been written and edited very well. I only noticed a couple of errors. I rate this book 4 out of 4 stars. With a humble story and an amazing grasp of the struggles of a dedicated entrepreneur, this is an amazing book that I am sure everyone will enjoy and appreciate.”
“Underdog Thinking is an inspiring book written by Atul Vir. It presents the author’s journey as a businessman who came up with a bold idea. The book starts with the author, who is from India, talking about his life in Nigeria. He worked at a London-based import-export company. Due to some circumstances, he relocates to America. The author thinks that with his experience, he should be able to find another job. But when he is not able to, he finally decides to start his own business. It shows the power of a well-executed idea, which in this case was coming up with something that would decrease the time spent on doing laundry by his wife! The adventures he goes on in the world of business, and the lessons he learned along the way are shared in this book. Every chapter starts with an inspiring quote that goes well with it. The stories he shares are very gripping. If you are someone who finds self-help or motivational books boring, then this book is going to give you a different experience. The lessons shared are not just mere words. They are backed up by the various situations the author experiences. It is not a smooth road to victory, as there are many obstacles, including betrayal, self-doubt, deteriorating mental-health, etc. along the way. With every new problem that the author faces, the reader is also forced to think of a possible solution that could be made use of. Many aspects of running a business are explained in the book as the story progresses, including what makes a business idea strong, coming up with ways to solve financial problems, and making contacts and connections. The incidents from his childhood and adulthood have shaped his thinking as an entrepreneur. The advice given to the reader can be used by anyone regardless of their profession. I rate the book 4 out of 4 stars because of the simple yet engaging writing. The author has a realistic approach to becoming successful and doesn’t try to sell big ideas or expectations. There is an appendix at the end of the book. It includes all the lessons learned and the chapters in which they are explained. It is exceptionally well-edited and is suitable for all age groups. I recommend this book to people who are thinking of starting their own business. They will have this book of valuable lessons to turn to once in a while. I would not recommend this book to people who want self-help books to be more direct, without many stories, and with exercises for the readers to do.”
“Business autobiography Underdog Thinking: A Bold Idea, A Business Adventure and 101 Lessons Learned Along the Way is the story of Atul Vir and his quest for success in America. After being born and raised in India, Atul Vir finds himself doing business first in Africa, then Europe, and finally the United States, giving him a unique perspective into international business dealings. He was able to use his worldview and varied business knowledge to build a thriving appliance company in Houston, Texas. Along the way, Atul faced many obstacles and unfortunately several betrayals that almost caused his business’ demise. However, he always leaned on his old school motto: Never Give In. While sharing his story, Atul communicates his gained insights into the world of commerce. Throughout this book, he gives literally 101 phrases regarding the lessons he has learned from both his failures and his triumphs. For instance, he states, “If you want to find an opportunity, look for a problem.” This idea is common throughout traditional business teachings, but Atul takes this idea a step further. He follows this notion with the next segment in his life where he either learned or applied this principle, such as his inability to find a job in New York leading him to the opportunity of starting his own company. These inserted phrases gave the book a unique and entertaining layout. Although the writing was enjoyable, I did find it a bit repetitive. Atul repeats various stories throughout the book several times. The repetitions were not just a tiny reminder of past events, but rather were full recaps of previous episodes of his life. For example, in one period of his life, he experienced three significant betrayals. The duplicities were devastating and changed the course of his life in countless ways. However, every time Atul desired to show us how an earlier betrayal influenced a future choice he repeated the whole story of the betrayal. The repetition was unnecessary and became tedious after a while. Underdog Thinking earned 3 out of 4 stars. While interesting and containing useful information, the manuscript was longer than it needed to be due to the numerous recurring anecdotes. Even so, I acquired quite a few new ideas that I can apply to my own business, and I appreciated the encouraging tone of his writing. On a side note, this book was also well-edited with few typos or errors. Atul’s story would appeal to both small business and large business owners as it offers many lessons for success. Managers within any business would also benefit from this biographical business book as it provides great advice on how to work with integrity and how to ethically treat people, including one’s coworkers and one’s customers. This was an inspiring read with a happy ending. Thank you, Mr. Atul Vir, for sharing your motivating story.”
“Underdog Thinking by Atul Vir is a book which at first seems to be only detailing the evolution of a business, but this book holds so much more. Woven into Atul Vir’s summary of his entrepreneurial pursuits are lessons about life, family, ethics and more. I chose to read this book hoping for savvy business practices and common mistakes to avoid. What I found in this book was a look behind the curtain into the world of business and progress. Atul met roadblock after roadblock in his journey building and rebuilding Equator. As I read, I felt his passion; determination; and emotions at every turn of fate. I admire Atul for never giving up on his business, customers, ethics or family no matter how dire his situation became. I very much enjoyed the chronological presentation of Atul’s journey as this made the book simple and easy to follow. My favorite aspect of this book though is learning the story behind why the combo is the prized product Atul built Equator around and how that story impacted his businesses trajectory over the decades. As I look to start my own business I have a new appreciation for solving the consumers problem even if they do not recognize the problem themself just yet. I will now strive to match Atul’s determination to help his wife live an easier life with the combo as I serve my future customers. One negative aspect of this book is that at times the narrative became repetitive. For example, when detailing the speech Atul gave to his alma mater I did not feel the need for such a complete description of the entire story I had just spent hundreds of pages reading. The message of Atul’s journey coming full circle as he spoke to the students would have served the purpose of that chapter sufficiently for me. I rate this book 4 out of 4 stars. Reading this book I could tell the author really knew the message he wanted to convey and did so clearly and completely. This book could have been a dry narrative on business, but the authors ability to weave emotion into the book made it come to life. I recommend this book for anyone who is considering starting their own business, trying to save a struggling business or just curious about product development and entrepreneurship. I do not think this book would engage children as they do not have the life experience yet to engage with the adult concepts of the world of business and manufacturing presented here.”
“Underdog Thinking by Atul Vir is a real-life story the follows the journey of the author, an Indian immigrant who sets off to become an entrepreneur in the USA. Atul, who had gained a great deal of experience working in Africa for years, suffered a major setback when he moved to America, as he was unceasingly rejected by one employer after the other. When one of the employers told him that he “didn’t know a damn thing about American business”, Atul decided to turn things around and build his own company. The book takes you on a rollercoaster ride as you follow the story of the author, who starts his business from ground zero and faces endless challenges as he advances in making the company successful. Atul travels across continents to persuade manufacturers to work with his company, convince retailers to sell his products and finds threats and betrayal along every step he takes forward. The author gives a deep insight into the elements of entrepreneurship and what could make a company stand out or bring in major turmoil.The thing I liked most about the book was how there is so much to learn from the author’s experiences. In every uneventful circumstance, Atul is taken back to his roots and the lessons he has learned in the past. The plot development was seamless. The quotes add depth to the writing and are very inspiring. I was completely invested in the story and I wanted to keep reading more and more! What I disliked about the book was the repetitive usage of some phrases. For example, the author repeatedly mentions how he traveled across continents to get what he wanted which put me off a little. Another thing was that the plot seemed to stretch a bit in the later parts of the book. Overall, the book is a great read and I thoroughly enjoyed my time going through the pages. I also learned a lot about entrepreneurship and business, in general. The book also made me realize how one’s life lessons and morals have a great impact on their path to success. I rate this book a 3 out of 4 stars. I took away a star because of the reasons mentioned in the above paragraph. This book is suitable for all ages. I would particularly recommend this book to people interested in non-fiction and autobiography genres. Teenagers and youngsters looking for a career path would find this book very inspiring!”
“Underdog Thinking by Atul Vir is an emotional and adventurous read. Atul’s story keeps the reader hooked from the first chapter to the very end of the book. The author manages to strike the right balance between offering business advice and storytelling. By doing this, he makes sure that his readers imbibe the ideologies presented in the book with the least amount of effort. Atul mentions in his book that he innovates to create products that truly add value to his customers’ lives. His book, in alignment with his ideology, is a treasure trove of great business advice that is hidden inside an inspiring story. In the first chapter of the book, we are introduced to the author’s passion for stories and adventure. A story that the author heard as a child takes him all the way from India to Africa. As the story progresses, Atul relocates to America. In America, he fails to find a job despite his best efforts. Instead of giving in and settling for less, the author decides to start his own business. Thereafter, the story takes us on a rollercoaster ride. We see Atul’s business grow and reach the pinnacle of success, fall and hit rock bottom and then, grow again to regain its status as one of the most successful businesses in the field. Atul’s life, as he mentions in his book, is a comeback story. All successful people have a comeback story. Without Atul’s passion for stories and storytelling, this would have been just another comeback story. I really loved how the author has not tried to play his emotions down in the narrative. The emotions associated with Atul’s descriptions of his successes and failures are what make the book an engaging read. I did not find any errors in the book. The book has been professionally edited. I loved the story and the ideologies presented in the book. Therefore, I am delighted to give the book 4 out of 4 stars. The only thing that I did not like about the book is that the author has mentioned some statements repetitively in an effort to make his intentions very clear. However, the adventurous undertone of the story dilutes the impact of these repetitions. Therefore, the story maintains its pace. I would recommend this book to all aspiring entrepreneurs. This book is not for everybody. Although the story is very interesting, it might not appeal to people who are generally wary of the idea of business. People who are interested in business and entrepreneurship will definitely love this book and, are sure to take away some great business advice.”
“Underdog Thinking: A Bold Idea, a Business Adventure and 101 Lessons Learned Along the Way by Atul Vir tells the author’s personal immigrant story of how he came to America with nothing and started an international home appliance business. The story details the many challenges of starting your own business, and highlights key life lessons throughout the chapters. The way the story is told is extremely captivating and authentic, which makes his whole experience feel more relatable. His narration is raw and detailed, and had me at the edge of my seat feeling all the emotions that he was going through. When he experienced betrayal by his friends and business partners, I found myself feeling angry too. Another aspect of the book that I liked is the way the business lessons are sprinkled throughout the book. They break up the sections of the book into digestible chunks to follow along. If I were to just read the bolded lessons in the book, I feel like I could still get a very good sense of the story and have some valuable takeaways.While the story was very easy to follow along, I wish he could have made the following more clear: smoother transitions from his early career in Africa, and the personal impact his business dealings had on his family. First, the book starts on a serious note detailing his first job and business corruption to help set the stage for his global mindset. However, it barely scratches the surface of that incident before it launches into his new life in America. I think either more details describing the corruption dealings or more reflection on how those instances relate to his new life would help connect the dots a bit more. Second, while he mentions his wife and kids here and there throughout the book, he doesn’t spend much time describing the struggles he might’ve felt balancing his struggling business and family obligations. He hints at it, but I think he should’ve added more color, especially when his wife really inspired his original business idea. Additionally, entrepreneurship is a constant battle between managing personal and professional duties. Thus, including that added context would help strengthen his relatability. I rate this book 3 out of 4 stars. The book is professionally edited and told in a captivating way. I would’ve given this book a full star rating if it had a smoother introductory transition and more details on his personal challenges, as detailed above. This book would be a suitable read for those who are interested in entrepreneurship and business. I recommend it for people looking for some business inspiration since it does a really good job of telling the hardships of entrepreneurship.”
“Underdog Thinking by Atul Vir is a novel based on the life events of the author. Atul, an immigrant of Indian descent, is scaling the heights of business excellence. A job offer sends him miles away from his home country to Africa. All seemed to go well for this vibrant, principled man. However, the eruption of political unrest drove him away; to seek greener pastures in the US. What started as a search for a solution to a house chore problem, resulted in a spark; launching Atul’s entrepreneurial career. With no experience on business dealings within the dynamic US market, Atul establishes himself as a household name; receiving various appraisals from the media and the business community. The novel shows Atul’s true colours as a self-made entrepreneurial giant, with fundamental principles instilled in him at military school. He explains to readers that entrepreneurs are either born or made. Either way, he speaks of critical issues that can be stumbling blocks to entrepreneurs, irrespective of how gifted they are. The book offers practical examples aimed at shifting how one does business. For example, setting up a business should satisfy a need. The book being non-fiction and inspirational narrates the life of Atul: how he launches himself into the top with the help of trusted colleagues, who were daring enough to partner with him, despite being wet behind the ears. His writing style gives the whole book a soul: a conduit of relation amongst readers. He goes into storytelling by sharing his accomplishments, downfalls, curiosities and frustrations to readers. Atul also offers guidance through inspirational quotes; sharing his wisdom during a particular chapter in his life. He also uses diagrams and captions that align readers with his way of thinking.The book is intriguing: attributed to his life’s events strung so well through storytelling. I must commend Atul for his hard work and achievements both in the business and literary world. Be prepared with a pen and book, to jot down the various wisdom nuggets spread across this book. If you find this tedious, then you can opt for the summary that Atul offers at the end of the book. Therefore, I give Underdog Thinking a rating of 4 out of 4. What I liked most was the storytelling. It casts away the stale, monotonous nature that comes with other inspirational business books. Despite the few grammatical errors, Atul professionally edited his novel. There was nothing that I disliked about the book. I recommend this novel to established and aspiring entrepreneurs. There is much that both parties can tap from Atul’s experience and insights.”
“I think it is safe to say Atul Vir has experienced quite an exciting life so far. He was born in India but obtained a job at a company with a division located in Africa, where he devoted his first years as a working man. Then, he ventured to the USA, where he hoped to fulfill the American dream. He tells you all about it, including all the knowledge he found in business and life, in Underdog Thinking. This book is a pleasant and entertaining blend of a memoir with an industry guide. Every chapter, which aligned with a stage of the author’s life, was divided into sections containing the lessons he learned during each episode. Though this description makes it sound choppy, the novel maintained a nice flow and rhythm. Despite being presented as a business-oriented book, my favorite thing about it was that the business part wasn’t always so obvious and could lie behind metaphors like comparing a CEO to an orchestra director. Also, Mr. Vir recalls many memories of his childhood, the school he attended (which’s philosophy inspired him immensely) and other aspects of his background that helped shape the way he conducts his company. Another thing I enjoyed was the straightforward language. Why distract the reader with intricate words when the purpose of the book is not the writing itself? Instead, this novel mesmerizes you with the fantastic tale of Mr. Vir’s life and the wisdom to extract from it. Also, in spite of encountering a few grammar errors, this book seems professionally edited, as well as elegantly written. There were several elements I was not enthusiastic about; the first one is that the book is way too long; despite spanning 30 years of someone’s life, it could have been a little bit more condensed. Plus, the epilogue (where he asseverated his corporate strategies more specifically) feels unnecessary, given that he had previously mentioned all of these things before in some part of the book. And the other thing is that, sometimes, he would tell how something miraculously appeared when he needed it the most or when he was about to give up; this made me skeptical because that resembles fiction more than real life. Regarding the rating, I went back and forth. I would not say this book is perfect, but it was excellent, well written, and edited, so it didn’t seem fair to give it three stars; hence, I’m granting it 4 out of 4 stars. If I could, I would give three and a half, but the positive things about it triumph over the unfavorable ones, leaning the balance towards the better rating. As for who I would recommend it to, I mentioned earlier that this novel struck me more as a business-infused autobiography than a how-to industry book. Accordingly, it would be suitable for people who wish to know about the journey that implies being a businessman, besides people who want to learn more about entrepreneurship.”
“Underdog Thinking by Atul Vir is an excellent motivational book on entrepreneurship. Actually, it is more than that. Vir tells his story, sometimes buoyant, sometimes chilling about how he came to be an entrepreneur, how he rose, how he fell, and how he picked himself up again. He describes the requirements to be a successful business person that has integrity and why it is so important. He also highlights the pitfalls, the backstabbers and the betrayals, and how painful that was. This is all done in a delightful conversational tone which kept me interested throughout the book. An excellent writer, Vir can keep the reader on edge in a book about a man’s passion to perfect and sell a household appliance. That takes some skill. Throughout the book, you feel his ups and downs, from his early days at a boarding school in India to the United Kingdom, Africa, and the United States. In a bid to create the best possible combination washer- drying machine, he crossed the world from the United States to Europe and eventually to Asia. A business opportunity he identified when he discovered his wife had no free time over weekends because she was doing the laundry. Underdog Thinking is not a long book, it’s approximately three hundred-odd pages but it is packed with useful information for business and prospective business people. Each chapter is headed with a relevant heading and an inspirational quote from some of the giants of our existence. In the appendixes, Mr. Vir has included diagrams, road maps and an easy to follow chapter on key lessons learned with references back to the book. Although it is about a businessman and the lessons he has learned, I believe it is a great motivational read and is therefore suitable for all readers. It is highly unlikely it will tread on anyone’s toes unless that person is inherently dishonest and feels vaguely uncomfortable reading it. The book is professionally edited. It is written in the first person and Vir comes across as an open, honest person. His writing style is intelligent yet easy to read. I liked that. I couldn’t find anything I did not like in the book and I would therefore readily recommend it to any reader interested in this genre. All in all, Underdog Thinking is a valuable motivational and highly principled book written by an author who has ethics, is innovative, inspirational, and has loads of tenacity. This bold business adventure gets a definite four out of four stars from me.”
By Emma Ursulean
“Underdog Thinking: A Bold Idea, a Business Adventure and 101 Lessons Learned Along the Way is Atul Vir’s debut book. Atul Vir’s story revolves around his attempts to create something great without giving in or losing his values. He was forced to become an entrepreneur through circumstances. After being the head of a company in Africa by chance, Atul moves to the U.S. to follow his American dream. He plans to find a job to support his family, but his first experience as an immigrant in America is filled with rejections. However, he finds a way to accomplish his aim. This book contains the real success story of a CEO Indian immigrant committed to ethics, excellence, and innovation. Underdog Thinking covers the story of an underdog who builds his own business on a pile of rejections, and in order to protect it, he fights with big dogs. Atul’s book is an exceptional work of non-fiction (partial autobiographical) that reads like a novel. It’s about launching and running a business ethically while keeping the needs of the customers first, no matter what. It’s so instructive and captivating that it makes you wonder how many entrepreneurs can remain as upright as Atul Vir even after numerous struggles, betrayals, abandonments, and failures. Atul is an underdog entrepreneur who shows the big dogs how to succeed without stepping on toes. The main guiding principles that set him apart from other entrepreneurs are: he always puts the customer first even when he is at crossroads, and he brings innovation into the world, not for the money but to improve people’s lives. I appreciate all of Atul’s business lessons. In Underdog Thinking, he modestly describes every step he took to build his own business. If you want to know what situations an entrepreneur has to overcome to keep his company afloat, read this book. Atul makes you a witness of his journey to success. You can see what he sees, what he thinks, and what he feels. You can attend to his business conversations and capture his plans turning into actions. He takes you through his childhood memories to learn what experiences shaped his character. He also takes you through many countries and all the unforeseen circumstances that made him push past his limits. Moreover, you get to witness how he brings in the U.S market a product inspired by his wife to ease her life and later on of hundreds of other people. That product gets featured on Oprah show, Fortune, Better Homes & Gardens, Popular Mechanics, Popular Science, and more. As I was reading the first pages, I wondered if Atul Vir is indeed such a fantastic storyteller or there is a co-author of this book. I was so drowned in his story that I forgot my surroundings. Atul does a great job describing how he felt when he reached rock bottom for the first time in his life. His book’s so well written and edited that every detail mentioned about his thoughts and feelings made me appreciate him even more. Thus, I give this book 4 out of 4 stars. This is one of the best books to learn how it feels to walk in a CEO’s shoes. If anyone were to ask me to recommend a business book, this one I would choose. Why? Because Atul Vir’s book doesn’t just tell the story of an immigrant or an entrepreneur. It also tells the story of a comeback, which proves that if one nurtures the relationship with his customers, he can only thrive. Thus, this book is for anyone who wants to know more about the reality of entrepreneurship and innovation.
“”Underdog Thinking: A Bold Idea, a Business Adventure and 101 Lessons Learned Along the Way is Atul Vir’s debut book. Atul Vir’s story revolves around his attempts to create something great without giving in or losing his values. He was forced to become an entrepreneur through circumstances. After being the head of a company in Africa by chance, Atul moves to the U.S. to follow his American dream. He plans to find a job to support his family, but his first experience as an immigrant in America is filled with rejections. However, he finds a way to accomplish his aim. This book contains the real success story of a CEO Indian immigrant committed to ethics, excellence, and innovation. Underdog Thinking covers the story of an underdog who builds his own business on a pile of rejections, and in order to protect it, he fights with big dogs. Atul’s book is an exceptional work of non-fiction (partial autobiographical) that reads like a novel. It’s about launching and running a business ethically while keeping the needs of the customers first, no matter what. It’s so instructive and captivating that it makes you wonder how many entrepreneurs can remain as upright as Atul Vir even after numerous struggles, betrayals, abandonments, and failures. Atul is an underdog entrepreneur who shows the big dogs how to succeed without stepping on toes. The main guiding principles that set him apart from other entrepreneurs are: he always puts the customer first even when he is at crossroads, and he brings innovation into the world, not for the money but to improve people’s lives. I appreciate all of Atul’s business lessons. In Underdog Thinking, he modestly describes every step he took to build his own business. If you want to know what situations an entrepreneur has to overcome to keep his company afloat, read this book. Atul makes you a witness of his journey to success. You can see what he sees, what he thinks, and what he feels. You can attend to his business conversations and capture his plans turning into actions. He takes you through his childhood memories to learn what experiences shaped his character. He also takes you through many countries and all the unforeseen circumstances that made him push past his limits. Moreover, you get to witness how he brings in the U.S market a product inspired by his wife to ease her life and later on of hundreds of other people. That product gets featured on Oprah show, Fortune, Better Homes & Gardens, Popular Mechanics, Popular Science, and more. As I was reading the first pages, I wondered if Atul Vir is indeed such a fantastic storyteller or there is a co-author of this book. I was so drowned in his story that I forgot my surroundings. Atul does a great job describing how he felt when he reached rock bottom for the first time in his life. His book’s so well written and edited that every detail mentioned about his thoughts and feelings made me appreciate him even more. Thus, I give this book 4 out of 4 stars. This is one of the best books to learn how it feels to walk in a CEO’s shoes. If anyone were to ask me to recommend a business book, this one I would choose. Why? Because Atul Vir’s book doesn’t just tell the story of an immigrant or an entrepreneur. It also tells the story of a comeback, which proves that if one nurtures the relationship with his customers, he can only thrive. Thus, this book is for anyone who wants to know more about the reality of entrepreneurship and innovation.”
“Underdog thinking, by Atul Vir is the inspiring autobiography of an immigrant to the U.S.A., centered on more than twenty years of entrepreneurial expertise in the laundry business, an industry dominated by major multinational corporations. Despite the obstacles he had to face, Atul Vir shows us the perseverance he needed to succeed in another country, keeping his positive attitude, and never forgetting his school’s motto of “Never Give In”. Even when failure seemed inevitable, he maintained his work ethic and the customer committed attitude that he learned when he was young, which were helpful when he succeeded in bringing his business back to life. He had a humble beginning as an Indian native and followed a good job that took him to Africa. During his first working years, he was admired for his knowledge, yet things changed quite fast, and after the company failure, Vir took his business from Africa to England, and then to America. There he started his import/export business: he sold the combo washer-dryer laundry machine because he wanted to help his wife with the laundry and because he realized it was not available in the market. Ten years later, his company the Equator had become a strong contender in the American home appliance industry. Traveling through continents and cultures, the author takes the reader on an adventure through the many difficulties and joys of an entrepreneurial voyage and he shows the importance of perseverance and honesty. From reaching a very good level of success to facing personal betrayals, Atul Vir analyses many aspects of business: global business, overcoming fear and failure, and innovation. He describes the real risk of financial distress and depression that accompany a loss in business. He teaches also a lot about entrepreneurship, leadership, and ethics. This book is a guidebook on ‘lessons learned and it is suitable for entrepreneurs who run a company and who give priority to their customer’s needs, and for innovators who are looking for ways to turn ideas into reality. It is written in a friendly and personal style; the sections are divided into different events and every chapter has inspirational quotes and advice. I enjoyed the story-telling style and the 101 lessons learned while reading it, and I loved the quotes at the beginning of every chapter. I am not gifted with an entrepreneurial spirit, yet the ideas suggested by Mr. Vir are useful for many aspects of life. I admired his determination to put forward his business values such as teamwork and cultural knowledge, and the advice to “listen to those closest to the action”. The part I liked most about the book is his reflections on different cultures while traveling around the world. I enjoyed the first half of the book, but I found the last part very slow: the inclusion of charts for clarification was useful but made me lose interest in the story. For this reason, I rate this book 3 out of 4 stars.Underdog thinking , by Atul Vir is the inspiring autobiography of an immigrant to the U.S.A., centered on more than twenty years of entrepreneurial expertise in the laundry business, an industry dominated by major multinational corporations. Despite the obstacles he had to face, Atul Vir shows us the perseverance he needed to succeed in another country, keeping his positive attitude, and never forgetting his school’s motto of “Never Give In”. Even when failure seemed inevitable, he maintained his work ethic and the customer committed attitude that he learned when he was young, which were helpful when he succeeded in bringing his business back to life. He had a humble beginning as an Indian native and followed a good job that took him to Africa. During his first working years he was admired for his knowledge, yet things changed quite fast, and after the company failure Vir took his business from Africa to England, and then to America. There he started his import/export business: he sold the combo washer-dryer laundry machine because he wanted to help his wife with the laundry, and because he realized it was not available in the market. Ten years later, his company Equator had become a strong contender in the American home appliance industry. Travelling through continents and cultures, the author takes the reader on an adventure through the many difficulties and joys of an entrepreneurial voyage and he shows the importance of perseverance and honesty. From reaching a very good level of success to facing personal betrayals, Atul Vir analyses many aspects of business: global business, overcoming fear and failure, and innovation. He describes the real risk of financial distress and depression that accompany a loss in business. He teaches also a lot about entrepreneurship, leadership, and ethics. This book is a guidebook on ‘lessons learned’ and it is suitable for entrepreneurs who run a company and who give priority to their customer’s needs, and for innovators who are looking for ways to turn ideas into reality. It is written in a friendly and personal style; the sections are divided into different events and every chapter has inspirational quotes and advice. I enjoyed the story-telling style and the 101 lessons learned while reading it, and I loved the quotes at the beginning of every chapter. I am not gifted with an entrepreneurial spirit, yet the ideas suggested by Mr. Vir are useful for many aspects of life. I admired his determination to put forward his business values such as team-work and cultural knowledge, and the advice to “listen to those closest to the action”. The part I liked most about the book are his reflections on different cultures while travelling around the world. I enjoyed the first half of the book, but I found the last part very slow: the inclusion of charts for clarification were useful but made me lose interest in the story. For this reason, I rate this book 3 out of 4 stars.
“The nonfiction autobiography Underdog Thinking by Atul Vir tells the story of his journey to creating and owning a successful business. Within his chapters, he instills little lessons from what he has learned along the way. The novel details Mr. Atul Vir’s journey from being a little boy in Indian, born into a military family and attending boarding school to his journey to Europe, Africa and finally to his new homeland in America. Struggling to find employment in America, Atul decides to create his own company, Equator, based on his previously learned skills. He tells the ups and downs of business, the betrayals, and the successes. Mr. Vir details how Equator brought the combo washer/dryer to America and unfolds his interactions and relationships with distributors, suppliers, manufacturers and lawyers. Through his story he never loses his ethics, which by and large helps him overcome all obstacles and succeed. There are many things I liked about this story. The story started off really strong, with vivid writing as he detailed his adventures through Africa and even to China. The author uses creative metaphors as well as wonderful literary allusions as he compares his life to the adventurers in the stories he heard as a child. I was a little hesitant to read this book at first, thinking that it would be over my head and difficult to understand, but the author made it very readable not just to those in business but to the general public as well. He had some nice foreshadowing and painted a very clear picture of each character’s motivation. The book was well written and professionally edited. There are several things I disliked about this book. Although the beginning of the novel started off strong and was an easy read, I felt as if halfway through, it began to drag on. It was often repetitive and jumped back and forth in time which made it very difficult to track and read overall. The second half of the book could have been condensed to keep the reader engaged. Although the author started off with strong writing, I felt as though it lapsed halfway through the story and became repetitive and non-engaging. Based on this, I would give this book 3 out of 4 stars. It is a great book for anyone who is thinking about starting their new business or who is new to business all together.
By sri varshini303041
Underdog Thinking is a book written by Atul Vir. In this book he shares his own life experiences about being an immigrant entrepreneur in the United States of America. He also shares how he met with rejection, in several stages of his career, but he was not ready to accept defeat, so he built his own business empire. His business journey was not all bed of roses because he faced a massive defeat after building a successful business. From being a millionaire, he came to the verge of bankruptcy. His company’s reputation was wrecked, and he also faced betrayals in his journey. He did not give up. He worked hard and climbed the social ladder again.He started his journey from a very humble beginning as an Indian Native and became a successful businessman in American history. It is very inspiring and encouraging to read, especially for new entrepreneurs. The thing I liked most in this book is the first person narrative. His simple language made it easy to relate to him and his emotions. The next thing I liked in this book is the details that he gives in every situation. For instance, his description about different countries and their traditions was very useful. His cultural perspective is descriptive, and it makes his journey very interesting to read. This book is not just an autobiography. It is also a book that teaches future entrepreneurs many things about the tiny details in business. The book explains the nuances of running a successful business. There are flowcharts at the end of the book that teaches how a business should be organized. I personally liked the Yin and Yang concept. Another thing I really enjoyed in this book is his way of storytelling. His words are very simple but are detailed,which helps us to visualise the scenes in our head. The book also teaches us to be ethical when it comes to business. Atul Vir emphasizes ethics over profit.I really enjoyed the chronological way the story was told. It was easy to understand and relate. To be honest, non-linear storytelling confuses me a little. I found the quotes a little boring. They had the same messages in different words. But it didn’t ruin the mood for me. The book was exceptionally well edited. I could not find any typos or grammar mistakes. I am not a business person. I have no background in business. But I really enjoyed this book. It’s not only about running a business. It’s about perseverance, courage, honesty, and willpower. I would like to give 4 out of 4 stars to this book. I would like to recommend this book to all budding entrepreneurs and anyone who wants to read an inspirational story.
“Atul Vir gives us a glimpse into his life as a serial entrepreneur through his book titled Underdog Thinking. He hopes that entrepreneurs will use this book as a guidepost, learn from his mistakes, and improve. The author narrates his story from the moment he graduated and landed his first job, which saw him leave his country and head to Nigeria. He was hired as a financial auditor, but through his diligence and strong work ethic, he quickly rose through the ranks and occupied an executive position at his firm. Almost a decade later, his life took a different turn when the firm he had been working for was forced to shut down. With no penny to his name, he decided to carve a new life in America. Upon arriving in America, he applied for many positions but was rejected at every turn, and his chances of living the American dream were becoming dimmer by night. Atul had a family to take care of and a newborn baby to support. The need to provide for his family and the limited job prospects compelled him to venture into business. I liked how the author was candid about the struggles he faced when he was starting up and his struggles as a seasoned entrepreneur. As a budding entrepreneur myself, I share the same sentiments as the author; business is not for the faint-hearted as it is demanding and time-consuming. But it is equally rewarding and fulfilling. Atul’s resilience and tenacity stood out for me throughout this book. His hunger to succeed as an immigrant in a country far away from his homeland propelled him to excellence. His storytelling ability is also worth mentioning; it kept me captivated until the last page. I found the book to be short, with only 19 chapters and an epilogue. Although compact, the lessons in this book have the potential to catapult any entrepreneur into success. The fact that these lessons have been tried and tested adds to the book’s credibility. The book was exceptionally edited as I did not come across any typos or grammatical errors. I also did not come across any profane words or inappropriate content, and there was nothing I disliked. I recommend this book to individuals contemplating venturing into business, start-up entrepreneurs, and seasoned entrepreneurs. It is practical, instructional, and contains inspirational real-life scenarios. I am pleased to award the book a glowing rating of 4 out of 4 stars.
After the company where he worked in Nigeria went bankrupt during the civil war in the nineties, Atul Vir decided to get a fresh start in America. He could be with his family, get a new job, and live the American dream, or so he thought. After getting dozens of rejection letters from potential employers, Atul decided to start his own business without a concrete business idea, or any capital.Despite the challenges of not having any capital for his business at first, he was able to start small. He came up with the idea of a more effective washing machine while watching his wife go through the drudgery of doing laundry. He built his business into a success within a decade. Then there was a downturn in the economy, and then he faced betrayal from business partners and subsequently, his lawyer. His business was ruined, his reputation was in tatters and the bank and money lenders were at his door. We see how he refused to give in and fought to get back up despite the odds. At first, I thought Underdog Thinking was going to be another book about how to do business (yes, they are always beneficial), but it is way more than that. We can appreciate exactly what someone who’s a real entrepreneur goes through. The demands of building a business as well as dealing with the lack of integrity of business partners are issues an entrepreneur has to face. We see that contrary to what Atul thought, success wasn’t to be had by simply working hard. Success was going to take much more than work and it could be threatened by something other than laziness, such as the greed of some of those working with him. When he started suffering loss after loss, and he couldn’t seem to catch a break, I was wondering to myself why he hadn’t yet suffered a heart attack or at least a panic attack- as there is no way anyone could go through all that he went through without having his mental health compromised in some way. So when he described the period of depression he experienced as a result, I thought “okay, there it is”. I loved how the book showed his pain and struggles. We were able to appreciate how the setbacks he faced affected him and this made him much more relatable. Each time he experienced another betrayal yet again, I felt for him a little more. Yet, where a lot of others might have thrown in the towel, he fought till he won.What I loved most was how there was technical knowledge about entrepreneurship and starting a business even as the book took us through Atul’s journey in his business. It all flowed beautifully. I couldn’t find anything I truly disliked. The one thing that bothered me a bit was how the book mentioned that the business of Atul’s boss suffered in the hands of corrupt employees in Ivory Coast. I know this is what happened in real life, but I couldn’t help but feel like this somehow further perpetuates the stereotype that Africans are corrupt individuals. Again, I know it is simply a narration of what happened but, it touched on a sensitive point for me as I am from Africa, and it probably will affect one or two other Africans the same way. However, this wasn’t something I disliked in particular, as it didn’t bother me enough to affect my rating. All in all, I enjoyed the book thoroughly, and while I wanted to know what happened in the end, I still didn’t want the book to end. It was edited well and quite easy to read. Anyone who enjoys non-fiction books will love it. For anyone who is starting a business or who wants to become an entrepreneur, this book is a must. Those who do not enjoy non-fiction books or books about business may not enjoy it. I rate this book four stars out of four as it is truly amazing.
The Some people are born entrepreneurs and some are made entrepreneurs by necessities or circumstances beyond their control. Whatever the reason, once the call of entrepreneurship takes hold, it gets one for life. In his book Underdog Thinking, author Atul Vir argues that all entrepreneurs should develop a novel way of seeing the world to survive and be successful. Vir has written this book as a guidepost for business owners who are not very certain of the road ahead of them. In this book, the author shares the lessons he learned the hard way, the ups and downs of his business, and the forces that propelled him to develop an attitude of never giving up. Vir honestly states at the beginning of the book that his story is not simple. It is not necessarily glamorous at all times. But it is real. This got me hooked on the story. I was prepared to read this book just as a practical handbook, a guide for me to make notes for when I decide to start my own business. In a way, I was anticipating a dry, practical write-up, complete with pointers and advice. But this book is so much more! It is an adventure tale, replete with anecdotes of betrayals, back-stabbings, friends turned into opponents and enemies and beating the odds of circumstances to rebuild a successful business empire. Vir writes with passion. His writing reflects his ambitions and dedication to his business. As an Indian immigrant in the States who was once taunted for knowing nothing about how to run a business in America, Vir’s success story is nothing but mesmerizing. It is not a quintessential tale of rags to riches, but it is a story of perseverance and holding ground in face of failure and uncertainty. What I loved most about the book was that Vir has added some brilliant quotes at the beginning of each chapter. He then shares his experiences about the quote so that the readers are not only motivated by the quotes but also have a story to relate them with. The pace of narration is perfect. Vir knows how to keep his readers engaged, proving just enough nuisances about his business and focusing more on the mindset that one needs to forge. The author does not talk much about his personal choice. The readers are not told if his business crisis affected his personal life in any way. Some readers might have enjoyed reading more about the author’s personal life but I had no complaints about it. The author had promised this book to be a guide for entrepreneurs and he delivered on it. The book remains focused on its purpose. The author does provide some background about his life in India and Africa, the Indian culture that guides him in his decision making. He has even written briefly about the partition of India and the Hindu caste-system. This should provide non-Indian readers a brief on the cultural differences and additional challenges an immigrant must have faced building a business empire. I gladly rate this book 4 out of 4 stars. The book is professionally edited. I did not come across any grammatical errors. The language is fluid and easy. I highly recommend this book to anyone aspiring to own a business. You could be an old player in the game, or newly starting your entrepreneurial journey, you will find a lot of value in this book.
“Our dreams will never leave us, it is our purpose, it is all we truly have. Underdog Thinking A Bold Idea. A Business Adventure And 101 Lessons Learned Along The Way. This autobiography by Atul Vir is jam-packed with adventure, life lessons, and blessings. Atul Vir tells the story of himself growing up in India and attending military boarding school to becoming a young university graduate and leaving his country of birth to reside and work in Nigeria in pursuit of his career. Lacking experience working in the corporate world, this seemingly new life took him on great adventures across many corners of the globe. The unfortunate events that took place in Nigeria, causing a crisis in the economy left Atul with no other choice but to leave Nigeria. Opting to take the chance he migrated to a new country, seeking a new life, a fresh start. Life in a new country, having little to no money, and being unable to land a new job had a devastating effect on him, however, it also lead him into the field of entrepreneurship. The author shares with his audience the lessons he had to learn and the hardships of them throughout this book. This book holds the realities of life, things we all have to face at some point, at some time. The stories told by the author teaches his audience that no matter what circumstances may arise, to never give up, to keep pushing even when it seems as if the odds are against you. Change is an inevitable part of life and even though the way may seem dark and daunting it does not mean that it is the end and things will never be good again. Underdog Thinking A Bold Idea A Business Adventure And 101 Lessons Learned Along The Way. has great wisdom; it is very insightful and inspiring. The author’s stories are very captivating, grabbing attention immediately. Atul’s determination not only teaches his audience that anything in life is possible once hard work is done, but also that failure does not mean it is the end and to never settle for less than you know you deserve. Always do what is right even if it means doing it alone. The hidden gems in this book are buried in the lessons taught by the author. Some of the stories told by the author were a bit long which didn’t carry much weight in the lessons that were being taught. Not much was said about his family and the parts they played throughout the struggles he faced, this made it seem as if he had little to no help from them especially seeing that he did make mention of having a family of his own. There was little to no personality built around the persons mentioned in this book leaving a dry effect on who they were, there were a lot of unanswered questions that the author failed to embark on. This composition was very well written and edited, no grammatical errors were observed nor words misspelled. There are no use of profanities nor sexual content within this book. The sentence structures are clear and very precise making it easy to read and understand. I rate this book 3 out of 4 stars. for the author’s method of execution and attention-grabbing techniques. This book is fit for a business-minded audience those who are passionate about owning or operating a business of their own, the lessons in this book will be a great guide and an eye-opener. Also for the young and inexperienced who might be seeking inspiration, motivation, and information from someone who had to learn through trial and error.
Underdog Thinking, by Atul Vir, is a memoir book that explores Vir’s entrepreneurial life. Atul Vir is a businessman who comes from India. He started his career in Africa, but a strike of bad luck made him go to the US. Now, he will have to search for a way to forge his path, starting from zero in a foreign land. This book explores his adventures, misfortunes, and success while doing this. His company sells washing machines that wash and dry, but this product is new in the American market. The washing machines are also protagonists in this story. What I liked about this book was that it presents the importance of telling stories. Every chapter starts with a reference or quote. Somehow, they are related to the point of the chapter in question. This was a good sign for me, for it shows that Vir knows how the importance of listening and telling stories. In particular, this is something to bear in mind while writing one’s own story: How and what are we portraying of ourselves? Another thing I liked was the perspective. Most of the stories that speak about entrepreneurship are told as success stories from a single man. This is no exception, but it has a particularity: it is the perspective of an outcast. We do not follow the story of an American wealthy white man who already had influences and money. Instead, we follow a man from India. Sure, Atul Vir still has many privileges, but it is his story in a foreign country: full of obstacles and cultural differences. These cultural differences work as a subtle critique of American culture and the idea that “hard work will get you for results.” Sometimes this does not happen. Sometimes giving your best is not enough. What I liked was the honesty with which Vir conveys that in the book. Struggles occur, and we live in a complex world, where success happens not only by working hard. His struggles and the betrayals he had to overcome prove this. Nevertheless, I would have liked these issues to be more developed or explored. I think that, by doing this, it would also become a much more interesting and innovative book. What I disliked was, precisely, that it had a lot of good topics and controversial points, but somehow they remain secondary. The narrative is focused mostly on telling Vir’s story, while it could have addressed many injustices in today’s global market. At the same time, the story focuses a lot on unimportant details. I understand it is about his life, but maybe we did not need so many particular details about the washing machines. In these entrepreneur books, in particular, I have seen that the personal experience transforms into general advice for the readers. There is some of that in this book, but Vir does not completely convey that. Therefore, I think this should be considered more a memoir than an entrepreneurship book. I would have liked it better had it been shorter and less repetitive. The book was professionally edited with just a couple of typos (mostly about format). This does not affect the reading. I also appreciate that it has images of the concepts that are mentioned. Despite Atul Vir being from another country, religion, and context, I think this book does not attempt against anyone’s personal beliefs. It does not contain profanity nor sexual descriptions. I would rate this book 3 out of 4 stars because it started very good, yet it felt flat for the end. I think the author got very into telling the details of his history that he forgot he was telling a story. There is a lot of information about washing machines. This book is a hybrid between a success story and an inspirational manual for people who try to start their business. Deciding for one of the two options would have made it a bit better for me. I would recommend this book for people who like to read about entrepreneurship in a more literary way than just to know the hard facts of business.
Underdog Thinking by Atul Vir is a fabulous book describing the journey of an entrepreneur. We all know that success is not easy. Still, we often wonder when we see big business tycoons that they might be enjoying being in the limelight, are probably lucky, or must have got better chances in life. But this book is an eye-opener. It shows that success is not by chance, but it takes a lot of effort, hard work, and many important-virtues. The book takes us on a wonderful journey of the author’s life that initiates from India to Europe to Africa and finally, to the U.S. The book is full of his real-life experiences related to the business, cultural differences, opportunities, betrayals, struggles, obstacles, successes, mistakes, innovation, setbacks, comeback, relationships, and most important the forces that keep us going even at the lowest of points in life. Atul Vir a self-made entrepreneur, CEO was from a remote mountain town in India called Lovedale. He first resided in Africa, happy and well settled, but as situations persuaded him, he went on to search for a new location. The United States was the most feasible idea in his mind at that time. He thought that opportunities were in the air in America. He began to visualize in his dream, his future in America, but fate had other plans. After months of unsuccessful job search in Houston, he had no option left but to start his own business. And then the book carries the reader to an amazing roller coaster ride. Where there is success in a moment and again a steep downfall in another. This downfall gives goose-bumps, anxiety, but the book teaches us how to deal with it courageously. The author very carefully describes all the game-changing events of his life and gives interesting captions to each chapter. HE considers innovation the key-point for his successful business. The book generally focuses on his experiences regarding the Equator, his first business in American Home Appliance Industry. The author indeed built a great place in Houston, but then he got struck through the betrayals that hurt him personally and professionally and caused the downfall of his business. But he decided to go on with his loyalty with his customers. He faced the circumstances strongly and stood up. But this is business and so this went on several times. Today, the author is a great entrepreneur owning multiple international businesses, but still, he believes in integrity, honesty, and ethics as the pillars of any relationship. That is commendable! The thing I liked the most is the book teaches us that in any walk of life one should not compromise on his ethics. The author is a person of morale. He sees God in his customers. He believes that everything in a business must focus on customers. I also enjoyed reading the fabulous details about his Eco-center project and explanation about the four varnas of Hindu social stratification system. There is nothing that I dislike about the book. Just like the subtitle says the book contains many lessons that can help to start and sustain a successful business. I will recommend this book to all the people whether they are a businessman or not because the story is not only about business, but is also regarding the character of a human being and how your pure soul leads you to sheer satisfaction and success. I give Underdog Thinking by Atul Vir a 4 out of 4 stars. This book is an inspiration and a key to business relationships. The author describes many important points in the form of various diagrams to make it easy for the readers to understand the concept at a glance. He even beautifully uses Hindi phrases like “Shekh chilli” means day-dreaming, which makes reading more fun. The book seems to be very well-edited. I enjoyed reading Equator’s Innovation Principles the most. This lesson explains step-wise how to transform an idea into organizational innovation. The author believes business is ethics, innovation, and excellence all coming together to build a better world. Apart from this, the book features many beautiful quotes from well-known personalities that make the content very rich and soulful. My favorite quote from the book is “Swift as the wind, Quiet as the forest, Conquer like the fire, Steady as the mountain. By Sun Tzu, 544 B.C, China. “Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.” Confucius, 551 B. C, China.
Underdog Thinking by Atul Vir is not just any non-fiction read with inspiring text; it is a commendable account of the author’s struggle. It is a story about a business empire made from scratch. Though the book is non-fiction, it is nothing less than a truly inspiring life story, which feels unreal in some places. The author is an Indian by birth, who carried a passion to build his own business. He traveled multiple continents to grab success. At first, he traveled from India to Europe, from where his destiny took him to Africa. His story about his time in Africa is quite astonishing. He survived Africa and moved to the USA with his wife. After failing numerous times to find the right thing to do, the author decided to start his own business. He was underestimated by the US firms, which in turn made him take a firm decision to become an entrepreneur. Even in the USA, the author had to shift from NYC to Texas to earn his bread. He thought about and analyzed the market, eventually finding a loophole in the system by observing the household activities. He introduced the washer-dryer combo when he felt how difficult it is for his wife to do the laundry. The readers will witness a unique struggle in this book. The book is empowering enough to inspire young entrepreneurs. The story of the author teaches a lesson that meeting the unexpected must not make one leave the chosen path. The author went through an unimaginable struggle and hardships, even after he started the journey towards success. His experience will teach the readers the importance of an alert and active mind in seizing the life-changing opportunity. The commitment of the author was the key to his success. A lesson about ups and downs in life is also dominant in the story; the author was leading a decent life, but the tables turned in no time. The best thing about the book is the format of it. There are inspiring quotes by some famous personalities used at the beginning of every chapter, along with quotes written by the author himself. My personal favorite is, “If you want to find an opportunity, look for a problem.” This idea is basically what drives the journey of the author. The book also contains a considerable number of diagrams and illustrations to facilitate the reading experience. One thing I did not like is the uneven pace of the events penned down by the author. Things get slow at some parts, which can be a setback for a non-fiction read. There is no profane or vulgar content in the book. The editing is just fine. No typos or grammatical errors were spotted by me. On the whole, I would rate this a perfect 4 out of 4 stars read. The above-mentioned reasons are enough to justify the full score. It is worth mentioning that more people need to know about the history of the washer-dryer combo. The author served millions of houses in the US with his idea, which deserves appreciation. The book is suitable not only for non-fiction readers but also for fiction readers too. This book is not filled with inspiring stuff and motivational lessons only. It contains an astounding story about a man who had a dream and achieved it by capturing the flaws in the system. Readers who wish to start their own business must give this book a read. This story needs to be known as much as possible. I hope you will enjoy it as much as I did.
When we look at a business empire, we see success, wealth, and fame. But what are the difficulties an entrepreneur has to go through to establish that empire? Is an idea enough to start a business? How do one face the failures in business? The answers to all these questions can be found in Underdog Thinking by Atul Vir. This book follows the entrepreneurial journey of Atul Vir, the CEO of Equator appliances. The author has always liked the African continent and dreamt of adventure, as a boy. After completing his education in India, he takes up responsibilities as a chartered accountant in a Nigerian company. He is successful, happy, and is starting a family. But political coups in Nigeria in the 90s have shattered the company he is working for and his financial position with it. He moves to New York with his wife and newborn daughter searching for a job. After numerous rejections, he decides to start his own business. His wife spending enormous amounts of time in the laundry room, transferring soggy clothes from washer to dryer gives him a brilliant idea for a washer-dryer combo. From that moment onwards starts his journey that consists of lots of ups and downs, pinnacles and rock bottoms, trust and betrayal, and never-ending determination. This book is written in the first-person perspective of the author. The author recounts his days as an underdog entrepreneur and how he has achieved the American dream. Atul Vir is a great storyteller. His narration was so interesting that I didn’t even get bored during the stark business talk. The author’s global relations also made the book interesting. He is an Indian who gets his first job in Nigeria, starts his business in the USA, has manufacturers in Italy and China. It is also interesting to read about the then political conditions like political coups in Africa, economic turmoil in Europe, and the recession in the USA, that has affected his business. The book is divided into chapters and sub-chapters for easy reading. The heading of each subchapter summarizes the principle the reader grasps from that topic. It makes revising the book easy. The thing I liked the most about the book is the author’s style of writing. It made me empathize with him and made the reading experience more enjoyable. I also liked how the author was honest about his depression when his business hit the rock bottom and everyone around him betrayed him. His story is sure to be inspiring for future entrepreneurs There is nothing I disliked about this book. It is well-edited. There is no profanity or scenes of violence. I give this book 4 out of 4 stars because it is enjoyable and inspirational. I recommend it to aspiring entrepreneurs and readers who like autobiographies.
By Zion Mesa
Underdog Thinking by Atul Vir details the author’s struggles as an immigrant working to build a successful company in the United States. The book recounts the numerous hardships he weathered as he navigated the competitive market. Along the way, Vir outlines some of the wisdom he’s collected from the experiences and provides pointers on how to build a successful business model. One of my favorite things about the book was how apparent the writer’s passion for the industry was from the first chapter. He shared contagious energy through the pages that took what could’ve been simply another memoir and turned it into an adventure novel. The pacing was strong, resulting in an engaging read. I never felt like the book was dragging on, nor did I feel left behind in the events. Another thing I found pleasant were the quotes he placed throughout. From philosophers to warriors, Vir managed to find a unique reference for every junction. He also left diagrams periodically throughout the pages to better illustrate and cement certain concepts. He explained to the reader certain dangers and pitfalls that they would be likely to come across and gave wisdom on the responsibilities an entrepreneur would need to bear to run a successful business. When I first started the book, I worried the author would provide more entertainment value than educational. While the book does have a large number of inspirational themes mixed into it, Vir didn’t neglect to leave some substance within as well. The book contains an appendix that compiles the locations of all the information scattered throughout. On this note, however, my only complaint is that the information provided doesn’t go very in-depth on how to start or operate a business. Beyond the basic framework, there isn’t a wealth of information that I believe wouldn’t be in most other beginner business guides. The book seems designed for more casual readers who have a general curiosity about entrepreneurship, rather than more serious businessmen and women. I’ve decided to give this book four out of four stars. It was well-edited, and I only came across a couple of minor typos in my reading. Aside from my desire for a bit more substance in the educational areas, I didn’t have any complaints. If you enjoy stories about people overcoming adversity, you’ll likely appreciate this one. Unfortunately, if you’re looking for an indispensable and detailed business guide, you may need to search elsewhere.
Are you thinking of starting your own business? Do you ever wonder how few people are so successful in their work and business? Do you want to know what is their secret? If your answer to any of these questions is a yes, then this book will help you. Underdog Thinking is a non-fictional book written by Atul Vir. This book contains the experiences of the author and his journey from struggle to success. Atul Vir is an Indian immigrant to the U.S. He is a CEO, an entrepreneur, and a speaker. In this book, the author takes you through the adventure of his life. He was born in India and had a dream of becoming a successful entrepreneur. After working in various countries, he finally landed in the USA. He did not know anything about the American business. But still, he was determined to establish a business in America. He was rejected many times by many people. But only his passion and positive attitude helped him move forward. After this initial struggle, he started a company and became the CEO of Equator Appliances. To know the inspiring details of the author’s journey you must read this book. Underdog Thinking is a great book that has around 470 pages divided into 20 chapters. There is an index given at the beginning of the book which helps to navigate through the book easily. The author has poured out all his knowledge into this book. Anybody, at any stage in their entrepreneurial journey, will find something beneficial in this book. The author’s writing is quite crisp and eloquent. The language used is simple for everybody to read and understand. There are so many things in this book that I liked. Firstly, every chapter starts with an inspirational quote that sets the tone to read further. The author has given a detailed description of his struggles, hard work, vulnerability, financial issues, etc. this helps and motivates people to keep going despite having problems. He offers great advice on various topics and all this is worth reading. The biggest appeal for me is the summary of all the lessons that he had learned along his journey. It is separately given at the end of the book which helps the readers to get back to it as and when required. There are a few quotes in this book that inspired me the most. They are: “If you want to find an opportunity look for a problem” and “The only true wisdom is knowing you know nothing.” These two are stuck with me since I have read the book. There is absolutely nothing that I disliked in this book. This does not contain any major profanity or obscene scenes. The book seems professionally edited because I did not find any errors while reading. With that being said, I rate Underdog Thinking 4 out of 4 stars. I do not have any reason to rate this any lower. I highly recommend this book to all entrepreneurs, and also to anybody who is struggling and is on the verge of giving up. I am sure this book can guide you on your journey. This book may not be for the people who dislike reading self-help and motivational books.
Underdog Thinking by Atul Vir is not your typical entrepreneur’s advice book. Sub-titled “A Bold Idea, A Business Adventure And 101 Lessons Learned Along The Way”, this book reads more like a biography of both the author and of the company he started. While you accompany Mr. Vir on his journey, he points out the lessons he learned, both positive and negative, that affected the state of his business, for good and bad. Mr. Vir writes that the “elements of entrepreneurship were formed in my youth”, but he didn’t take the steps to become an entrepreneur until circumstances forced his hand. He was working and living in Lagos, Nigeria until a military coup d’etat. Being on the ground in Nigeria, Mr. Vir saw the ongoing chaos, heard rumors of the upcoming coup and had tried to warn company management. The company’s chairman refused to believe there were any issues and the ensuing coup caused the company to go under and cost everyone their jobs. Therein came Lesson Number One: management decisions must be made by listening to those closest to the action. Leaving Africa for America, with a brief stop in London, Mr. Vir finds that his work experience isn’t valued, the expectation being that his African business experience doesn’t translate into American business experience. At this point, Mr. Vir decides to setup his own shop. For me, for others who might be curious about what drives entrepreneurs, the story that unfolds is fascinating. I learned that the drive is to do, run, start something, but what that something is not the most important thing. Again, at least for me, that’s a fascinating insight. Rather than starting a company to make something better, solve a real-world problem or to do something one loves, the actual “problem” being solved is the desire to be one’s own boss or to create something from scratch. In Mr. Vir’s case, that turned out to be an import/export business. Trying to spend more time with his wife and family, a problem to be solved emerges: the time required to do laundry. This leads him to put a major focus on an all-in-one combination washing machine and dryer. I enjoyed the story-telling style of this book. Instead of reading advice on what you should or shouldn’t do, what you have here is a case study of a real company. With hindsight, the author can look back at the history of the company and point out what works and doesn’t work. Hence the 101 lessons learned along the way. Mr. Vir does not shy away from pointing out his mistakes and I appreciate that he takes responsibility for them. Rather than blame circumstances, rather than blame others, a lesson is taught. It would be refreshing if this kind of candor was found in more advice books. Why do you always find what you’re looking for in the last place you look? Obviously, once you’ve found what you’re looking for, you can stop looking. There are three instances where Mr. Vir pushes this maxim to the extreme, all at tradeshows. In these three instances, it’s the last booth left in the entire show where he finds the company that can manufacture what he needs or it’s on the last day in the last hour of the tradeshow that he makes the deal necessary to keep his company afloat. Once, twice…okay. But three times? It’s almost unbelievable. I would rate this book 3 out of 4 stars. I couldn’t give it 4 stars because there were a few too many mistakes in the book. Unlike other advice books where you can turn to a chapter on a particular subject, the advice here is interspersed within the story. The lessons are worthwhile so if you’re a budding entrepreneur and would like practical advice, make the time to sit down and read the book from start to finish. It’ll be time well spent.
A true story of successes, hardships and betrayal is described in Underdog Thinking by Atul Vir. This non-fiction memoir of the author’s life tells a fascinating story containing a vast amount of knowledge and guidance relevant to all entrepreneurs. Equally, the book is suited to any reader who enjoys a captivating and honest life story. The author grew up in India, attending a military boarding school, and he fondly reminisces the teachings of King Solomon’s Mines. On completion of his studies, he takes an interview for a London based import-export business. Much to his surprise, he is immediately deployed to Nigeria to investigate financial corruption within the organisation. This early job opportunity enables him to settle in Africa and develop a successful business life. Unfortunately, this business is destroyed by a military coup d’état and the following financial ruin of the country. With the sorrow of this loss, Atul heads west to America with his family. He struggles with being an American immigrant and experiences many failed job interviews, with the resounding opinion that he has no clue about American business. With months of rejection, a clear and risky idea is born. He decides to start his own business and find out if America is the land of opportunities. After researching the major cities of America, he decides Houston, Texas, is where his family will settle, with its warm weather reminding him of his beloved routes in India. From start to finish, this book is a captivating story, describing a very interesting life. The author includes lessons and rules that have helped shape his business, Equator Advanced Appliances, and provides a fascinating journey through different continents. I enjoyed the parts where he remembers his school education in India and how these fond memories are so important to him. His early studies of King Solomon’s Mines obviously encouraging him to go out into the world to discover the treasures it offers. The author displays a great sense of adventure in his approach to life. Equally, I enjoyed the descriptions of the exotic places the author has visited. It is nice to read about his enjoyment of different cultures, scenery and food in places such as China, Africa and India. Within this descriptive account of his pursuit to build a successful business, he includes all the lessons he has learned along the way and shows his tenacity in dealing with all the obstacles thrown at him. It is a very honest account of the lows and highs in the journey to achieve his goal, with vivid details of the emotional burden this journey puts on him and his family. The book is a page-turner, including betrayals and bad fortune. The sheer amount of hard work, despite several knockdowns, is to be commended, and it left me in admiration of the strength of character of the author. I was also on the edge of my seat at the bravery of forging ahead when the consequences could be so risky. The author’s mantra for business is that ethics, innovation, and excellence are the future. He also states that everything should be done for the greater good of the customer and the world in which they live. He promotes a greener way to manufacture technology and understands the requirements of customers not only in the western world and in developing countries as well. I liked this philosophy, and the world would be a better place if all businesses shared the same view. I enjoyed this book; I learned a lot from it and was surprised to find a gripping story in an educational book. I found no spelling or grammar mistakes, so I rate it 4 out of 4 stars. It doesn’t contain any profanity or sexual content and is suitable for adults who are budding entrepreneurs or just enjoy a great story about a person striving to accomplish a dream. Prepare to be taken on a journey of highs and lows throughout the book and finish it never underestimating an underdog.
By Maggie Troy
I found this book, Underdog Thinking by Atul Vir, to be an extremely well written and enjoyable book. The use of such well-chosen vocabulary is impeccable, and throughout the book I found only one grammar mistake. Although this book provides many insights into the life of an ethical and innovative entrepreneur, as well as offering helpful guidance to eager and aspiring business people, it is primarily the unfolding life story of the author which enthrals the reader. We learn that the protagonist became self-employed after the collapse of the company where he previously worked, and also because he was subsequently unable to find any work in the new country he had moved to; a problem from his everyday life then provides an epiphany about the product he could make and sell. After much hard work and an almost impossible search, he is finally on his way to launching a successful business. The protagonist never abandons the ethics and values he was taught at school in his country of origin, and by building relationships and taking risks, we see him gradually make his ascent to the pinnacle of success. However, there are subsequent betrayals, and then the following seemingly unending difficulties which eventually lead to an unstoppable demise and final depression grip the reader as if we are personally invested in a fictional hero. We feel the rising anxiety, gloom, and sense of foreboding as we witness the inevitable approaching devastation. In a similar way, the painful rebuilding of trust and the question of what “our hero” will do next, become an emotional roller coaster for the reader. The overall sense of the book is not that of a “how-to” instructional guide to becoming successful in business, but instead it emphasizes the importance of ethics, accountability, building relationships and risk-taking. In particular it encourages ‘thinking like an underdog’ in order to find solutions. I believe this book would be an enjoyable read for all “audiences”, but particularly for those with an interest in entrepreneurial business. It would also appeal to those who are attracted to self help resources, and to those with a religious faith, as the author quotes passages from the Bible, Buddha, Bhagavat Gita, Nobel Prize laureates, and many other inspirational figures. I would rate this book as a 4 out of 4 stars, particularly as I was compelled by the writing style and meticulous use of language, as well as the sense of adventure that enfolded. I did find that the explanations in Appendix 1 at the end of the story were slightly laboured, but overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this book.
By Ada Ling
Atul Vir’s Underdog Thinking is a worth reading book. Atul, an Indian native, traveled four continents and settled down in Houston. In this book, Atul told the readers his roller-coaster journey: how he started the laundry appliance company, reached the peak, fell to the bottom, and got up. Atul provided his first-hand experience and wisdom from the lessons. It is a well-written book. Once I picked it up, I cannot put it down. I liked the stories and how the author put them together. The stories are structured chronologically. Some are so dramatic that I felt I was reading a novel instead of a non-fiction business book. The author’s description of his internal thinking and other people’s emotion was so vivid that I felt I was in the middle of a real conversation. It was interesting to see how people express their thoughts across different cultures. The quotation at the beginning of each chapter is a brilliant idea. The stories are fast-paced and easy to follow, just as the readers listening to a friend sharing his ups and downs. The whole reading process was enjoyable. What touched me most was Atul as an entrepreneur and as a person – his drive, perseverance, resilience, and integrity. As an immigrant, Atul did not have many resources to start a company. He showed the readers how to spot an idea, develop a business plan, then deploy it. Hard work paid off. But life was more complicated than just hard work and luck. While everything was on track, some competitors and dishonest people derailed his dream. The betray smashed Atul’s company to the ground. As a reader, I felt Atul’s vulnerability, angry, pain, and struggle. The betrays made him an underdog. What can an underdog do? Give in? No way. Atul not only started everything again but also created new products. While he was knocked down by unethical partners, he insisted on treating people with trust and honesty – the most crucial mentality each entrepreneur needs to have. This book offers far more than business lessons. It is about immigration, innovation, and comeback. It is a well-edited book, and I did not find any errors. I enjoyed everything about this book. It well deserves a 4 out of 4 stars. Underdog Thinking is a must-read for entrepreneurs around the world. Atul teaches you how to build a business from scratch. He also emphasizes the core of building a business – ethics, culture, trust, and customers. Finally, the author wants the reader to remember: even you are down like an underdog, never give in.
Underdog Thinking by Atul Vir takes us on a journey through Atul’s business career. After getting rejected from multiple job applications, Atul decides to create his own company and be his own boss. His company reintroduced the combo washing machine back in the United States. Eventually, he was running a multimillion-dollar business. After a decade of being a success, everything started to go wrong. His new manufacturers were producing faulty machines. Customers were filing complaints, and Atul was losing money. He lost most of his dealers and his employees. Despite all this, Atul was determined to get his company back to the top. This was a very inspirational book to read. This book allowed me to see what it’s actually like to be an entrepreneur. Atul faced many challenges, but this didn’t stop him from giving up. He describes in detail the issues he faced and how he overcame them. Throughout the book, he gives great tips on how to be successful in your business. One of the things he suggests is that it’s important to always keep your customers happy. If your customers are happy, then your business will be successful. They are the people who can grow your business. As well as providing tips, Atul also provides diagrams to further explain his ideas. This is great for those who are visual learners. I liked how Atul structured the book. It was easy to read and understand. There was no difficult business jargon. So, it’s okay if you don’t know anything about business. Each chapter opens with a quote. This is a nice idea because it sets the mood for the rest of the chapter. Not only that, but it also motivates you to read the chapter. As I was reading, I felt like I was having a conversation with Atul. Even though I don’t have a business, I felt like I could relate to the stress he was feeling. I admire his confidence and determination. Atul has been told countless times that he can’t do this or that. So, he strived to prove them wrong. There was nothing that I disliked about the book. It was well-written and enjoyable to read. This is the perfect book to read if you are feeling unmotivated in life. Overall, I would rate this book 4 out of 4 stars because it taught me a lot of important lessons, and I loved reading it. There were no mistakes, so it is professionally edited. This is a great book for those who have a business or those who want to start one.
“Underdog Thinking by Atul Vir is based on the real-life journey of the author. It spans through various countries of Asia, Europe, Africa, and the United States of America. It is about an Indian immigrant and his journey that seems to be like a fairy tale. From being an employee to exploring entrepreneurship, from being broke twice to standing up again and creating a business overcoming the betrayal and failures that came across the way. I have to accept the fact that the book is one of the best one-time reads. It took me nearly 5 hours to complete the book and it is beyond a doubt a page-turner. Right from the start, the book engages you through the journey of Atul Vir. The title seems to be underwhelming since one can easily misjudge it as another self-improvement book. But the book can qualify as a non-fiction self-help book that has lots of drama. The book starts with a bang and you have your edge of the seat moment however after some time it maintains a steady pace of gradually unfolding the storyline which tends to get a little boring but right at the middle you are back on a thrilling ride which continues till the end. Sure there are some un-necessary subplots but since it is a real-life journey we can pass through it like the bump on the road. There are certain road maps provided at the end of the chapters which are graphic and can be used by all for information and self-help in business. The editor of the book Emily Hubbell has done a fantastic job. Most of the real-life stories do not provide you with the thrills of fiction and how the sentences and occasions have been placed is a genuine art of storytelling that is rare to find. That said, the book could have been easily 15 pages shorter without making any difference to the plot or the magic it weaves. There are specific quotes in the books which are very good and have been placed in the right locations. However, towards the end, the quotes are not interesting. It seems that they have been hurried through to get the book completed on schedule. The writer should have given more thought to this. Considering all the above, I will give the book 3 out of 4 stars . The is one of those rare books which are non-fiction yet breezy read and have very good editing. A title like “An Accidental Entrepreneur” would have done much more justice to the book than the present one which gets confusing.”
“Underdog Thinking is a book about the hardships, the satisfactions, and, most importantly, about the lessons of entrepreneurship. Atul Vir has built a trusted company that sells excellence and innovation, but he will be the first to say that the decades it took to achieve that have been harsh. In this book, he organizes and shares these lessons so that the reader can hopefully avoid the mistakes and apply what works. Ultimately, he proves the importance of thinking like an underdog. In its almost 340 pages, the book explores Vir’s bumpy path to entrepreneurship and the lessons along the way. You delve into his early years in an Indian military school, his first job in Africa, and the difficulties he went through trying to get one in the USA. You learn all about the people that trusted him when he had nothing and about the ones who betrayed him when he had everything to lose, time after time. You get to see his determination and perseverance and how those traits led him to rebuild his company and bring it to new highs with trusted partners and excellent products. And most of all, Vir organizes and names the lessons as they appear in the story so that you can identify them. Underdog Thinking contains no profanities or erotic content, so it is suitable for anyone. If you have a passion for entrepreneurship and want to learn about the struggles and the context you could face, I suggest you buy this book. Some remarkable insights are “”persistence is power,”” “”don’t ever innovate for innovation’s sake,”” and “”building lasting relationships that defy the misconception that the only way to get ahead in business is to lie, cheat, and steal.”” Vir gives every reason to believe that an ethical business that serves its customers with excellence is possible. Moreover, there will always be cheaters, but there will also be good people. Even if you don’t plan to have your own company, you can use the teachings for your own life–the book is packed with wise advice that anyone can use. I give this book 4 out of 4 stars. I loved everything. Atul Vir is not only an accomplished businessman but also a skilled storyteller. You suffer over the defeats and get excited about the wins. You empathize with the journey and get a broader perspective on the struggles that entrepreneurs withstand. Aside from the vast lessons and the inspiring story, I loved how well-structured the book is. Without noticeable typos, Underdog Thinking is both exceptionally well edited and written. Very much recommended.”
By Eriny Youssef
In Underdog Thinking we follow the story of Atul Vir from his early years in India and Africa all the way to the United States. The lengthiest part of the book is about his life in the United States where he struggles to start his own company. The idea sparked when he and his wife discovered that the “all-in-one washer-dryer” they had in London was not manufactured or distributed in the US. Nobody knew about it or believed it existed. The book, written by Atul Vir himself, describes in detail every bump along the road. All the hardships and betrayals he experienced in his fight to keep his company alive. It’s written in chapters moderate in length that start with powerful quotes related to the content. The standout characteristic of this book is the elaborate description that is tailored to this specific industry. While this may be an invaluable source to entrepreneurs intending to start a similar business, I find it to limit the range of people who can fully benefit from it. Occasionally, I would find some details to be unnecessary or unrelated to the content. Others were way too technical in keeping with the aim of the book of coaching entrepreneurs. Aside from that, there isn’t something that I particularly disliked, but I would’ve liked to read testimonials or any input from other team players. Appendix II is my favorite part of this book. It’s a list of the “Lessons Learned” and where to find each in the different chapters. This should be helpful for keen readers who can use a re-read. There are some precise examples of struggles and how they were overcome. The content is not vague or textbook. It is written in good grammar and spelling. The text is professionally edited, and I found no errors. Underdog Thinking should appeal to all entrepreneurs and those who are trying to grow their businesses. It is especially of benefit to those who are in the machine industry or work with manufacturers of complex products. If you are looking for a more general self-help book for career coaching, it might not be the best for you since it is very specific to the trade of the author. I give it 3 out of 4 stars. The only reason I didn’t give it four stars is the overly detailed parts. Otherwise, it’s very informative and indispensable to anyone who is trying to break into the business world.
“Underdog Thinking by Atul Vir is an autobiographical, inspirational and instructional book that narrates the story of an Indian immigrant who moved to the United States of America with the dream of living the American dream. Atul Vir started as an auditor in Africa after being hired right after he left college for a UK corporation that had affiliates in Nigeria, Africa. After working for years in Africa, Atul Vir decided to move to America in the pursuit of the American dream. However, he failed to get a job and decided to start his own business. And that was the beginning of his adventure into entrepreneurship, which was a journey embraced with successes and failures along the way. This book is suitable for entrepreneurs and people who wish to become one since it teaches the real definition of entrepreneurship. So if you are an entrepreneur or if you are planning to be one you should read this book. Because I believe it will give you the needed knowledge for you to succeed, it will teach the things to avoid while developing your business, it will teach you to be prepared in case you face bad days while doing business, which I am sure will happen, and many other things. In this book, you also learn that success in business doesn’t come at an easy cost, Atul Vir is a risk-taker, he put everything he had on the line because of a belief, an idea that he thought was going make him make a lot of money. However, although the idea he had worked, he faced a lot of problems to succeed. So, whoever wishes to become a successful entrepreneur must be willing to take risks, and have a deep belief in what they are doing or in what they’re investing their money. Moreover, through the story of the author, we can also learn that entrepreneurs must persevere; everything can happen in business, either good or bad things. Furthermore, I would like to congratulate the author for the way he wrote the book. Although it’s a non-fiction story, it does look like one. The way the storyline was developed, the chapter’s organization and style used. They all resemble a literary story. And that makes this story more interesting. I also liked to quotes the author included at beginning of each chapter. However, based on the topic of the book, which is to teach people to do underdog thinking, I felt that the author ended up advertising his own company and products with this book. And that was the only thing that deviated a bit from the theme. The book was exceptionally edited and for that, I congratulate the author. I also did not find any mistakes in the book. And for that, I rate this book 4 out of 4 stars .”
It’s always a treat to find something in a book that you weren’t expecting. I found just that in Underdog Thinking by Atul Vir. I am personally not a business owner and have no aspirations of entrepreneurship. But the ideas and tenants suggested by Mr. Vir are highly useable and moldable for facets of many lives, not just those in corporate surroundings. In this book, Vir tells the story of his circuitous route to success in, of all things, an off chute of the laundry business. This is a bit of a different tale. Atul is not a poor, orphaned kid who made good. Instead, he starts off comfortably with a notable education and training, which allows him immediate access to upper ranks of business. This head starts sees him beginning his career in Africa, with a slick path ahead for success. But, life always sends us challenges in the forms of environment, and sometimes, the most painful, personal betrayals. Vir picks himself and takes him business from Africa to England, and then to America, with a detour for a wily Italian manufacturer. For me, the inspiration for Vir’s corporation was as heart-warming as they come. He simply wanted his wife spend less time at laundry and more time at the beach with the family. Thus, the combo washer-dryer laundry machine. I, for one. had no idea such a thing existed. Where have American’s been on this idea all this time? I’d we willing to take out my check book for sure. The courage to stake life and limb on such a plan seems outrageous. But that’s what business takes if one wants to make a go of it. And sometimes, one misses the mark. Atul also very candid about the toll business failure takes on the proprietor, and every more so, his family. The portions that touch on the real risk of not only financial distress, but the real risk of mental health lapses and depression that accompany a loss in business was very real and touching. There is much to enjoy in Mr. Vir’s work. I have read and tossed aside many “self-help” or “business strategy” books because I don’t enjoy condescension. Reading a book with a spirit of curiosity should not be met with flagrant narcissism. Atul steers clear of this entirely. The voice of the book is cordial and friendly. It feels like the author is sharing stories with the reader over a beer which is such a bonus. From a textual standpoint, the book is well-written. The sections are neatly divided and accessible for quick reading, int short bursts as needed. (I suspect the writer knows something about juggling business and family.) The inclusion of charts for clarification was an unexpected help. The book was carefully edited and well-paced for a quick and engaging read. The only drawback is that the author keeps the story fairly superficial. No great revelations or telling of secrets. See problems as opportunities and act quickly when you see trouble are the take home messages. The book functions as a charming memoir and that’s more than enough. Because of the warm tone of the writing and the open telling of the story, I give this book a strong 3 out of 4 stars. It’s a neatly-packaged read and a great story of an immigrant who makes an unexpected success.
“We are told that you need to have a high-paying job to be successful, but Atul Vir shows us in this book that all you need is a big dream, a heart full of hope, and a passion for creating. Underdog Thinking is an inspirational book where the author, Atul Vir, tells us his life story and about how he went from being a big businessman to an innovative entrepreneur. This book contains the ups and downs, the highs and lows, and everything you did not even realize you needed to know about starting your own business and being your own boss. Underdog Thinking is a motivational book about the “”call”” to entrepreneurship. Atul Vir, who is from India, tells us about all the places where he has lived and tried to make a living. He made mistakes and had failures, but still, he persevered, fought hard, and did not let anything get him down. He never gave up. The book is filled with life lessons and good advice you can use if you plan to follow the road to becoming an entrepreneur, along with great quotes to keep you motivated. What I liked most about the book is that it motivates you to start your own project. Vir gives good advice that you can follow, and he tells you the truth. Everything won’t just be smooth sailing, there are storms and hiccups along the way, but the hard work will pay off. I like that this book is written on a level that everyone will understand. You don’t need a fancy degree to comprehend what Vir is trying to say. There was nothing I didn’t like about the book. I rate Underdog Thinking 4 out of 4 stars. There are no errors that I saw, no profane language, and no erotic content, which makes the book enjoyable for the whole family. This book deserves the full star rating because of the valuable material that it contains. Everything the reader needs to know is perfectly laid out so that they can gain the right information to become an entrepreneur. I would recommend this book to all the readers who like self-help books and those who enjoy reading about people’s life stories. I would also recommend it to high school learners who are finishing school and want to know what to do with their life. Underdog Thinking is not just about becoming an entrepreneur. There are a lot of life lessons in this book that younger readers would benefit from. This book shows that rock bottom is not the end it is just a different beginning.
Underdog Thinking is definitely the best self-help book I have ever read! Besides the fact that it gives sound advice, it is a fast-paced thriller that keeps the reader engaged. Atul Vir is a visionary CEO, a bold entrepreneur, a resourceful inventor, and a convincing speaker. I was impressed to find out that he holds 18 patents for appliance technology. The book is a short read of 125 pages divided into 20 chapters; it features an introduction and a list of all the lessons (with corresponding pages). You will discover the difficulties and the joys of being an entrepreneur while joining Atul in his incredible journey. Born in India, the author left his country for Africa at the age of 25 due to an unexpected job offer. He met his future wife and started a family while the business was thriving. Unfortunately, the military coup d’etat from Nigeria forced him to leave again, this time for America. That was the first time he experienced the shock of coming from complete security to utter uncertainty. After months of rejections, he decided to start his own business. He launched Equador on April’s Fools Day, in full recession, in Houston. Shortly, Equator became a wealthy import-export company. It was a business build on trust, respect, and goodwill. However, the booming success of the company was just the start of a new series of challenges! Some of the lessons are apparent, such as “Every challenge is an opportunity,” but there are some fresh ones. I particularly liked: “You can’t beat the system; learn to operate within it” or “Use empathy to fuel innovation.” Using his personal experience as an example adds authenticity to all the teachings. I loved that he talked about dealing with growth; most of the self-help books only focus on how to become successful. But development, especially when it comes fast, can be very challenging and a source of downfall. Atul teaches you how to use the existing system (in any area of expertise) to your advantage. “Entrepreneurs are underdogs with a perpetual eye on what’s next.” The author has an engaging and expressive writing style, so the book is a real page-turner. Plenty of motivational quotes complement the story nicely. Also, you will discover various diagrams that summarize his recommendations into a concise and simple form. The story is also very educative about India, Africa, China, the US, and other countries. That can be very useful business-wise, but also as general knowledge. I loved the “wu wei” principle, a Chinese custom to get your business partners drunk so you could discover their true intentions. There is nothing I disliked about the book. There are a few missing spaces, but I didn’t feel the need to drop a star. Underdog Thinking by Atul Vir is a brilliant book that deserves a rating of [/b]4 out of 4 stars[/b]. As an entrepreneur myself, I can relate to the author’s struggles and appreciate the practical approach. I recommend the story to every current or future entrepreneur. Nevertheless, the people that usually root for the underdog might find it appealing. Also, anyone who had to deal with a significant loss in business or life will find some useful lessons to apply. King Somolon’s Mines by H. Rider Haggard is a leitmotif that guided Atul his entire life, so the fans of this book will appreciate a kindred spirit.
“The American dream comes from opportunity. The opportunity comes from our founding principles, our core values that’s held together and protected by the Constitution. Those ideas are neither Republican, Democrat, conservative, liberal, white, or black. Those are American ideologies.”- Ted Yoho, United States representative. It doesn’t matter where in the world you are from, you would have heard about the American Dream. America is seen as a land of hope for people who want to succeed in life regardless of race, religion, or social status. The essential mantra behind the American dream is, if you work hard enough, you will have an equal shot to success. Is this notion true? Or is it far from reality? Let Atul Vir tell the story of his American dream in his non-fiction book Underdog Thinking: A Bold Idea, a Business Adventure and 101 Lessons Learned Along the Way. Atul Vir grew up fascinated with King Solomon’s Mines. Imagine the luck when his job as a financial auditor in an international trade company turned out to be much like Quartermain searching for treasures. But that fantasy vanished due to a crucial error from his boss. But life won’t stand still for anyone. It landed him in the United States to earn his living to look after his family. He went on searching for jobs after jobs but got rejected everywhere. Instead of getting discouraged by rejections, Atul Vir decided to start his own business from scratch. He had no entrepreneurial experience nor financial stability. He couldn’t even get a credit card in the United States. So how did he become the owner of Equator, the first company which introduced a washing machine-dryer combo to American markets? Please read the book to find out. This story is Atul Vir’s American Dream. This book is a part memoir and part entrepreneurial guide. I admire Atul Vir’s tenacity to stand against giant companies and hold his fort. Customer satisfaction was his primary goal in the business- a sentiment which I deeply appreciated. If you have an interest in studying business or law, or if you want to be an entrepreneur someday, there is so much useful information to learn in this book. I wish all the success for Atul Vir in the expansion of his company. The only thing that didn’t satisfy me was although this book is non-fiction, his life reads like fiction. It raises quite a few doubts while reading like- how did he secure $25000 just by credit cards alone? How most of the people he met agreed to do business solely based on one question- are you good for the money? How did he secure money to buy an RV business? So many unanswered questions. I don’t think the reader can meet success by following in Atul Vir’s footsteps. Although most people he met were genuine, I don’t think everyone will have the same kindness in them. It also would help the reader if dates are mentioned frequently in the book. There are few ignorable grammar errors and once there is a wrong author name under a quote. The far too many unanswered questions make me rate this book 2 out of 4 stars. I would have given 3 if Atul Vir had followed his intention of taking decisions not tethered by emotions. He contradicted himself quite a few times. If I list all my doubts, that would be so many spoilers. I would recommend this book for law students or people starting in business. There are no profanities or erotic scenes, which makes this book suitable for young readers interested in non-fiction business books. Readers will learn what not to do in business for the most part, and the keynotes by Atul Vir with diagrams will help an aspiring CEO.
Atul Vir’s Underdog Thinking is about a true character building throughout every stage of life. To have a good character, you must often have integrity, honesty, courage, persuasion, loyalty, and other important virtues. Perhaps someone will say that they already built their character but wait till you’re in a dead-end road and no escape circumstances. What will you do? It was tested time and again how the destiny of Atul Vir’s successfully molded from the surmount series of rejections, misfortunes & betrayals. Clearly, he is a man with a strong character. About the stars & constellation, I liked most how the author magically relates all these celestial creations to his vision. Very seldom we never recognize how the unknown forces around guides us and move us from one situation to the other. When you are ready, there’s always a universal force that will do everything – connecting the dots in the stars and connect it directly to you. No such thing as accidental success or bad luck. It is a part of the numerous dots that connect through the end of all the dots to your vision and dream. The glimpse of an Entrepreneur work-life environment is an unending pushing & pulling off so many things. It’s how you juggle the balls with the right weight and balance. The book clearly stated that parents & family are the basic foundation of having a good relationship. Building one, entrepreneurs must possess unique skills and a lot of patience as well. It was not built overnight, it’s continues to practice both in mind and habits. I rate this book 4 out of 4 stars . The book is about being a fragile human being. It’s about the slipping, the falling, the climbing again – and slipping again. It doesn’t matter really how many times you fall, don’t count it – what matter most is for every rising is a result of a better version of yourself. A truly recommendable book for mostly early adult and yes, even the adult – who are still looking for inspiration in life, chasing their great dreams and a must feel & live the true to life experience of achieving your dreams no matter what. The book hypothetically is a roller coaster life crossroad. There are very minimal typos but almost negligible and frankly doesn’t affect the story at all. I still rate this book a perfect score with extraordinary combos of selected text and circumstances that were carefully described.
“What a breeze this one is. If you ever wanted something to fuel your desires to throw a punch back to the world, this is your read. A story of euphoria, sadness, and sheer determination. The book also takes you into entrepreneurship journey and sacrifices one makes to sail over all the tides threatening your existence in the world with cut-throat competition ready to drown you. If ever you thought that an entrepreneurial plunge is a piece of cake ready to be gulped, think again. This Underdog Thinking is one to embrace if you plan on getting into an entrepreneurial adventure. It also gives you a detailed account of the journey you will set into and prepare you for the long haul you are about to enter. Life throws unexpected events at us. Sometimes we duck while at times we steer clear out of situations. Business is all about the combo of both. Sometimes it’s about waiting for an opportunity and striking at the right time while sometimes it’s about a clear path. Just like the super combo machine, this is life’s super combo that keeps you afloat in this game called life. Just like the fiction novels where you are glued to the last word and continue reading in anticipation of the next twist. Only this one is real. A story of grit, determination, and perseverance. A detailed insight into a comeback story like no other. What clicks with the reader is the human side to it. Everyone loves a comeback story but do you have what it takes to make a comeback when the odds are against you? The book takes you from rags to riches to rags and then pinnacle story. A feat rarely achieved, for a comeback story may enthrall but the toil and hard-work are the real takeaways. Once you immerse yourself into the breathtaking journey of Mr. Atul Vir, there is no looking back. You tend to believe that everything will fix its course because you imagine yourself in Atul’s shoes. Such is the human craving for a good fight that we tend to believe that everything will be fine and the triumph is just around the corner. Read this one if a fight is your life game. In the end, life is not about surviving but thriving even if you are down and out. Clear intentions, a noble cause, honesty, and perseverance is all it takes to come out as a winner. A wonderful read for:
• Budding Entrepreneurs
• People wanting to put up a good fight
I rate the book 4 out of 4 stars because of tight editing and reading experience.”
Underdog Thinking by Atul Vir is an autobiography book that also teaches us a lot about business, life, technicalities, and even a bit of history. I was excited on reading this book. From the title itself, it gave me giggles by knowing that I will learn another life lesson from a great person. As expected, I did! This book let us know how the author built his own empire from a scratch. The author has been into challenging jobs in Europe and Africa until one day he started to migrate in USA. Surprisingly, no one wanted to employ him. Because no one wanted to hire him, he created his own company— Equator Advanced Appliances. It was never an easy feat for the author. He encountered a lot of challenges and betrayal. But the author never gave in. He kept on fighting not just for his family, but for contributing something worthy to other families. For the effort, I would really love to mention that the author provided diagrams and illustrations to easily understand the business management. There is also a certain portion on the book that indicated all of the most inspiring quotes you can find within the chapters. I totally liked how the author tells every story of the book. Maybe because it was a real-life experience that is why I also felt what he had written. You can feel the emotions and to be honest, I also got mini-heart attacks in certain plot twists of the story. The twists here are really something! I cannot stop myself from turning pages because I want to know what will happen next. This autobiography will prove that entrepreneurship has never been so easy. This book makes me respect the courage in which our entrepreneurs do every day. What I dislike about the book is the technicalities. I mean, it is normal for a business-related book but being not business-minded person made me bored reading the technical words even though the terms are explained very well. Nevertheless, I am giving it 4 out of 4 stars. The book deserves it. I have seen no errors in spelling or grammar. Proofreading and editing were done excellently. Hoping the book will be adapted on cinema later on. The book is perfect for those people who are starting-up their own business. Established businessmen and entrepreneurs can also learn a lot from this book. If you are not interested in business yet, like me, you can also appreciate the book. It teaches ideas on how to deal with different nationalities and life lessons, too. Who knows, you might be so inspired that you will build your own empire eventually.
By Chantel Biyela
“With the world changing and everyone working from home, innovation might just be the one thing that will last for generations. Underdog Thinking by Atul Vir is a non-fiction book that captivated me immediately after the first page. It is a book about entrepreneurship but it mainly focuses on Atul’s journey and rise to the top, maybe better described as a fight to the top. In saying that, it is also an emotional journey where you get to experience what he went through and how he dealt with every situation. What I enjoyed most about this book was the relationship between practical and theoretical concepts. Simply meaning that when Atul told his story, he was not shy to mention his shortfalls so that you as a reader or future entrepreneur could avoid and better handle similar situations. While some people might not enjoy being taught a lesson, I personally enjoyed the approach this book had with revealing the reality of what truly goes on in business dealings. Even though Underdog Thinking might be seen as a book that mainly targets entrepreneurs, I believe that no matter what role you play in a business, the lessons taught can be applied by all. The biggest lesson I took away from this book, is that your customers are key and it doesn’t really matter where you work, we all have to deal with customers one way or another. It teaches us about trust and that even though you as a person are morally based, not everyone is to be trusted or rather that people change. It’s also important to be mindful not to let the same mistake happen twice, you need to look back at what made you fall and learn from it. Atul also gives practical advice on how to go about doing business, with some clearly laid out steps, sometimes graphics included, to be mindful of. I can honestly say reading this book was a humbling experience, knowing how difficult it is to be an entrepreneur. Reading this book also made me mindful of the business world, and what it actually takes to be “the boss”. This book was very well edited, with chapters broken down into Atul’s experiences, it made for a very exciting read and because of this, I rate the book 4 out of 4 stars. If you are looking into starting your own business or becoming an entrepreneur then this book is something I believe you’ll connect with. Lastly, I think every person who enjoys stories with twists and turns, stories about real people who have suffered actual losses and had the courage to share their experiences, will appreciate a read like Underdog Thinking. This book is a testament to the fact that there will always be ups and downs in life but it’s important to remember why you started what you started so that you are able to pick yourself up and try again. If you aren’t a fan of real-life stories and prefer fiction, then this book might not interest you. With all this being said, I did love reading Underdog Thinking by Atul Vir and would recommend that you give it a shot, especially if you think the ‘underdogs’ never make it to the top.”
By Yahya Dalal
“We witness a beautiful journey crossing continents. We first see Atul Vir’s story unfold in India where we are given insight of tales and stories like “king Solomon’s mines” that attracted Atul to venture across the world in pursuit of economic opportunities. His journey and time in Africa becomes a roller coaster and is nothing short of fascinating. As events unfold, and as Atul starts a family, he is pushed to leave Africa.
He decides to ensue America, In the hope of finding a job instantly because of his past ventures but later realises that it wouldn’t be as hopeful as he once thought and it is at this moment where the underdog mentality truly begins. As he settles in America, and begins travelling the world to spark the product of innovation, he successfully began his vision. But the execution of this, bought many risks and wasn’t easily maintained by any means.
The book, Underdog Thinking, by Atul Vir is 343 pages and 20 chapters long and each one begins with a powerful maxim that helps captivate the reader. These absorbing sayings at the beginning and endings of chapters help beam a light of hope on the dark reality of the business world. Personally these are some of my favorite things about the book and it really enhances the journey from the reader’s perspective.
Throughout each chapter are scattered tips and motivational statements that are highlighted in bold. Statements such as “”Persistence is power”” and “”The higher you climb the harder you fall”” are beautifully written and each statement is perfectly placed; setting the stage for upcoming paragraphs. The chapters are structured simply and flows harmoniously making it easy to follow. Foreshadowing is also wonderfully used and imagery is used well.
The author also constantly bombards the reader with questions, using it rhetorically for the most part, to both motivate but also intrigue the reader constantly. Questions like “who will you be when you come out of the fire” help keep the reader engaged and eager to learn from what is in no doubt a mind of resilient entrepreneur.
The book has many themes including uncertainty, which is present right from the beginning. Themes like trust and betrayal are also present. We learn the reality of trust in the business world, with what the reader would perceive as loyalty can be completely dissuaded by money. But it is this very same trust that can revive a company from the dead. The book illustrates this concept of trust well and the drama of it, brings a melancholy feeling to the reader.
Underdog Thinking, as shown in its name, is a story that progresses into one of an underdog; battling massive companies in courtrooms to withstanding treacherous insiders, making it a true “”David and Goliath”” spectacle.
With this comes lessons. Lessons that encourages empathy weather explicitly (“use empathy to bring more innovation into the world”) or implicitly. Moreover, we learn about the sophistication of entrepreneurship, and the whirl winds of relationships and acknowledgement of economic industries across the globe. History is integrated into his story as well as cultural background, whether it be Yin and Yang to American philosophy, it kept a healthy dose of dynamics and sub-secondary genres within the book. With this comes my overall rating. I rate it a 4 out of 4 because this book stands for more than just an autobiography but a life lesson, and within it contains pieces of wisdom that is applicable to all genres of life. It is also exceptionally written and flawless and I didn’t stumble on any grammar errors or typos.
I recommend this book to all people, irrespective of interest to the entrepreneur world, whether young or old, it is greatly benefiting.”
“””A smooth Sea never made a skilled sailor””.
This is the first thing that came to my mind after reading this book. Through this book Author is taking you on a journey of self made businessman through ups and downs.
‘Underdog Thinking’ by Atul Vir (an Indian immigrant in U.S.A) is about how a naive makes his way in the cruel business world through his ethics and innovation. His life is not like a smooth sea which results into making him a skilled sailor. The text in the book is written in simple to moderate language divided into 20 chapters further into sub-titles. Each chapter contains 20-22 pages on an average. Real life examples, diagrams, and suggestive titles of chapters will keep you engaging in this book.
‘Never Give In’, Author is abiding by this quote all his life which he learned in the school proving to us that foundation of anything specially life should be strong. In my views this book is not only for those who want to step in the business world but for those too who thinks ‘why life chooses me for disppointments or failures’. You will not only derive ways to become an entrepreneur but also little life lessons that came as a bonus in this book. Author really impresses me by his work ethics that is really difficult in times of crisis, specially when you have no other choices, except to move forward. Book is tastefully written, Author really brings best to the table through his innovative ideas in the trade market and it tells the importance of having a clear vision and mutual trust with business partners to reach your goals despite of difficulties.
One thing that really awestruck me and left me thinking was that one line whose summary I am giving in review. “”It is really easy to work for others, but it is difficult to do the same work for yourself””. I think this one line sums up the definition of business. But still I would like to give this book 3 out of 4 stars because one thing that really irks me was same old repetitive stories he was telling in each speech making me like ‘here we go again’. Rest it was professionally edited, no typos or errors. If you are looking for how to move forward by keeping your failures aside then go for this book no matter if you are a student or an adult looking forward to enter in entrepreneurship.”
Underdog Thinking by Atul Vir is an autobiography of the author’s life as an entrepreneur. Vir immigrates to the U. S. and dives into starting his company after too many rejections from the American HR. His journey skyrockets as he applies personal experience to establish his business idea. With carefully followed ethics and absolute customer satisfaction, Vir works his way to the seamless ends of success. But it doesn’t last long as he encounters unforeseen circumstances that plummet his company’s reputation. From reaching an enviable level of success to facing the toughest betrayals, Atul Vir portrays his struggles as he manoeuvres around the commercial world. Atul Vir gives a deep insight into the aspects of entrepreneurship as he recounts his experience across various continents. The first-person narration allowed me to connect more personally with this book. Further, it has some quotes in between chapters, which related to the circumstances and had profound lessons. The thing I liked most about the book is his contemplations. As he travels through different countries, he reflects on its traditions and how it affects the ways of business. This cultural perspective gives a deeper dimension to the commercial world as it explores the emotional aspects of trading. Another thing I liked is the story’s build-up to the climax. There was a level of uncertainty, fear, and suspicion as the plot advanced to its reveal. Moreover, some of the legal proceedings of business were well-explained, which helped me understand the scenes. I disliked some of the quotes in the book. As the chapters progressed, the quotes became more redundant. They were neither informative nor relevant to the plot. Also, the story seemed to drag in the last third of the book. I believe readers who look for lessons alone won’t find this book too appealing. Underdog Thinking is a very inspirational story. Atul Vir evaluates his mistakes and those of others to derive thoughtful lessons from them. Further, his realistic approach to tackling problems delivers profound messages. The book seems to be professionally edited as well. But although I enjoyed the first half of the book, the last third made me lose interest in the story. In the 5-point measure, I give it a 3.5. On the official scale, I rate it 3 out of 4 stars. The book belongs in the non-fiction, autobiography section, and it is suitable for people of all ages. This plot would particularly appeal to those readers who look to read a good story while learning.
By Divine Patricks
The book, Underdog Thinking: A Bold Idea, A Business Adventure And 101 Lessons Learned Along The Way is as the title describes. It is an adventure that was taken by Atul Vir, the writer, into the world of entrepreneurship. The book takes you on a journey around the world, showing us that there are a lot of opportunities that have always been there, but we were too afraid to grasp it for fear of failure. It tells us how he started without anything but the drive to build his own company from his experience to building Equator Advanced Appliances. Atul Vir had a humble upbringing in India where he attended a military boarding school. Fresh from college, he decided to come to Africa and see how much opportunities it held, economically. His first job was in an import-export company with offices in Nigeria, Ghana, etc. In that company, the boss wasn’t so keen on receiving advice from his employees which this led to the company’s fall. As Atul left Nigeria for America, looking for greener pastures, he didn’t know that getting a new job wouldn’t be so easy. After searching for a while without results, he decided that if no one would hire him, he’ll start his own business. He needed money for his family, and he needed it fast. That was how Equator was born. At first, it was an import-export company, but it later became an appliance company because of the one time he couldn’t find the combo washer-dryer that would make life easy for his family. This combo was the starting point, taking him round the world, just to find a manufacturer willing to produce it for the American market. It was no easy feat, because he didn’t have the money to finance the whole thing. Even after finding the manufacturer, the people of America weren’t willing to let go of what they were used to. Ten years later, he made his name in the American appliance industry, while trying to satisfy his customers and learning from the mistakes of his former boss. I learnt quite a lot from this book. Like about sacrifices to be made to achieve your goals.. It tells us that betrayal from friends isn’t always our fault. We just must move on, forward. Even when it looks like there’s nothing to move forward to. I really admired how dedicated he was to Equator. He was determined to save his company, no matter the cost. Even when it hit rock bottom, he was able to revive it by putting it out there once again. He upheld values that I feel are necessary for business growth; trust and teamwork. And always putting the customers’ needs first. His mode of writing appeals to both normal individuals and businessmen and women alike. I believe the writing style would draw people who aren’t all that business-oriented, like me. I really learnt from his experiences. I couldn’t find any spelling errors because it was professionally edited. Because of all the book’s features, I would rate it 4 out of 4 stars. This is because while it was fun to read, it has lessons that applies to our lives. I would strongly recommend this book.
By Sarah Dsouza
In a world where it’s trendy to “Be your own boss” and display a fancy work title like “Entrepreneur” next to your name on social media, Underdog Thinking gives you a reality check of what it’s like to be in it for the long haul. The author, Atul Vir, packs a wealth of insider wisdom in this comprehensive read, as he candidly drives us through his very own professional journey of over 30 years in the industry. Born into a minimalistic Indian family, Atul attended a military boarding school, where the adage “Never Give In” was thoroughly instilled in him. Formerly fascinated by African culture, it was a dream come true when he received an opportunity to work, as a financial auditor unraveling ongoing embezzlements, for a London-based company with offices on the African west coast. As he settled in and things started to progress, he soon found himself unemployed due to a violent coup. Resorting to start afresh, he migrates to the USA with his family, in hopes of achieving The American Dream. Insecurities plagued him as he was laughed out of interviews, and told he knew nothing about the American business. Soon, he takes the entrepreneurial world by storm, facing a deadly combination of economic doldrum and unforeseen stings of betrayal head-on. Although I sincerely admire his perspective and bold venture into the cutthroat sphere of business, I believe this book’s writing style did not do justice to his legacy. As a reader, I was disappointed to encounter prolonged and tangential descriptions in many instances, disrupting the fluidity of the text. I refer to occasions, such as the “caste-comparison”, where he goes off-track describing an unrelated concept for a whole page, until you lost interest in the original storyline. Many sentences appeared to be simply paraphrased and essentially repeated. I had to put in an extra effort not to snap out of my attention span while wading through excess words. I wish that he dwelled more on some areas that held more interest and required more information to fill in the picture. Some plots left me with more questions than answers. For example, how exactly did he structure his company? Using what parameters did he hire his employees? Those details matter. When he brought up the lawsuit against a top-dog company, the plot got intriguing. He then abruptly switches to his childhood memories, the history of Sir Henry Lawrence, and Offshoring 101. There is nothing wrong with these topics, but it should’ve been either positioned before or after the legal proceedings to retain curiosity. There was one specific issue that didn’t sit right with me. In the book, he mentions attending three tradeshows in search of a manufacturing company that could produce a peculiar commodity for his company. Coincidentally, there was always just one for every show, with the booth inconspicuously located right at the end when he was about to lose hope. Was it really a matter of chance, or merely a well-crafted situation to excite the reader? Also, whatever happened to the RV business he was handed? He left us on a cliff hanger with that! For all these reasons, I feel the need to deduct two points from the score. Nevertheless, I appreciated his transparency throughout the book. His resilient character was remarkable, seeing how he overcame his hurdles in business by trusting over and over again, which ironically was one of the reasons he lost ground in between. The ideology of a customer-centric enterprise makes sense and reveals the author’s empathy. Despite the superfluity of the content; Underdog Thinking is well-edited with the grammar, diction and word choices being mostly on point. Certain subjects, like his company product or customized building, were passionately elaborated; moving me to stop reading, look it up online to see the real deal, and then resume. Although the concepts were well-explained, I must compliment his schematic inclusions in an attempt to further enlighten the reader. His insights on the Yin-Yang philosophy in business were an eye-opener, and I have to give it to him, he generously divulges first-hand, thought-provoking life lessons. Despite the flaws, I feel his book is worth the read and suitable for readers who are contemplating career choices, regardless of the field they’re in. His integrity and futuristic approach inspired me, and I’m sure it would positively impact other readers too. Overall, a score of 2 out of 4 stars seems fitting.
Underdog Thinking is one of the most eye-opening books I have ever read. Atur Vir gives a behind the scenes look of what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur. He goes into the details of some of the not so talked about aspects of running a business.
Underdog Thinking gives an in-depth look into the struggles an entrepreneur has to be ready to face, to build a sustainable business that can thrive on its own. Atur Vir takes us on a journey into his life as an entrepreneur. You will get to see the grit required to build a successful business, the relentlessness, and most importantly the need for a strong support system.
What I liked the most was the openness to the writer’s life. Atur lets you into his darkest moments. Letting you see his vulnerabilities, shortcomings, and big wins. He has managed to capture his entrepreneurial journey with a cunning vividness. You will get to understand that to be successful you need to be more of yourself.
The need to exude trust and take a chance even when things aren’t favorable. Atur’s Underdog Thinking is flawlessly written with visceral details that help you to connect with him like you were there.
I rate Underdog Thinking at 4 out of 4.
This book will appeal to anybody who is thinking of, or currently running their own business. It will prepare you for what lays ahead, as well as help you shift your focus to what really matters.
Underdog Thinking: A Bold Idea, a Business Adventure and 101 Lessons Learned Along the Way by Atul Vir is the story of his failures turned into successes. The story is mainly set in America, and runs through India, Africa and China too.
This is a story of an individual who wants to live a simple and comfortable life supporting his family. But when faced with rejection and unemployment, he is forced into creating employment for himself and in turn for many others. He starts business, but as life has it, ups and downs are inevitable. After much deserved initial success, he faces betrayal, and failure and finds himself alone in the business world without any support and his downfall starts. Everyone leaves him one by one, his most trusted ones, except for his family. After losing everything, opportunity again knocks on his door and he builds his business again from ashes.
Before going to the good parts, let’s finish with the bad parts or let me say the bad part (singular) first. At one instance, the author mentions the caste system prevailing in India and seems to pride himself on being a Kshatriya, and defines particular jobs and characteristics for respective castes. I strongly believe that irrespective of color, race, caste, gender, etc., a person is defined by his actions and intentions.
Initially, when reading the book, I was ready to bash it in the review. But as I kept going, I found myself liking it more and more. After each chapter, I was eager to know, what happens next. So much so that I finished the book in two sittings. This is my first non-fiction that I’ve read all the way till the end. I find non-fiction books boring mostly, but this one is different. In fact, I had a novel of a well-known author alongside to read, but found myself wanting to finish this one first. It’s safe to say, I liked the book.
At some instances, I felt the story losing pace when the author started talking about the ins and outs of business. But that’s just me, because I was interested in the story part more. There must be others who are just as interested in learning business, so that’s okay. There were no cuss words or no graphic scenes or nothing of that sort so I think it’s safe to read for younger people too. Speaking of typos, there were none that I could spot so it must be professionally proofread.
I would want to rate this book 3.5 out of 4 simply because I think there’s always room for improvement, no book is perfect. But rating into decimals is not allowed so I rate this book 4 out of 4 stars . There are many reasons to rate this book excellent, one of which is that it changed my views about non-fiction. I’ll definitely be exploring more of this genre.
I would recommend this book to young and old alike, to those who want to learn business or who wants to just read a good story, to those who enjoy fiction or non-fiction, doesn’t matter, just give it a try. Happy reading.
Underdog Thinking by Atul Vir is the narration of his own life story about all the experiences he had as an immigrant entrepreneur in the USA. Atul Vir went to the USA with a dream but it was shattered by different hiring managers who rejected him saying he didn’t know anything about American business. He wasn’t ready to accept defeat, so he built his own company.
This book is about all the ups and downs he had to go through to make his company successful. He went from a success story to the brink of bankruptcy in a span of a few years. The author discusses all the mistakes and overlooking he made so that the readers will know what not to do. It is not only an adventure story but also a lesson book for future entrepreneurs. There are diagrams, flowcharts and at the end, he made an appendix of all the lessons he learned with page numbers to the chapters where he explains them. He gives an insightful perspective on all the challenges of starting a business and on how to keeping it successful over the years.
Atul Vir explains entrepreneurship as a gift that gives you the ability to see things that others cannot. He says that ideas are everywhere if we open our minds to the possibilities. His successful idea came from the need to reduce the workload for his wife. And that idea was the beginning and comeback of the author’s company.
What I liked about this book is Atul Vir’s way of storytelling. His writing is so simple but descriptive that you could visualize the situations and conversations. The book teaches that you have to be innovative, ethical, and true to your customers to succeed in business. There were so many parts where I empathized with the author. The author’s perseverance and determination that got him through difficult situations and dark times are inspiring.
There was nothing I disliked, but there were some parts where I wasn’t keenly interested in it because of all the business talks. So I recommend this book for all business students and people who are or want to be entrepreneurs. But it is not limited to them either. It is a good book for anyone looking for an inspirational success story. There weren’t any typos or grammatical errors. The book was well-edited and formatted. Overall, this book was a good read, and I rate this book 3 out of 4 stars.
When I first opened the epub for Underdog Thinking, I was a bit put off by the countless recommendations, some of which had notably non-American colloquialisms. But pressing on and reading the book itself was undeniably super rewarding, and it really opened my eyes to the reality of starting a commodity-based business in the United States, as well as the challenges one might encounter in sourcing reliable partners in manufacturing, innovation, distribution, and legal representation. As a result, I rate it 4 out of 4.
If I had to summarize Underdog Thinking, it is an autobiography of the Indian immigrant founder of a leading laundry machine company. But that would be selling the book short. Through its twists and turns as one follows the decades long journey that brought the Equinox company to where it is today, the reader learns about and sympathizes with Atul Vir’s challenges, from the rejection letters he faced when first trying to find a job in the United States, to the mundane bother of doing laundry and wishing for a contraption that would simplify the process, to the awe and joy of seeing a landmark plaza and building custom built to celebrate the achievements of one’s company, to losing it all to scheming local businessmen and an unsympathetic judge…
The lessons learned from this book are numerous as well. First and foremost would be the importance of honesty in ones dealings. This is the common denominator of all the challenges encountered by Vir – honesty is what gains his fledgling company an office, a prototype, initial distribution contacts – ‘Are you good for the money’ as Vir writes, is the question that must be answered for people to trust a new businessman. And when the trust is broken, as seen by the failed machines following the buyout of his manufacturer, and the legal tricks pulled by his lawyer to swindle the settlement funds and when the banks foreclose on his beloved tower – we see firsthand the impact of having trust broken. Another lesson is the importance of humility – this is evident from even before he started his own company, when in Africa, as his boss’s arrogance directly blinds him to the shifting political environment there.
These are just a few of the many lessons in this book and I thoroughly enjoyed learning from Atul Vir’s journey.
Atul Vir answered the call. It all started in Nigeria where he climbed the ladder of success very quickly but he soon had a fall, no fault of his own. He then landed on American soil where he was met by his first opponent “rejection” after trying to get a job to feed his family. Rejection gave birth to a company that would be a blessing to American families but not without first going through some “labor pains”.
Just as Atul Vir is in the midst of celebrating his ten years of business success he is faced with a giant; after defeating his giant he was left paralyzed and if that was not enough, betrayal later showed up which sent a shock wave through his body. He hits rock bottom, but down under he is reminded of why he had started the company. He makes a decision to rise one day at a time. The business makes a super comeback and the American family is once again excited. Atul Vir regains his dignity, his business and most importantly his customers.
Underdog Thinking by Atul Vir has you focused from start to finish; be ready to even take some notes as the author shares his guiding principles for success backed by his own experiences. I felt like I was in school and in a class that I was enjoying. I had a few laughs as well, the author can be quite hilarious at times. I rate this book 4 out of 4 stars because it was an easy read which flowed in a straight direction and was exceptionally well edited. The lessons taught in this book will reveal the truth about entrepreneurship to anyone with the desire. It proves that you can win if you are honest and not self seeking.
After reading this book you will not look at problems nor your customers in the same way. It may challenge you to do more with your life as it did for me. What I liked most about this book was that it recaptured some of the author’s beginnings to give you insight into his thought process from a young age. He takes you to those moments when he was taught in school to “never give in.” He mentions a particular book that he read which would have also helped to shape the person he became and by extension his success.
Underdog Thinking is excellent and flawless. It would most appeal to college or high school students studying business or entrepreneurship and anyone with a strong desire to start a business. If you have an idea but lack capital resources this book could help you and finally avid readers who are interested in character building and staying optimistic in a storm can go for it as well.
Published June 19 2020
This is a true story of a real-life business adventure. Vir is in a catch 22 situation. He is asked to go to Ivory Coast to unearth a financial syndicate by his new boss just after succeeding in the interview for a job. He does not know whether to take up the challenge or not. He knew nothing about Africa. He had only heard stories about Africa in school and the few books he had read. Together with the boss, they decide to go to the Ivory Coast. Their plane is rerouted and they have to land in Nigeria. While in the plane, the hostess informs Vir’s boss that there is a warrant of arrest waiting for him in the Ivory Coast. The boss decides not to travel to Ivory Coast but instead instructs Vir to go on with the journey together with a supervisor.
Upon arrival in Ivory Coast, Vir gets down to work as an auditor and manages to unearth the embezzlement that had been going on in the company. Many senior officers of the company end up jailed. Vir is then appointed Manager of the company. But after a few months, the country experiences a coup and the company’s future is at risk. Vir decides to quit the job and goes to America to live with his wife. While in America, he decides to apply for jobs but ends up unsuccessful. He then decides that starting his own business is the solution to his financial problems. Will his motivation for entrepreneurship materialize?
I was impressed with how the author began the book with an acknowledgment and introduction. This makes the reader prepared for a good read. The book is well arranged in twenty chapters that are in sequence making it enjoyable to read and to follow through easily. The author has a good mastery of the language and implores it rightly.
There is nothing I did not like about the book. It was fascinating in all aspects. I liked how Vir was always eager to solve his problems. For instance, when he was wondering whether to quit his job while in Ivory Coast, he made a decision that ended up life-changing for him. This move gives insight to the reader that no matter the situation you are in, you can always come out of it as long as you take that step of change.
The book had no grammatical errors or any profane words. It was exceptionally edited. There were no sex scenes either. This made the reading more enjoyable considering it’s an entrepreneurship themed book. I would rate this book 4 out of 4 stars. I did not find anything negative not to award this book 4 stars. I recommend this book to both young and aged since the language and themes used in the book fits all. Folks who enjoy reading inspirational books should give this one a try.
Published June 18 2020
Underdog Thinking by Atul Vir is a firsthand narrative of an Indian Immigrant in the US recounting his early days of struggle and strife towards a successful life. The author belongs to a modest family in India and his dream of becoming a business tycoon leads him to various places and people that mark the start of his rocky life. The author had a disciplined schooling from a military boarding school, which instilled structure and strong values in this life. His early days of childhood were largely influenced by the fascinating stories of King Solomon mines. He emigrated from India at the age of 25 looking for a job. Atul started his career with a Nigeria based import-export company, but the country’s frailing financial condition and barbaric nature of its leadership forced him to leave that place and find another adobe. Living with his wife in America, he started nurturing his American dreams. After months of rejections and many doors shutting on him, he finally decided upon launching his own business and made Houston his home. He persevered to engineer his way through the turbulence that was tripping his company off the path now and then.
The author has gracefully geared his story, giving us glimpses of those marked events which changed the course of his life. The book has been broken down into a series of lessons that will guide the reader in an ordered way. I expected his life to be a complete uphill battle, and the book was exactly that and so much more. It was thrilling to know how the author got amazing ideas before venturing into his new business. There were a lot of instances where the author would seek ideas and calmness from nature when everything went haywire. He saw his close confidants turning into enemies when greed was wiping out a decade of trust. Maybe his repetition in saying that how his various work partners betrayed him along the way, was to stress on the fact that in business, whether you are just starting out or you are at the top, you might have to face the moments of betrayal and loneliness. He remained the kind of person with his eyes on the stars and feet on the ground, always aiming big but not compromising his roots. And that is exactly what is expected of the readers to learn from his journey.
The title completely fits the story as the author and his company showed the prevalence of an underdog who could bounce back at the alpha dogs of the business world. He evenly stated that never underestimate the underdogs as they can be unshakable and scrappy. His ‘never give in’ spirit is contagious and inspires the readers to be persistent as self-belief will eventually prevail. We can find the use of anthropomorphism when the author compares the burnt-out and defected machines to the fallen soldiers and causalities.
The author has used a rich vocabulary and phrased his feelings in an amazing way which is the beauty of this book. From the technicalities involved in the book, this book will be a delightful read for people of all ages who want to step up in the business arena.
The book was a smooth read and seemed well-edited. I didn’t find any significant errors or use of any profanity. From the way the book was well written and structured, I would happily award it 4 out of 4 stars . Read this piece if you want to learn how to leverage opportunities, find solutions, and keep your calm in tough times.
Published June 16 2020
Everyone dreams of being successful but not everyone has the means [and the courage] to turn those dreams into reality. For a family man such as Atul Vir, starting a venture to a foreign land with no prior experience is a daunting task – more so, a risky business.
To count, Atul Vir was among thousands of individuals that aspired to live the American dream. But what distinguished Mr. Vir from other unfortunate individuals was that he was able to put his best foot forward amidst countless rejection and failure he endured with a mindset of always putting family first. This, of course, led to a compelling success story.
In Underdog Thinking, he was able to share the highs and lows of being an immigrant entrepreneur in America as he chronicled his humble beginning as a kid from Lovedale, India into finding himself as an accountant (eventually posed into a managerial role) at a British Import Company in India – although short-lived. The unfortunate circumstance that drove him to charter his own course led to the establishment of a globally competitive company that specialize in washer/dryer combo – Equator Advanced Appliances.
I liked the book because it felt authentic. It was as if the author was sharing an intimate aspect of his life and relationships. I like how we was able to portray the beginning and endpoints of each endeavors and partnership with much transparency and impartiality, letting the readers experience the circumstances he dealt going from point A to point B. The result was a compelling read with strong focus to associated feelings and emotions akin to riding a roller coaster or a joyride.
The only negative that I was able to note was the frequent use of Macguffins in the form of last minute saves from individuals or companies that pulled the author from complete failure which made the story quite flimsy and detracted quite a bit from realism.
Upon analysis, the main draw of the text was its ability to showcase both ugliness and pleasantness in a working environment built upon partnerships. However its identity is fixated in humility, the author even alluded to the classic tale of David versus Goliath where the triumphant was the underdog. The persona was rooted to that of a commoner, an everyday worker going about his day. I viewed this as the author’s way to convey relatability which honestly worked naturally in his favor.
As an autobiographical novel, we followed the narrator as the key character. From what I surmised, he was an ambitious person that refused to quit. He was an innovator that was guided by the philosophy of never giving in especially from morally transgressive associations. These traits while admirable falters only to the fact that he genuinely cared about others whether it was his workers or partners; These I must say, led to his triumph.
I recommend this book to each persons that dreams or have dreamt of being successful in whatever field or profession they are working their way in or are planning to devote their time with. From what Evolutionary Psychology told us, it is easy for us to root for the victor hence as readers of success stories, an inclination to be victors on our own is certainly merited. This was why I favor the story of Atul Vir since his story is a tale of victory despite hurdles in becoming the person he is today. More so, he was a person that owned up to his shortcoming and adhered to the fact that life is never a one man job. I rate this book 3 out of 4 stars for its relatability and keeping true to its purpose.
Published June 16 2020
I would give Underdog Thinking by Atul Vir 3 out of 4 stars. It is a deeply endearing and enriching account of one man’s journey across continents, careers, breathtaking successes, catastrophic failures and his rebirth like a phoenix. His eventful entrepreneurial journey is dotted with anecdotes, little case studies and his learnings from the same.
The book is a great read for people across professions and geographies, as it deals with the near universal appreciation for professional successes, failures and how they affect our personal lives. Entrepreneurs or those thinking of starting-up would particularly identify with the ups and downs of the author’s journey and learn much from the mistakes he made.
Born and raised in India, Atul Vir first established himself in his career in Africa, while he worked for an international-business oriented trading firm based out of the UK. He learned the tricks of the trade and built his life ground-up, before a geopolitical storm nipped his blooming career in its buds. Vir thereafter landed in Houston, the USA and went on to start Equator Appliances, as a response to his own family’s troubles with home laundry and the need for a washer-dryer combo. With some great work-ethic, brilliant partnerships and stroke of good fortune, Equator soon reached dizzying heights in its industry, only to fall even more spectacularly via a combination of poor decisions, oversight and the good old betrayal by trusted friends and suppliers.
The biggest lesson that the author illustrates from his life is to ‘Never Give Up’. Instead of resigning to his fate and winding his operations, he takes the blow in its stride and rebuilds his life meticulously and with baby steps, a la his initial days of struggle. Needless to say, he sees the proverbial shining sun once again in its full glory.
While ‘Never Give Up’ is the overarching theme of the book, it’s also replete with pointers on how to handle certain business calls, solve problems, build your enterprise step by step, avoid certain pitfalls, build and maintain relationships and rebuild everything all over again.
The language is lucid, easy to understand and quick-paced. The story reads like a page-turner novel. Business situations are presented in such a way that even those with nil understanding of business concepts can easily follow along and appreciate the nuances of the author’s entrepreneurial journey. Every chapter is headlined with the most important learning from that part of the story. They are further sub-sectioned with more learnings that are generic enough to be applied by readers in their own circumstances. At the same time, it’s not too bookish or preachy.
The editing is fine and has done well in keeping the book from meandering or slowing down.
On the contrary, sometimes it feels as if the author skims over important issues and situations. The reader would be much more invested if he can peel down the layers of these complex issues ever so slightly and actually explain how he dealt with the same. Also, the epilogue at the end that offers a compendium of learnings from the author’s journey, feels quite like a business presentation or a drab crash course in business studies. That could have been either avoided or included within the main text in an appropriate format. Coming at the end of an emotionally sapping story, it doesn’t get the deserved attention. Also, the author could have delved a little deeper into the business building process. However, that can be excused since this is his story of the main headlines of his entrepreneurial journey.
Overall, it’s a good account of how one motivated person can build a thriving entrepreneurial life in lands far-off from his place of birth and upbringing, with the right approach, great relationship building skills, innovation, a never say die attitude and above all the right emotional quotient. I would term it as the story of how EQ trumps IQ when it comes to scripting the success story. I took off 1 star from the ratings for limitations I perceived and elaborated upon in the previous paragraph. However, the merits of the book far outweigh these limited issues. Do give it a read.
Published June 13 2020
Underdog Thinking by Atul Vir is the narration of his own life story about all the experiences he had as an immigrant entrepreneur in the USA. Atul Vir went to the USA with a dream but it was shattered by different hiring managers who rejected him saying he didn’t know anything about American business. He wasn’t ready to accept defeat, so he built his own company.
This book is about all the ups and downs he had to go through to make his company successful. He went from a success story to the brink of bankruptcy in a span of a few years. The author discusses all the mistakes and overlooking he made so that the readers will know what not to do.
It is not only an adventure story but also a lesson book for future entrepreneurs. There are diagrams, flowcharts and at the end, he made an appendix of all the lessons he learned with page numbers to the chapters where he explains them. He gives an insightful perspective on all the challenges of starting a business and on how to keeping it successful over the years.
Atul Vir explains entrepreneurship as a gift that gives you the ability to see things that others cannot. He says that ideas are everywhere if we open our minds to the possibilities. His successful idea came from the need to reduce the workload for his wife. And that idea was the beginning and comeback of the author’s company.
What I liked about this book is Atul Vir’s way of storytelling. His writing is so simple but descriptive that you could visualize the situations and conversations. The book teaches that you have to be innovative, ethical, and true to your customers to succeed in business. There were so many parts where I empathized with the author. The author’s perseverance and determination that got him through difficult situations and dark times are really inspiring.
There was nothing I disliked but there were some parts where I wasn’t keenly interested in because of all the business talks. So I recommend this book for all business students and people who are or want to be entrepreneurs. But it is not limited to them either. It is a good book for anyone looking for an inspirational success story. There weren’t any typos or grammatical errors. The book was well-edited and formatted. Overall, this book was a good read and I am giving this book a 3 out of 4 stars.
Published June 12 2020
Under Dog Thinking: A Bold Idea, A Business Adventure and 101 Lessons Learned Along the Way by Atul Vir is a true to its title book that encapsulates its title and subtitle through its pages. It is delightfully difficult to put down as you are enthroned into the author’s business and personal world right from its surprisingly exhilarating first pages to its substantial conclusion.
This book is a lesson in entrepreneurship, cultural diversity, globalism, relationships, trust, betrayal, perseverance, innovation and so much more. From the jungles of wartime Africa to the bull riding landscape of Houston, Texas and to the distant exotic industrial cities of China, this book takes us on a vicarious journey through the experiences of Mr Atul Vir, an Indian-born entrepreneur with an American business having a global reach who was forced into entrepreneurship as his only option without much choice. As the subtitle promises there are many lessons jumping from the book’s pages woven into it without the author having to explicitly spell them out for you. You better get your notepad ready and jot them down as there is one at almost every turn.
What do you do when you are a foreigner, don’t have any money, and need to start a business? Well, you will just have to read the book to find out. Trust and honesty are themes that run throughout this book. “Are you good for the money?”- a typical American phrase used to assess creditworthiness tends to make several appearances in the book and is a testament to how many a business is founded on these words.
Without realizing it, or explicitly using these phrases, the book explores production themes of: Design Thinking, Quality Engineering, and Industrial Engineering: From design-centric empathy to Kaizen quality philosophy and the supply chain optimization nature of Industrial Engineering. This book will appeal to aspiring entrepreneurs; people working in the aforementioned fields; lovers of cultural diversity, problem solvers, or those just needing some inspiration from a good story.
What sets the author and his book apart is his unpretentious and genuine character and vulnerability. Gone are the days (well one would hope) of the typical tough-guy type-A entrepreneur glorifying ruthless, hardball business politics and emphasizing the need for more money and power. That’s not something that aligns with the author nor the essence of the book albeit we do get lessons on this unfortunate side of the business world through the eyes of the author. Humility, sacrifice, ethics, hard work, and honesty seem to be the hallmarks of his kind of business.
The book is well written. It is structured well and in a coherent and chronological format with occasional flashbacks to the author’s early life in the form of interesting anecdotes spaced throughout the book.
RATING: I’ll give Under Dog Thinking: A Bold Idea, A Business Adventure and 101 Lessons Learned Along the Way by Atul Vir a 4 out of 4 stars rating because it is well written, coherently structured with no typos and genuinely hard to put down. It is true to its title and subtitle. It is part business book, part adventurous saga, part testament to the power of a singular idea, and part life/business manual packed with nuggets of lessons. The authenticity of the author’s words is evident as you read through the book. Don’t expect to come out of this with a business MBA nor should one expect this to be an Indiana Jones adventure ancillary. These things it is not and neither does the book nor its author make any promises to be such. But if you find yourself rooting for the underdog in business or life, then this book is for you… and to the would-be entrepreneurs without much to their name or bank account; I leave this question for you to ponder: Are you good for the money?
By Lisa Farnell
Published June 11 2020
Underdog Thinking started out brilliantly. A combination of the authors history and story intertwined with the lessons he learnt in over 30 years in business. Make no mistake, the focus is on business and entrepreneurship, but Mr Vir does take you through the emotional ups and downs of the journey.
He talks of the rollercoaster of moving country, starting with nothing, growing the business only to have the rug swept from under him with some underhanded actions by a supplier and his own lawyer. The second part of the book is about the final rebuilding phase and finally back to success.
The personal narrative is interspersed with little nuggets of wisdom that he has learnt along the way and he summaries this well in Appendix II.
The book is a little disjointed and repetitive at times and you get the impression that he is very bitter about the downfall and how his trust was breached. Whilst this is completely understandable it does lead to him wandering down some side tracks that got a bit long-winded.
Appendix I starts out as a very good general summary of innovation principles but then gets very specific to the laundry white goods industry and in the end felt a bit like a sales pitch for the product.
As part of his reinvention he talks about having bought an RV company, but he really doesn’t mention it again so I was left wondering what became of that venture.
I give this a rating of 3 out of 4. Overall it is a good read. By the middle of the book it got a little repetitive and toward the end I was struggling not to skim read it. Having said that, the mixing of personal experience and complete emotional honesty made what could have been a dry business book quite a good read.
Published June 11 2020
Underdog Thinking is a business adventure book by Atul Vir. Atul Vir, was born and brought up in Pune, India. He completed his education and master’s degree in India and later moved to the United States of America. He got rejected for all his job applications in the United States of America and decided to start his own business. He faced many obstacles while starting the business. The main problem was the finance required for the business. The author shares the importance of creativity, finance management, marketing, branding and sales in his book. He tells the reader to keep the customer above all. The author was really frank about teaching the lessons he learnt about entrepreneurship. Highly recommended for the young generation. An amazing and well-written book on the various problems faced by entrepreneurs. The best thing about this book is that you can connect to it even if you are not an entrepreneur. You have a goal, a dream, obstacles in the path are inevitable and incessant.
The thing that I liked the most about this book is that the language is very simple and easy to understand. Although the book does not go so much into the details, it is still very inspirational, and really teaches me moral life lessons on how to be a better person while also taking charge. Never expected to find this much enjoyment reading a biography. Atul Vir has truly done a wonderful job with this book.
This book is well-edited and I did not find any error in it. It can be challenging for a person who is not inclined to entrepreneurship. There is neither any profanity nor any explicit scenes in this book and can be read by any generation There is nothing I would want to change in this book.
What I disliked the most in this book is that the events are not detailed much. More detailed incidents and conversations would have really helped the budding entrepreneurs in their negotiation skills. Also it is more inclined towards people willing to start their business.
Overall, I think this is a very good book. I would say that it is a business book and I would recommend it to people who are from the business community, specifically to the one who would wants to start his own business with an innovative idea. I believe that this group of people will like the book more than the any other person would. As for me, I would rate this book a 3 out of 4 stars.
By Alan Jacob Mathew
Published June 8 2020
“Success is not measured on money, but about the people around you”, it is one key point the book explains to the readers.
There’s something about this book by Atul Vir that definitely make it to be one of startup founders handbook. It’s the story of a guy from India, learning and doing business across different continents. If you are interested in entrepreneurship then I’d definitely recommend this book to you. When you read a biography on startups often people doesn’t care to explain the failures they faced, that is something Mr. Atul explains honestly.
It is the story of belief, his belief to do something extraordinary with many ups and downs faced in the journey. The narration is fast-paced making sure the readers don’t get bored in between, also the non linear narration makes it more interesting. I somewhere felt the story getting too fast at certain areas. It is a recommended read for anyone who is an entrepreneur.
I would rate the 3 out of 4, and would recommend it for anyone who is in his/her entrepreneur journey. Sometimes all it takes is few months, sometimes few years, it’s all your persistence to continue the journey.
By Edwin Amah
Published June 7 2020
Ever been in the struggle of growth as a result of losing a job you thought was the future? It got so bad that you even had to relocate from a continent you have built, and gotten so much potential from to a total new environment for a fresh start and here you are left to explore new business opportunities. Now, this is the story-line of Underdog Thinking by Atul Vir.
Having lived, worked, done business and strived in four continents most of his life, Atul Vir writes about his life, career and how he became an entrepreneur, Atul Vir, an Indian young man who moved to the shores of Africa searching for Solomon’s mines or hidden treasure according to the stories his teachers always told in class. He got a promising job in Africa, but then suffered a deep blow that sent him back to America after his company lost their business as a result of a military coup. He moved to America to pursue a dream he was not sure of which was welcomed with a lot of rejections from America employers. His persistence and ability to discover new opportunities gave him a business which he built and made a huge statement in the American business market even though he lost almost all he built after a few betrayals from people he trusted, but his never give in spirit made him stay afloat until he launched a comeback.
Underdog Thinking was a great read. The author, Atul Vir has a way to deliberately make you stick to reading a story without getting tired or bored. Well, this particular book happens to be centered around his life and the road to entrepreneurship. The author shared deep secrets on capitalizing on simple opportunities just like he discovered the lack of the combo laundry machine that was needed in his own home and led to developing a business from it as it was lacking and if introduced could make life easier for all. He emphasized on the fact that a business lies more in the hands of those closest to it, those are the employees, and every business owner need to always listen to them. Also, he sold the concept of building trust with customers and making sure your product keeps them happy.
The authors ability to relate what he suffered as his business was crashing after his business suppliers from Italy were bought off, and the challenges he faced as a business owner to the movie “The adventures of Indiana Jones” which he always watched with his son in the evening, the characters ability to be smart, always one step ahead of the enemy and always found a way out. Since it was his story, the author made the characters so real and made me see this book from his own eyes. The way he detailed every growth process even with diagrams was amazing. This book contains twenty chapters, and each chapter had a title that explained the next phase and had quotes that complemented them too. The Character development was second to none. The author was the main character, but he still had a way of involving his wife, children, lawyer friend, manufacturers, and other business partners and it never sounded strange while reading. He had such a great way of being poetic. He also told a lot of stories about the Indian and Chinese religions, war, businesses, and ancient opportunities.
To assist the reader’s understanding of complex concepts, I like the way the author employs diagrams to connect and explain things he described like the Yin and Yang diagram and the four fold nature of a CEO. His use of quotes and wise words was excellent. The other amazing thing I like about this book is the way the author summarized all the lessons learned from the twenty chapters at the end of the book. In the middle of so much betrayal and anger, the writer avoided the use of profane words.
There is nothing I dislike about this book as the author did a great job driving home every business point and shared a lot of entrepreneurship values. This book was professionally edited as I did not find any grammatical errors even though the format and line arrangement could have been slightly better, but this did not stop me from enjoying the content of this book. So, I wholeheartedly rate this book 4 out of 4 stars. I will recommend this book to all entrepreneurs and business lovers especially small startups. It will be a guide to overcome the storms.
By Fabio Petuello
Published June 7 2020
The book is about the struggles of an entrepreneur during his journey in search for the American dream. It’s based on the true story of Atul Vir who is also the author of the book. Born in India, he traveled across four continents working in many fields to then start it’s own company once arrived in America.
The story and the valuable lessons provided are enjoyable, a wise overview for anyone willing to enter the entrepreneurial world. The story is compelling from the beginning to the end, at every turn of events the author goes over the insights of the lessons learned through success and failure, describing his feelings, expectations and fears.
The graphs shown in some chapters are exhaustive even if I found them a little bit out of place. While reading a good story then run into a graph that is supposed to be part of a more technical lecture it’s not a bad idea per say, but I found it not necessary given the purpose and the writing style of the book, not a big issue though.
Otherwise I found the quotes of celebrities at the beginning of every chapter a very valuable add-on, it already gives an idea of the lesson taught, but it didn’t spoil at all the story, nay, it was a way to enhance the interest in continuing the reading.
Highly suggested. 4 out of 4
Published June 7 2020
In the novel Underdog Thinking, the author and protagonist, Atul Vir, has proven himself a true hero as he tirelessly fought and overcame many obstacles.The life experiences extolled as well as the way he faced his battles in the novel was inspiring. The novel is very captivating and the reader is left in a state of curiosity about the present status of the author.
The novel journeys globally and introduces the culture of various countries in the most inconspicuous manner. Furthermore the novel explores varying business styles and the alternative doctrines that seemed to govern decision making in the world of entrepreneurship. The events of this book are awe inspiring.The author presents the events of his business life in a most delightful and soul capturing manner. The inclusion of graphics as well as appendix one and two enhanced the physical layout of the book. It also added further clarity to the lessons being liaised and principles being promoted.
This novel provides the reader with a wealth of wisdom that can impact greatly on personal development and effectiveness as an entrepreneur.The writer’s style of writing is succinct, bold and candid. His belief in ethics seeps through in the words of his novel. He focuses on his feelings and viewpoint in moments of conflicts instead of casting judgement on his colleagues and business associates.
Being an ardent lover of quotations,I was particularly fond of those presented in this novel and looked forward with great relish to the anticipated upcoming ones. There was no particular element of the book that did not appeal to me and as a result I award it a rating of 4 out of 4 stars.This book could prove to be very interesting and useful to students who are pursuing studies in marketing, management and entrepreneurship. I would also recommend it to budding entrepreneurs and managers in any business sector since the principles brought to the fore can be applied beyond the field of appliances.
The novelist referred to his immigrant status on a number of occasions. He outlined implicitly the alienation he experienced at times. He then promoted the courage, inner strength and modus operandi he utilized to deal with such feelings and situations. Alienation, betrayal, innovation,determination and struggle are just a few of the traits explored by the author as he seeks to hone our personal business acumen and inspire us as individuals to encounter and conquer the adventure we know as ‘life’.
Published June 4 2020
The underdog thinking is a book by Atul Vir who is the author, born and bred in India and from the age of 10 he went to a military boarding school .At the age of 25 he finished his studies and his first job was in Africa and he became very successful in the company he was managing but he was not the owner of the company and eventually the company he worked for went under. After spending 7 years in Africa with a very quick growth Atul Vir found himself with nothing and by this time he had a wife, a family to take care of.
Atul then decided to go and start a new life in America, he thought things would be easy for him since he had worked and rebuilt a company in Africa but things became tougher for him as he got rejected from interviews and being told “You know nothing about American business.” He started his own business which he had so little money to start the with and sometimes he just negotiated his way through, but eventually his business started and he struggled at first .Until one day he saw a need of a home appliance which is a Combo washing machine .
Atul’s business called Equator rose from there and for a few years he did very well, until suddenly his suppliers were bought and he had to do business with the buyers and they sabotaged him by giving him faulty machines which didn’t have one part that caused breakdowns to all the machines. He tried to continue with the little that was left but everyone betrayed him including the people he started the business with from the first week and his distributors pulled out as well. He eventually lost the equator building at went back where he started until he was rescued by a family that gave him a Pinnacle offer and that was his come back.
I feel as though the author had sometimes missed some information and gave the readers the wrong impression regarding times, in the part when he was in Africa and said that his wife will be joining him it then became very confusing to me , when he was in America they spoke about how they spent a lot of time together in London.And also when he had to go to China again it wasn’t clear as to how that came about.After losing his first business and was offered Pinnacle he still had some loans to pay and then he afforded to buy Pinnacle ,this was unclear as how he managed to buy Pinnacle and all the travelings he was doing at the time were costly.
The book relate very well with my situation right now as a small business owner who started from the ground, that’s why i see some of the things impossible to do if you have so little starting a business because i have been in a situation were i lacked money and had to pause some of the things to raise funds, But Atul Vir seems to be able to do a lot with no money at all.
This book is educational to people who want to go into entrepreneurship or who are already into entrepreneurship, for someone who is already into entrepreneurship the book has good guidelines and strategies but for someone who want to start a business it doesn’t make sense at all that someone who had no money can pull out all the things that Atul pulled out this part was very misleading to someone who want to start a business from the ground,i mean Atul had all of a sudden, money to purchase his products even though he got $200 credit it still was not enough to cover all the start up expenses for his business, Money to rent an apartment, Money to take a Flight to London and it also didn’t show anywhere that his wife was working which i would have concluded the wife helped him.
The book had only had a few misspellings and Typing errors. It was not much even though when the book started the same word with the same meaning was in Caps and then in the middle it was in small letters in the middle of a sentence.i would therefore rate this book a 3 out of 4 star since the errors in this book were just a few and not interrupting and the language and words used for this book were very professional because i only encountered 2 words which were profane. The ending of the book was very sudden as i was preparing myself to hear about how he regained everything the book ended .I would recommend this book to anyone who is already in business and still struggling and someone who want to give up in their business but not someone who want to start.
Published June 2 2020
The motto of the military academy Lawrence School in Lovedale, Tamil Nadu, India, is “Never Give Up.” Lawrence alumnus Atul Vir, author of Underdog Thinking, embodies the mantra as he leads readers on his journey from schoolboy to founder and CEO of Equator Advanced Appliances, a global home appliances provider headquartered in Houston, Texas. Vir positions and demonstrates how the entrepreneur is the consummate underdog who sees a problem – which the current approach isn’t solving – and envisions a solution before the customer knows the problem exists. Since founding Equator in 1991, Vir grew the business exponentially over the decades but also suffered setbacks severe enough to flirt with financial ruin. Vir’s persistence to not give up and sustain maniacal focus on the customer requirements empowers him to persevere and gives the reader a satisfying story.
Vir’s upbringing in a military household provided him a foundation for discipline and transparency, helping him later in his business affairs. The family expected him to follow a traditional route, but after he graduated from University, Vir was fortunate to secure an internship in London with an import/export entrepreneur running a global practice. This businessman took young Vir in for a hands-on role where he had a front seat to the African business operations, and his manager’s stubbornness and formidable ego. When the manager’s abstinence caused an abrupt company shutdown, unemployed Vir moved to the United States to find a new opportunity. He didn’t expect his international experience would mean nothing in the United States. When one hiring manager rejected Vir’s candidacy with the comment: “You don’t know a damn thing about American business,” Vir decided to go out on his own. He started a company without a plan and waited for the moment when destiny would give him a sign. The beacon came when he realized his wife – who spent hours doing laundry – would benefit from a combination washer/dryer appliance. Combos were popular in Europe, and in the US, they were nonexistent. He jumped in.
The book details Vir’s journey starting and growing Equator – he wanted a name reflecting the company’s global focus. Early on, Vir’s open style attracted trust from strangers through his disarming honesty. At critical junctures, an influential person would ask him: “Are you good for it?” before granting a loan, agreement, or some other business arrangement. One example is the leasing manager for a large Houston sky-rise who gave Vir a three-year lease with no payments for the first six months – Equator had no revenue.
There are triumphant wins Vir achieves and gut-wrenching lows – usually caused by other people’s ulterior motives or short-sighted economic decisions. A specific deception by one of Vir’s closest friends left me physically queasy. Vir questions these moments and struggles with other’s lying, and he moves on. From the pinnacle of designing and constructing a beautiful flagship Equator headquarter building to the low moment of no money and a nook adjacent to his kitchen serving as his office, Vir never gives up, and today the company flourishes.
I rate the book 3 out of 4 and recommend it specifically to those in the business community interested in the startup process of a global player and to a broader leadership audience for the lessons provided by Vir when there is an organizational crisis. Vir rolls up his sleeves and gets it done. He is a leader with integrity, and he consistently pursues the customer’s needs first. What I liked most about the book was the evolution of Equator’s partnerships with manufacturers and distributors. His partners over the years were all over the world with difficult cultures, styles, and expectations. Vir’s adaptability kept Equator’s doors open while making extensive and sometimes unexpected changes in who made the combos, how they got to market, and in what new markets they were sold. A more static entrepreneur would have closed shop at a many critical moments in the business.
Underdog Thinking is a well-edited book, and I enjoyed Vir’s lyrical and descriptive first-person voice. He often compares colors and visions to nature and historical images, and it gave me visuals to associate with what I read.
Vir said in the book: “I had always tried diligently to separate business from my personal life.” That philosophy is apparent and is what I disliked about the book and why I did not give it a 4 rating. Vir kept the focus strictly on business and himself. He never gave insight as to the personal impact on his family. Spending long hours at the office, and weeks with manufacturing partners overseas would take a toll on the home front. His wife provided the pivotal reason for the start of Equator and briefly managed the firm’s customer service at a moment of crisis in the business. The reader never learns her name or hears her voice. Near the end of the book, Vir mentions a phone conversation with his daughter, where he shared the results of a crucial China meeting and her interest in the outcome. This was a rare glimpse of his children’s reaction to their father’s world. Vir pursues his business with such relentless tenacity; I suspect there is a personal cost, and we don’t get to hear this. Did his wife and children play a more active role as a sounding board in Vir’s decisions? We don’t know. He described his wife at the beginning of the book having a respectable career in New York City. I would have like to meet her.
Published June 1 2020
Ever imagined what to do when it seems as though there is nowhere to fit into in the job market? Ever imagined how to start off on your own and build a business empire? Are you faced with the intrigues of doing business and maintaining your strong convictions and policies in life? This is what Atul Vir described in this book, Underdog Thinking. This book exposes the reader to real experiences to be expected in the business world, while unwinding the hurdles he overcame in his journey to bringing Equator Appliances to where it is today.
Atul wanted to spend time with his family as he used to do in Africa, but each time, he was faced with his wife’s need to do the chores ,especially the laundry, with a washing machine in which she had to transfer the washed clothes to the dryer every time. She needed to be around to get this done. In the bid to find a combo that would do washing and drying, his dream of supplying the American market with this combo, was born. This led to a series of mind-blowing challenges that he had to face, until Equator became a household name, supplying appliances and meeting the need of its customers.
It was ten years of enjoying the bliss of success, until the company supplying the combos to Equator was bought over, which signaled the herald of Equator’s downturn in the business world. Equator’s fall was as result of the new company, Mancini’s omission of a major component in the manufacturing of the combo. This led to Equator nose diving to the point of losing the Equator Plaza which was a symbol of 10 years of hard work and success.
Plunged into debt and failure, Atul didn’t give up, as was the slogan of his alma-mater. He was depressed but didn’t throw in the towel. Soon, a ray of hope shone down into his tunnel of depression and gradually, he pulled himself and Equator out of depression, betrayal, overconfidence and failure. This time, he became more cautious, determined, committed and stringent about the tiniest details of the new Super Combo (as was renamed)washing machine. The new washing machine was manufactured by Tortoise Company in China who was also longing for a comeback. Equator Appliances had finally overcome so many hurdles, most importantly, the temptation to reduce its commitment to its customers. It will always esteem customer satisfaction above all else. Atul had to take some new decisions to the benefit of the new Equator Appliances.
The book seeks to give hope to its reader especially one who is down and feels there is no way out. It takes the reader through nuggets that are practicable. I enjoyed reading this book as I could easily relate to it. I believe anyone can easily relate to it, especially if they have had struggles getting back up. By the time you are through with it , you get this feeling, “it is never over until you say so.”
Although I enjoyed reading this book, I rate it 3 out of 4 because it had a few typos. I recommend it for every entrepreneur and young minds who are venturing out to achieve their dreams.
By Hemlata Pant
Published May 31 2020
Underdog Thinking by the esteemed Atul Vir is a testament to his decades of hard work in crafting his multi-million dollar business. It outlines a roller-coaster of a journey that he embarked on as the world he was comfortable with in a good, safe position in an import-export company in Lagos, was turned upside down. Vir, pleasantly, also prompts you to persevere and seize opportunity as he does so himself in his thrilling autobiography that plays out more like a well-crafted fairy tale.
As he learns various lessons, they are laid out in clear subtitles that, retrospectively, he elaborates on – earning this book another label of a ‘how-to’ book. Underdog Thinking is beyond a single label though, presenting aspects of philosophical teachings, as well as being, in a way, a coming of age novel, and an action adventure one.
Vir retells an ancient story of the rewards of stepping outside your comfort zone in a Hollywood narrative – himself as an evolving, multifaceted hero. Much like a Hollywood tale, betrayal comes at the crux, but the way he deals with it, prospers despite (or even because of) it makes his unique story one that is completely believable. It entrenches the reader so firmly in the story that you forget you’re reading about (an falling in love with) kitchen appliances.
However, him being a CEO, I would be interested in a further exploration of the day-to-day tasks of a CEO. Perhaps, also an account of the effect of his passion towards work on his family and work-life balance would provide even further motivation for anyone looking to start a business or even to just be motivated.
Also, there is the chapter ‘Be Careful’ which has a quote that is not as relevant to the passage as other quotes are to their respective passages. Significantly, in the chapter entitled ‘The more that’s at stake, the faster your brain works’, Vir claims that Buddha was born in India – this is completely wrong. He was actually born in Nepal, not India. However, the spelling, grammar and punctuation is immaculate.
I would recommend this to wannabe entrepreneurs, but also those looking for inspiration in hard times. Underdog Thinking is definitely one for lovers of Mark Manson’s work. However, I would not recommend it for those who prefer a fast-paced resolution to crisis, since I found that the speed of the book seems to slow down after major crisis strikes.
Overall, Atul Vir has written Underdog Thinking as an equally entertaining but also didactic tale, interwoven with ancient and contemporary words of successful people before him. Vir’s connection and passion in his writing clearly shows as he writes for his unadulterated love for business – in all the forms that may take. For this, he recieves 3 out of 4 stars from me.
Published May 27 2020
Underdog Thinking by Atul Vir is a nonfiction story about an immigrant entrepreneur navigating the highs and lows of American business through his quest to bring the combo washer and dryer to the United States.
His story jumps straight into action and never lets up. It is an easy read and I found myself learning more than I could imagine about the laundry appliance industry. While as mundane as this appliance sector could sound, he has the reader rooting for him throughout his journey to find success. All the twists and turns of his life seem like it could be a movie that I almost found it shocking that these were real events that he actually experienced.
Any reader who loves an underdog or comeback story should read this book. I also think this book would be a good fit for any reader who has ever wanted to be an entrepreneur. His tale will either inspire you or be a warning that this business is not meant for you. Enter at your own risk.
I had a hard time putting this book down; however, I can only rate this book 3 out of 4 stars. I couldn’t give it a full 4 out of 4 stars because there seems to be a disconnect with the book’s title and the style of the book. It reads as a nonfiction story of a man’s life to find business success, but the title almost implies that the book would be a self-help guide. The only part of the book that is in line with this is the second to last chapter, “The State of Innovation.” This one chapter breaks away from the rest of the book and sets itself apart as an instruction manual to innovation. I found this section repetitive, but since it was included as an appendix perhaps that should be forgiven. I disliked this section the most and thought that it should be condensed if the author wanted to include it.
Overall, Underdog Thinking is an ode to the underdogs and their path to their comeback story. Atul is a relatable and likable character. At the end of his story, you find yourself wanting to be his friend and wanting to find out more about his company. It is heartfelt, smart, and gripping. It will make you believe that with hard work and dedication your entrepreneur dream can come true as well.
By Jocelyn Eastman
Published on April 11, 2020
Underdog Thinking: A Bold Idea, a Business Adventure and 101 Lessons Learned Along the Way is a partial autobiography by Atul Vir. Atul Vir was born in India and sent to military school at a young age, eventually deciding that he wanted to go into business. After starting in Europe, he took a job with a company based in Africa. The job was lucrative, but his boss did not want to take suggestions from his employees. Eventually, his boss’s failure to take the advice of those working in Africa lead to the downfall of his company. Atul then decided to follow his wife to New York. Once there, he was unable to find a job, even with his vast international business experience. He decided to start his own company and move to Houston, Texas. When his wife started going laundry all day on the weekends, he longed for the washer-dryer combo they had when they lived in Europe so they could spend more time together. This is the story of the ups and downs in the business world for the man who made combo washer-dryers in the United States a reality.
Even though this is about business and was likely meant to target entrepreneurs, anyone can read this as there isn’t terminology that would be lost on the average reader. There is no profanity and there are no explicit scenes. Teenaged readers and older would be able to read and enjoy this book.
The thing I liked most about this book was the plot. I loved learning that there was such a thing as a washer-dryer combo. I had no idea! I told my husband and he didn’t believe me! I thought it was awesome to read about how he was inspired by his own family. His initial foray into business was really interesting too. He had to survive a coup in Africa. You would think a book about entrepreneurship would be boring. This one was not.
I thought the advice that was given in the book was great too. I could tell that it was practical and gained from lived experience. Sometimes I read these books and it’s just the story. The author forgets the advice part and I am disappointed. That did not happen here and I was really happy. Plus, the ethos that the author has is refreshing, given how he believes in doing the right thing.
The thing I disliked most about the book was the pacing and timeline in the middle of the book. There is a point in the book where the author ran into trouble and is trying to rebuild his business. The pacing gets a little slow. The timeline also seems to go back and forth. For me, it was a little confusing and I felt like this portion of the book dragged on a little bit. It didn’t detract from the overall experience. This is me nitpicking on one single part of the book.
Overall, this was a superb read. I recommend it not only to entrepreneurs, but also anyone looking for a self-help book, as it just has great advice. Honestly, I’d recommend it to anyone looking for a good, solid read. I give this book 4 out of 4 stars.
By Gift Nwagu
Underdog Thinking: A Bold Idea, a Business Adventure and 101 Lessons Learned Along the Way is nothing short of an experience. When you read this book, which was written by Atul Vir, you are transported into a different world, a world full of opportunities that are actually within grasp. The author in question has significant qualifications when it comes to the business area of life as his degrees in accounting and his many years of experience in international relations have come to his aid in building multiple million-dollar businesses, one of which has been used as the primary basis for discussion throughout the book, Equator Advanced Appliances.
Atul Vir tells us his story. He had a very humble beginning as an Indian native raised and educated in a secluded boarding school and went on to gain a lucrative job that took him on adventures all around the African Continent, specifically sub-Saharan Africa (Nigeria, Ivory Coast, Togo, etc.). He went on to become a business owner but not without trials before and after the company’s, Equator’s, establishment. He, being from the Kshatriyas Indian caste level, never expected a life away from a paycheck but when tragedy struck in his previous company, which had significant ties to Ivory Coast, he found himself an immigrant in America, broke, with a family to feed and had to move fast. Ten years from the date of that decision, Equator had become a strong contender in the American home appliance industry and the embodiment of the “American Dream” come true.
Using a vulnerable and honest tone of speech he urges us to learn from his story, his past experiences, and his life in general. He adopts a descriptive writing method which appeals to normal individuals and formally trained business entities alike. That being said, just about anybody willing to read a good tale can pick up this book.
Going forward to the elements of the book, a feature above all that I admired in this book was its undeterred determination to put forward the business values that are felt to be most important for a business to grow organically. Values such as team-work and cultural knowledge were strongly supported and the advice for all superiors to practice “listening to those closest to the action” dissuaded the notion that employees do not have any useful opinions to give. The author is definitely a strong supporter of the “no man is an island” work ethic. Speaking of ethics, he also believed in businesses founded on solid bedrocks of integrity.
Apart from the moral aspect, the narrative style of this writer is something that any audience can easily deduce as basically innate. Never in my life have I seen a business mogul use a storyline as a medium for education. In my past experiences reading business books, it had always been straight-to-the-point, bullet-point lists interspersed between complex graphs interspersed between even more complexly written paragraphs. I know with the writing style adopted by this author, people who don’t know much business terminology, much like me, can still be kept in the loop.
As for aspects that were less than desirable to me, there weren’t many, in fact, I felt the few problems are casualties from the writing style he adopted for the book which was primarily descriptive. I got lost at certain parts in the middle and at the end of the book. Some areas of the book felt unnecessarily elongated in my opinion and I felt certain things, that could have easily been derived from prior writings, where being endlessly described for instance the chapter, “China”, contained some paragraphs that described angst about the new phase that the company was at which we had already been informed on in detail in prior chapters. This did not constitute much of an issue for me but it just tended to slow down the progression of the storyline.
In all, this book was a delight to crack open and I actually found myself learning from this book (this is not usually the norm for me). The good aspects of the book far outweighed its negative counterparts (which were few and far between). The book appeared to have been professionally reviewed or edited as I could not find any spelling errors but on the contrary, discovered words I had never heard before such as “hubris”. Though I did find areas in the book were other phrases or words would have conveyed his thoughts better, I couldn’t complain much as that is the nit-picker in me doing what it does naturally. Regardless, the author definitely has a good command of the English language as well as storytelling skills. Because of all the shining features of this book, it would only be right that I rate this book 4 out of 4 stars. This is because I have genuinely not had fun being educated by a book in a long time until this book. This book has a strong recommendation from me.