Against the Grain: Lessons in Entrepreneurship from the Founder of Cobra Beer
April 2009, Capstone
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From selling the first cases of Cobra out of the back of a battered old Citroen 2CV along the streets of West London to exporting to over 40 countries around the world, Karan Bilimoria's vision of a less gassy beer has travelled a long way.
Starting out with a heap of student debt, a complete lack of industry experience and parents desperate for their son to get a proper job, it could all so easily have gone wrong. But Karan's single-minded determination to succeed and his ability to inspire those around him to buy into his vision, turned Cobra, sip-by-sip, into the multi-million pound business it is today. Karan's story bottles the very essence of entrepreneurship: vision, drive, creativity and a relentless battle against all odds, to make the idea you so passionately believe in work.
Against the Grain is packed with insights into finance, strategy, planning, luck, discipline, and generally doing the unexpected to build your own business, from someone who's been there and done it... and all with just a little less gas.
'Essential reading.' Richard Reed, Co-founder, Innocent Drinks
'An inspirational story.' Sir Martin Sorrell, Chief Executive Officer WPP
'Karan Bilimoria is one of the great entrepreneurs...' Jo Malone, founder of Jo Malone
'Inspiring! … worth the cover price for the "Financing Cobra" chapter alone.' Professor John Mullins, London Business School
'… His story should inspire youth everywhere who are fired by the dream of becoming a successful entrepreneur.' Ratan Tata, Chairman, Tata Group