'Billions' and 'Breakthrough'

This month's book selections take a look at business in the Far East and businesses that hit it big without venture capital.
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This story appears in the March 2008 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

China and India, which make up a third of the world's population, share a long border and a longer history of economic and cultural ties. Yet entrepreneurs from the two countries are very different, as Indian-born Harvard business school professor Tarun Khanna reveals in Billions of Entrepreneurs (Harvard Business School Press, $29.95). While India and Indians revel in free-wheeling competition, China and its business owners seek stability and consensus. Whether competing in or with the two rising Asian superpowers, entrepreneurs everywhere need to know what to expect.

To write The Breakthrough Company (Crown Business, $27.50), consultant Keith R. McFarland sifted through thousands of small companies identified over a 25-year period as fast-growing to find the nine that broke out to become behemoths, generating average annual sales of over $700 million each. He found that they often operated in unglamorous, slow-growth fields and frequently changed business models. The biggest shocker: Not one used a penny of venture capital.

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