Book review of My Journey Through Lala Land – From Salesman to CEO by BD Nathani

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My Journey Through Lala Land – From Salesman to CEO

Neelam Sharma, Booxoul



If you were to imagine a lala, would you see an unruly looking man looking over his accounts or a well-groomed man in a three-piece suit?
If you saw the former, it is likely because in a country where the majority of small and medium businesses are family-owned, lala is seen as a derogatory term for an unprofessional leader or owner of a business. In My Journey Through Lala Land, a memoir of a humble salesman and a marketing genius, BD Nathani dispels the myths associated with traditional family-owned businesses. Whether he worked for a Gujju lala or a Baniya lala, the author describes how most traditional family business owners he worked with built successful businesses strategically. Besides, they also enabled him to launch one of the most well-known international footwear and lifestyle brands in India, including Lotto, New Balance and Hi-Tec. 
The book also tells the true tale of how the author built and grew Woodland from a small footwear company based in Karol Bagh to an international brand with the help of a visionary family business owner. However, in the beginning, the going was not hunky-dory. The author who always dreamt of travelling the world began by selling a cough syrup. 
The book, thus, is an excellent read for not only middle rung managers but also management students who wish to know what makes a brand successful. 


You never know what’s around the corner. It could be everything. Or it could be nothing. You keep putting one foot in front of the other and then one day you look back and you’ve climbed a mountain.

Tom Hiddleston

Indeed! This quote by Hiddleston is awe inspiring but at the same time highlights one of the core realities of life, keep striving relentlessly, never give up. Certainly!! Which is your set of quotes you visit when you want to be inspired??

Book review of My journey through Lala land, from salesman to CEO by BD Nathani is one such inspiring read. A simple, yet heart touching memoir incorporating three decades worth of business and life experience this one is a treasure trove of priceless learnings put across in a subtle yet effective manner of this wonderful gentleman.
It speaks of his passion related to his work, at the same time also highlighting all the issues he came across on his journey as a consultant and the success stories as well as his takeaways both professionally as well as personally.
A true awe inspiring real lide account of how he built and grew Woodland from a small retail shoe company to an international brand.

READ: Book review of A Jar of Pebbles: Stories from the Heart by Krishna Mohan Tata

A first person account, seeking no validation this piece of writing for me reflected honesty, integrity, passion towards business as well as the author’s dedicated devotion.

Agree there are hundreds of books out there which might teach you all the key concepts related to marketing, business strategies etc but a memoir like this which is a starkingly true account of what actually transpires out in the course of business and marketing in the real world is a powerful read. I would recommend this one to not only my regular readers but also anyone who wishes to understand the key concepts such as branding , strategic marketing etc. in simple terms and take away important insights to learn and implement in their business.

Having said that, the author’s journey has surely been enigmatic, a powerhouse of not only learning but also illumination. I say so because his experiences which he fortunately chose to share with this memoir will act as illuminating beacons of knowledge for all those future enthusiasts who desire to achieve big in life like him and want to keep as big a vision as him, both in life as well as business.

His journey from a simple salesman to a CEO is inspiring, positive as well as practical.
The style of writing used is simple yet the book successfully keeps you engaged as the author has added a truly personal touch at some points by splaying across his true emotions and sharing them witht he readers.His sharing of experiences as related to compromises on family time give a subtle but strong message of prioritizing too. A well balanced, true portrayal of not only the corner stones of hard core success but also teething issues related .
Quotes shared at the end of many chapters make it really motivating too.

A must read.

A true account of an entrepreneur, ear marking not only his successes but also his challenges whilst highlighting his dedication as well as hard work, integrity, honesty as well as humility.
Sometimes, simplicity hits you like a breath of fresh air.

In fact, the best put across writings happen to be the one which are straight put out of one’s life, from the heart via the pen, out there for all to read and muse upon. This is one such reflection of the author’s striving yet successful journey.

Superb work Mr BD nathani.


Simple yet superbly informative.

Pick the book if
  • You love reading Memoir

Skip the book if

  • You don’t like reading Memoir
Age Group

18 years and above

About Author

BD Nathani has four decades of experience in Sales, Marketing and Retail across different footwear and lifestyle brands. Born on May 10, 1951, the Delhi-based author started his career in 1978 as a sales executive and went on to launch the most successful products in footwear and apparel, including Woodland, Lotto, Disney, Hi-Tec, New Balance and Crocs.

Nathani has also worked as a consultant for Adidas and Liberty Shoes. He specializes in Strategic Brand Management, Wholesale/Distribution Management, Advertising and Promotions, and Public Relations. He has won several awards in his career, including the CSR Super Brain Super Personality Award (1999), Top Ranker Excellence Award by Jindal Global Business School, Excellence in Marketing (2015), Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Award and Marketing Trendsetter (2017).

After retiring from the industry, he has been associated with the education sector. He has been associated with BIMTECH and ITS, and as a visiting and guest faculty at Institute of Management and Technology, Footwear Design and Development Institute, Pearl Academy, Asian Business School, and Bhartiya Vidyapeeth University, New Delhi. He has also been a keynote speaker, chief guest and guest of honour at numerous events, conferences, seminars and conclaves.

The author is currently Adjunct Professor (Marketing) at Jaipuria Institute of Management, Noida, where he has been instrumental in conducting the Annual Retail Conference and panel discussions. He is associated with the Management Development Programme and E-Cell. He is also a marketing consultant to Animation International Pvt Ltd.

Author Profile: LinkedIn
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