Ecoman by Malcolm Rands
Random House, $39.99
I’ve got to start by declaring a bias: I like Malcolm Rands. He's eccentric and interesting. It's hard not to admire him as the founder of EcoStore, the passionate manufacturer and marketer of plant based products for personal and household care.
His story is inspirational, telling the tale of a business that has its safer, healthier, products on the shelves of almost every supermarket here - not to mention thousands of stores in Australia, the Middle East, Hong Kong and Singapore.
But I don't need to summarise the firm's business achievements - that's all in the book and why Rands wrote it in the first place.
I want to highlight the book's personal flavour. It is really a family story, exemplified by his daughter's charming cartoons through to the anecdotes that give us clues as to the events and personal motivations that have driven Rands and his wife to embark on an adventure that has built such a noble enterprise.
There are also classic business lessons: the stop/start growing pains, the tough transition from entrepreneurial to corporate culture, but underpinning it all is the family theme that gives the book warmth and meaning.
There are umpteen business books that enumerate theories and processes - the 'what and how' of business, but the most compelling and memorable are those that relay war-stories, that tell us the 'why'.