Q. Share with us your experience of 25 years in the corporate world and what inspired you to write two books on it.
In my training sessions, I use stories drawn from real life. One day, just after I finished an internal training, one of the participants said, “Partha, you must capture these stories in a book. Or else, with you all stories will be gone one day.” That set me thinking….why not? Later in June ’06, I was on a long flight and the thought struck me. I took out my laptop and captured a few incidents. That was the start of my journey towards becoming an author.
My first book was published in 2008, ‘Why Not …! Racing Ahead With Mentors’. My debut management fiction ‘With or without you’ was published by Penguin India in Nov’10. In 2012, Penguin published ‘Make It or Break It’, and now I’ve penned ‘Mid-Career Crisis’ which has been published by Harper Collins.
In all these books, have I narrated near-life stories from the corporate world. The corporate world has given me enough, I think it is now my turn to return it. And this is my way, if my books benefit even a few people; I’ll think I have done my bit.
Q. Your first book was ‘Why Not!…Racing Ahead With Mentors,’ second was ‘Make It or Break It,’ third was a fiction ‘With or Without You.’ All were of different genre but the target audience was same. Which did you enjoy writing more?
Like most youngsters, I too used to write short stories and poems. But the habit died once the education became demanding and life became hectic in the corporate world.
Fiction and non-fiction are two ways of expressing thoughts. In both, we deal with the real stuff….emotion, ambition, competition, politics, love, betrayal, failure, success. An author may choose to express his/her thoughts as ‘fiction’ or ‘non-fiction’ but what is important is the thought behind them.
When you read my books, you’ll find that most of them are Miction (Management Fiction) …so I like to mix a bit of both.
Q. Which do you think is easier writing – fiction or self-help/management books? Would you write more fiction in future?
Next few, I am planning to write fiction. Writing is easy for me, getting thoughts together is difficult. Why fiction ? Just a decision at this point of time.
Q. Considering the extremely busy life you lead, what kind of books keep you sane? Which writers did you grow up reading?
My father is an avid reader. I have never seen him finishing a day without reading something. When I was young, I was too much into sports. I was never a passionate reader that time. However, later I realised that I lacked on this front and developed the habit. Now I enjoy every moment of it.
I love Bengali literature, and grew up with it. I am really proud of it. I regularly read Bengali literature and magazines. I feel bad that in my lifetime I will be able to read only a fraction of the Bengali creation. I hope to write a novel in Bengali soon.
There are many authors that I would like to read again and again and thus I would not like to single out any one in particular. I also believe that any book that is published is good since author and the editor / publisher try to put in their best. It may be a personal opinion to like or not to like a book. And hence these days, I read whatever comes my way, no steady preference.
Q. Which self of yours do you prefer – the CXO or the writer?
I love my job, I love the corporate world. I have a lot more to contribute and a lot more to achieve. Hence, I have no plan to leave the corporate world in the next few years. Since a corporate has people of all ages and all levels, interacting with them helps me to shape up characters. Plus, quite often I bounce ideas with some of my colleagues. It helps me to cross check my thinking.
I do not believe that the person who is into corporate world has lost his touch with creation. The only difference is that an author takes the pain to put the stories together and share. It is the passion within them that makes them create new stories.
I have just published my fourth book. You will find many more coming out of my desk as I will continue to write. That’s my passion and my way to give back to the society. I am ready to put in that extra effort to support a cause.
Q. Any mantras for aspiring writers in the career/self-help genre?
I think we all must try and share our lessons with a larger audience. I meet many people who tell me, “I too want to write a book”. I encourage them and tell them, “Call me tonight after you complete the first page, the rest will be done.”
It is not about a whole book, sometimes it may just be about sharing few lines even in a corporate newsletter. We have so much knowledge around us, so many winning stories. Why not tell them to others?
To write, one needs to observe and have an open mind to learn. It helps one to develop further knowledge. A writer’s mind is always observant; he is looking at a meaning and purpose for everything that is happening around him. He is not shy from learning or sharing new things. My own books help me to develop myself to be a better professional.
So my mantra is “Write the first page TODAY.”
A full time author in the making and a proud iMelonite !
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