There are books you read to unwind, to curl up with on a hot summer’s day and lose yourself in the tales or look at an issue in a new light. There are books that turn around lives (not dramatically so), and inspire its readers to borrow from its truths to re-calibrate the readers' lives and careers. At Firstpost, we spoke to a few corporates to find which books had them in their grip and left a lasting impression. Here are what the corporate honchos said:
Deepinder Goyal, Co-Founder, Zomato.com, an online food portal, says that he is a book collector. He enjoys buying classics for his personal library that he hopes to read when he has the time to pause from a hectic career. Goyal’s picks are books on entrepreneurship.
Peter Thiel's Zero to One as it gives a simple, example-based, practical insights on market
Ben Horowitz’s The Hard Thing About Hard Things, "which struck a chord. I'd recommend it highly to people working in core teams at start-ups".
Pratik Seal, Chief Marketing Officer, Housing.com, Mumbai-based real estate search portal, loves books across genres. His favourites are:
Father of Manga, cartoonist, animator Osamu Tezuka’s Buddha series. "It is a good choice to get a taste of real graphic novels."
Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead, "to understand the concept of objectivism. Besides, it’s a great read with an extremely unique male and female protagonist."
Boris Pasternak's Doctor Zhivago "is a favourite, too."
Pallavi Jha, Chairperson and Managing Director, Dale Carnegie Training in India, picks out bestsellers and also the all-time Dale Carnegie book that many readers have sworn by.
Khaled Hosseini’s The Kite Runner. "It is a very powerful fiction. A story of lives amidst social changes that brings out the complexity of human behaviour, values and relationships. It’s a story of betrayal, redemption and finally, hope. It is one of the most gut wrenching stories that left an impact on me."
Jack Welch’s Straight from the Gut. "Welch has been one of the most successful CEOs in the world and it is fascinating to get a peek into his managing style and thought process. For corporate professionals, there is much to learn here about managing people, performance, deal-making and decision-making insights."
Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People. "We are social beings and how we relate, communicate and influence others is critical to how we live and succeed. The principles of this book are common sense and so fundamental, but we need to remind ourselves about this in our daily life."
Gunjan Srivastava, MD and CEO, Bosch and Siemens Home Appliances, plumps for national leaders and best sellers.
Balraj Krishna’s India’s Bismarck - Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. " You have to read to understand the Importance of Vision."
Lee Kuan Yew’s From Third World to First: The Singapore Story -1965-2000. "If you want to be persistent in pursuing your vision, read the books written by Lee Kuan Yew, the longest-serving president of Singapore who died in March 2015."
Jack Welch's Winning as it gives a simple, example-based, practical insights on market definition and re-calibrating marked shares
Manish Sharma, CEO, Printo, a digital printing company, chooses one book each from across genres that charts his personal growth as a student, corporate and also for parents.
Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged. "When I was young and restless, this book helped keep me that way without resorting to drugs!"
Author, Nobel award winner in economics and also psychologist, Daniel Kahneman’s Thinking, Fast and Slow. "It brings home the point of behavioural economics that finance professionals and business managers neglect despite it staring in our face. It made me change the way I think and my decision-making biases."
Walter Mischel’s The Marshmallow Test. "It is a great read for parents and business managers, alike. It helps you nurture yourself, your team and your young ones."
Vikram Vora, CEO, Mydentist.com, a pioneering retail dentist chain in the country picks out books that serve personal and professional goals.
Richard Bach’s Jonathan Livingston Seagull. It takes courage to step out of the clan and take risks. Every/most entrepreneur goes through a phase of insecurity over their behaviour. Seagull can be the support they look for at these times.
The physicist turned management guru, Eliyahu M. Goldratt’s The Goal. " It explores a simple goal -- How to make money. The complex process of cost accounting is simplified and broken into easy to understand concepts. All businesses, e-commerce or any other, will have to control the outgoing to maintain profits."
Malcolm Gladwell’s Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference. "Every new concept goes through a chain of actions and reactions. Acceptability and selling the idea is perhaps the most important aspect of starting a new business. The book give guidance at every level and is a source of inspiration."