- Kabir in korporates is an interesting name, what is the story behind finalizing this name?
The idea was to combine the two contradicting worlds together – that I inhabit and am trying to reconcile the inherent contradictions between the two. The ‘k’ in corporate is really a stunt – to capture eyeballs because so alphabetical conversion was happening around.
2) Tell us something about your story.
Mine is a very lucky story -and sometimes I believe I am a destiny’s child. To believe I am doing what I am doing would have been so utterly improbable if someone were to tell me this when I was in school. Jhinkpani in rural Jharkhand where I grew up and the kind of facilities and exposure that all of us got makes all of this surreal. My experiments with what I studied and what I have ended up in making my career do not follow a predictable pattern and I guess those instinctive choices have worked out quite well for me. I work as Learning & Development head in a leading Indian conglomerate while pursuing writing as a soulful experience; when I need some respite – I go for long runs.
3) Why should the people who work in the corporate work environment to read your book?
People in corporate world seem to have unanswered questions – how workplace really works – formally and informally, how to humanize workplace even when the battle of marker share is fought with ferocity, how to disagree without being disagreeable, what is the secret sauce of corporate success – questions, questions and questions. On the other hand there are two dimensions that make it tricky – one is the dominance of the western worldview which suffers from a superiority complex when it believes that their way is the only way to look at things and second is with the what I call ‘’MBA-isation of things’’ i.e the claim is that all answers are available in some management theory or the other. These two have merits but also has limitations. This book shall offer an alternative narrative – and if that is too much to claim, let me say, it will offer a complementary narrative.
4) What is the kind of research that you put in while writing this book?
Kabeer is known very superficially to most of us – he is studying in school and then is forgotten. Getting original Kabeer material was not easy and in fact, after a while, I gave up trying to find if the dohas are indeed authentic or not. I went by the spirit of it. I might have studied more than a few hundred of those dohas available and then sifted through them for thematic continuity, similarity, and consistency. The act of clubbing them together in coherent blocks which in itself could be relatable to the corporate world took almost a year.
5) What was your publishing journey like?
Very difficult till I discovered Leadstart publishing, who finally published the book. No one tells aspiring authors that the real difficult part of publishing is not the idea or the act of writing the manuscript – it’s really finding and convincing a credible publisher to agree to publish your work. I must have taken around 10 months before I found one willing ally.
6) What advice would you give people who have ideas, but are not sure how to pen them.
Like morning breakfast – punch 500 words every day for 6 months. Don’t wait for creative inspiration or mood or clarity – just keep punching. The book will take its shape.
7) If there was something that you can tell prospective readers on why they need to read this book, what would that be?
Truth has many nuances – not all are available in mainstream narratives. Alternative narratives are what make it richer. Kabeer in Korporate is that alternative narrative, perhaps new, fresh and original.
8) Who are the authors that inspire you?
Many actually from Ayn Rand to Leo Tolstoy; from Premchand to Srilal Shukla, from Ghalib to Gulzaar…many..
9) How can the readers get in touch with you?