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BW Businessworld

Rajiv Bajaj, Vice Chairman & MD, Bajaj Capital

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What are you reading at the moment? What have you learnt from it?
I have just finished reading a book by Adam Khoo called Secrets Of Self-made Millionaires'. Adam Khoo is one of Singapore's youngest millionaires at the age of 26, and is a fellow EO (Entrepreneurs' Organization) member .

What I have learnt from this book is the importance of being frugal, and the fact that simplicity is the last of all attainments. While going up the wealth graph, the lifestyle of accomplished people becomes simpler. Happiness comes from following your life's mission and not by chasing material possessions, as is the current peer-to-peer pressure in the society.

The one book all leaders must read... and why?
One book which all leaders must read is the series of books by Jim Collins: Good To Great, Too Big To Fail, and Great By Choice. What I like about the author's approach is that he does not merely state his opinion like many other authors, but he backs his prognosis with empirical evidence. Also, each of his book is an outcome of years and years of research. Thus, there is a genuine learning from successes and failures of different corporations around the world.

One book everyone in your sector should pick up... and why?
Being in the business of investments, my choice for the best book in our sector would be The Intelligent Investor by Benjamin Graham. The book is an eternal classic and I feel that one is able to pick up newer nuances on the art and science of investment, each time you read it again.

I would also recommend any of the series of books and articles written on Warren Buffett, since he is truly an epitome of sucessful investor. Going by the wisdom of Bhagvad Gita, “If you have good thoughts, good things will happen to you”, it is advisable for investors to be away from black financial media and stay with good thoughts and eternal wisdom of successful investors like Warren Buffett.

What kind of books would you normally buy while travelling?
The only thing that I carry with me while  I am travelling is my iPad. At present, I have over a dozen books loaded on it, ranging from business to management to self development and spirituality. To name a few, The Daily Trucker by Peter F. Trucker,Jobs by Walter Isaacson, The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran, Mind Reader by Lior Suchard, Why We Run by Bernd Heinrich.

Have you written any books? If not, do you plan to write in future?
I have not written any book so far, but yes, I do have plans to write a book soon in the near future. While the answer is very predictable that on what topic I would write, I refrain from sharing it right now, as I am superstitious that one might not end up doing it, if he/she talks about doing it.

The books you grew up with? What did you like most about it?
As a kid, I was more of a comics fan and my favourite characters remain Tintin and Asterix. It was a pilgrimage of sorts, when the recent Tintin movie came out, and I took my teenage boys to watch it with me.

Your book shelf consists of...
I must confess that I am more a collector of books, than a reader. I have over a thousand books on my shelf, which are on diverse subjects, ranging from management to business, self development, spirituality, travel, art, culture, etc. I buy books with a thought — “One day, I will have the time to sit and read these books leisurely." I hope that day comes soon.

Where do you shop for books?
I love to visit book stores and shop for books; it is a great way to spend time. Whenever I am out of country, I love to visit Barnes & Noble. In Delhi, I love the Om Book stores and Crossword, for the variety of books they have on shelf. I still love the aura of Teksons book store and like to visit their branch in N Block of Greater Kailash, Part 1, New Delhi.

My favourite book store, which I recently spent over an hour searching for, was Educated Investor on Collins Street, Melbourne, which keeps only investment and finance titles.

Have your reading habits changed in the past four or five years? If so, how....
My reading habits have remained consistent over the years. I am more a fan of blogs and articles, than books. Even the books I read, I read a chapter at a time and I keep 4 or 5 books handy at a time.

One book you cherish that you received as a gift...and who gave it to you.
The best gift that I have received is a book called Smart Living written by my father, K.K. Bajaj. He is the man who has groomed me to what I am today. The book comprises of various exclusive articles on lifestyle and development, which he compiled after putting in weeks of research and efforts.

Which is the e-reader you read on?
Given my reading habits, a tool like iPad works best for me because I like to search between different books at one time, and iPad makes it possible.