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BW Businessworld

Suman Reddy, Pegasystems India

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What are you reading at the moment? What did you recently finish reading? What have you learnt from it?
I am currently reading The Next Convergence, by Michael Spence. It is an interesting read that offers an interesting perspective on the future of economics in a multispeed world.

The last book I finished reading was the bestseller The World Is Flat by Thomas L. Friedman. The book gives a sense of globalisation, how foreign policies and economies operate, what it means for companies, individuals and economies, and how one should adapt to excel in a global economy.

The one book all leaders must read... and why?
I would recommend Winning by Jack Welch, Built To Last by Jim Collins and Seven Habits Of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey are books which I think everyone, specifically all leaders should read. These books help you develop the right perspective and guide you to create the right path not just for your professional journey but also in everyday life.

One book everyone in your sector should pick up... and why?
I would reiterate that Jack Welch's Winning is an amazing book which talks about a lot of topics related to my (IT) sector. It discusses many relevant subjects such as mission and values, leadership, hiring, crisis management, six sigma, work life balance and so on. These topics are helpful particularly in the IT sector since we come across a lot of work-life balance situations and reading on the same gives us the ability to understand various perspectives and equip us with innovative ways to handle it.

What kind of books would you normally buy while travelling?
I usually pick up non-fiction and biographies. Along with that I also pick up business magazines such as <<Forbes, Businessworld, Fortune>>.

Have you written any books? If not, do you plan to write in future?
I haven't written any book so far but someday, probably at a later stage in my career, I may write but as of now I think I have a lot more to learn and writing a book takes a lot of research and time.

The books you grew up with? What did you like most about it?
As a child I used to read Tinkle, Archie's, Sport Star among others. Beyond the fun element of these books, what I liked about them the most was the fact that every story had a moral and a noble message at the end to make the learning interesting.

Your book shelf consists of....
I have a lot of non-fiction, biographies and leadership related books on my shelf. Apart from these I have a vast collection from different genres. I have leadership books by Robin Sharma such as The Leader Who Had No Title, The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari, and Leadership Widsom. I have a collection of popular fiction as well which includes The Lord of The Rings, The Da Vinci Code, Jonathan Livingston Seagull, to name a few.

Where do you shop for books?
Most of the time I pick up books from stores at the airport as the only quality time I get to read is while travelling. Sometimes I do shop for books online on sites such as Amazon.

Have your reading habits changed in the past four or five years? If so, how....
Yes, earlier I used to take out time especially for reading but nowadays as the schedule is too hectic I mostly get a chance to read while I am travelling.

One book you cherish that you received as a gift... and who gave it to you?
Sunny Days , the autobiography of Sunil Gavaskar was gifted to me by my dad when I was a child, even now I read it sometimes and cherish it as the most prized possession on my shelf.

(This story was published in Businessworld Issue Dated 05-12-2011)