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BW Businessworld

Pankaj Jindal, Aditi Technologies

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What are you reading at the moment? What did you recently finish reading? What have you learnt from it?
 Currently, I am reading The Culture Code by Clotaire Rapaille. It's dated by a few years, but the insights on why people do what they do are tremendously compelling for anyone with a global consciousness. Content has become so influential in our daily lives that this book is a must read for anyone who wants understand how industries and individuals try to drive our behavior.  


The one book all leaders must read... and why?
Executives don't have a lot time in their calendar and Our Iceberg Is Melting by John Kotter is as relevant as it is crisp. Change is truly the only constant and Kotter's book on change management is what I consider to be definitive on the subject. I take from this book every day and I believe anyone who reads this book will as well.


 One book everyone in your sector should pick up... and why?
The Medici Effect by Frans Johansson. While this book isn't sector specific, I'd highly recommend this for its approach to mash up talent to unleash ideas. So often industry leaders get mired in the repetitiveness of what's in front of them. This book really helped me take a step back when I'm feeling stagnant and look for individuals around me who have an entirely different approach to a problem I'm trying to tackle.


 What kind of books would you normally buy while travelling? 
I used to read Malcolm Gladwell's books (Blink, Outliers, The Tipping Point) but I find my travels have highlighted the dramatic influences of food and language as they come together in the flatter world. Anthony Bourdain, while all about food and the people who make it, captures the nuances of culture in his books. He's rough around the edges but honest in what he shares. Nasty Bits is one of my favorites and I am currently reading Medium Raw while I do my own exploration on culture around the world.


 Have you written any books? If not, do you plan to write in future?
 I've written a few articles, but haven't taken on the project of a book just yet. I'm passionate about some of the implications of cloud computing and its ability to enable emerging markets. I've an outline, but I'm still building out the industry parallels, cultural preferences and professional communities which will all come together as part of my subject. 


The books you grew up with? What did you like most about it?
I've always found a good sense of humor and a hearty laugh can get you through just about anything. P.G. Wodehouse has a delicious use of language which lifted my spirits and brought a smile to an otherwise dreary day in my youth. "She's all that and a bag of chips," evokes an infectious grin I still can't contain to this day. 


Your book shelf consists of.... 
My bookshelf is a rotating library. I'm a big believer in sharing with friends and colleagues and that includes the books I read. A few books which seem to find their way into my library include: The 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene, Dune by Frank Herbert, The Art of Possibility by Zander & Zander, and currently I just added The Orange Revolution: How One Great Team Can Transform an Entire Organization by Adrian Gostick and Chestor Elton.  


Where do you shop for books?
I usually shop at Amazon.com and read books on my iPad Have your reading habits changed in the past four or five years? If so, how?I haven't consciously changed my habits, but I find myself looking for alternate perspectives on what I know. I gravitate to publications that take an orthogonal or unconventional approach to a subject. I won't say I enjoy every article or book I take time out for, but reading in this vein has made a real difference in my professional and personal interactions. 


One book you cherish that you received as a gift... and who gave it to you.
Shortly after the drop into the current economic slowdown, a good friend and former employee gave me The Audacity To Win by David Plouffe. I was feeling challenged at the time with business, specifically the morale of uninspired employees. The book is an amazing read and was just the medicine I needed at the time. To this day, I still revere the book as it reminds me of my friend who was so thoughtful and knew me well enough to know what I needed personally and professionally. 


(This story was published in Businessworld Issue Dated 28-03-2011)