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BW Businessworld

Sanjay Datta, ICICI Lombard

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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 Undercover Economist by Tim Harford. I have finished reading Making Breakthrough Innovation Happen by Porus Munshi. This book encourages us to move beyond our set orbits and has helped me understand how we need to innovate continuously.

The one book all leaders must read... and why?
The one book that all leaders must read would be Leadership On The Line: Staying Alive Through The Dangers Of Leading by Ronald A. Heifetz and Marty Linsky. The authors honour the notion that each one of us has unique gifts to offer, and through our offerings we can both serve a common good and, in so doing, derive a sense of meaning and purpose in our lives.  
One book everyone in your sector should pick up... and why?
Learning from Catastrophes: Strategies for Reaction and Response by Howard Kunreuther and Michael Useem. This book is a good blend of traditional risk management lessons and anecdotal evidence that reinforces classic tenants. It focuses on the disasters of the past decade and can be considered the first "history" of the catastrophes that dominated the globe.

What kind of books would you normally buy while travelling? 
While travelling, I normally thrillers by authors such as Robert Ludlum, Sam Bourne and the Millenium Trilogy by Stieg Larrson.
Have you written any books? If not, do you plan to write in future?
No I have not written any books. I do have some tentative plans of writing a book on the insurance industry.
The books you grew up with? What did you like most about it?
The books that I grew up with were Enid Blyton's novels, the Hardy Boys series and Agatha Christie's mysteries. I like the ability of these books to tell an interesting and compelling story in a simple manner.
Your book shelf consists of....
My bookshelf consists of titles on insurance, management as well as fiction
Where do you shop for books?
I normally shop for books at large bookstores such as Crosswords and Landmark.
Have your reading habits changed in the past four or five years? If so, how....
Yes, earlier I used to read books on general topics , now I am more inclined to read books on specialised subjects such as finance/economics or management.
One book you cherish that you received as a gift... and who gave it to you?
The one book I cherish the most is an encyclopaedia gifted to me by my father. It opened the world of reading and knowledge for me.

(This story was published in Businessworld Issue Dated 28-11-2011)