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BW Businessworld

Shiv Gupta, Managing Director, RBS Private Banking

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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 now reading Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman, and learning more about human biases in the process.
I have just finished reading Rubicon: The Triumph and Tragedy of the Roman Republic, a wonderful narrative history by Tom Holland.

The one book all leaders must read... and why?
Whilst there are many that may qualify, one I found particularly useful was the Five Dysfunctions Of A Team by Patrick Lencioni. Ultimately, achieving corporate results is predicated on building strong teams and this is a good read in that context.

One book everyone in your sector should pick up... and why?
Fooled By Randomness by Nassim Nicholas Taleb. Its examination of cognitive biases and how they play a part in financial and even everyday decision making is very insightful and puts a lot of our business interactions into perspective in an entertaining way.

What kind of books would you normally buy while travelling?
I buy books from a wide range of genres. The last one I bought was the equivalent of an idiot’s guide to philosophy.

Have you written any books? If not, do you plan to write in future?
Whilst I haven’t yet, and there are no plans at the moment, if I did, it would likely be a satirical drama on the state of our political affairs.

The books you grew up with? What did you like most about it?
The Amar Chitra Katha series from which I have drawn much of my knowledge of Indian history and mythology. James Herriot mainly because he was one of my mother’s favourites. Isaac Asimov whose foundation series captured my imagination quite early.

Your book shelf consists of...

My reading tastes are quite eclectic and my bookshelf covers a wide range of genres including mysteries, science fiction, legal thrillers, business biographies and even a couple of the Greek classics

Where do you shop for books?
Typically online but often at airport bookshops

Have your reading habits changed in the past four or five years? If so, how....
Not really, except that I have found myself rediscovering some old masterpieces such as Brideshead Revisited and The Catcher In The Rye and reading them with a very different perspective from the first time I read them

One book you cherish that you received as a gift... and who gave it to you.
A short history of nearly everything by Bill Bryson, a very popular science book written in a style that makes the most intricate concepts accessible to almost anyone. It was a birthday gift from a dear friend with whom I share many interests.

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