Inspiring Stories
A collection of personal Interviews with celebrated leaders, entrepreneurs, corporate honchos or any success stories.

Abhijit Bhaduri

Abhijit Bhaduri is an Indian author, columnist and management consultant. Bhaduri is Chief Learning Officer of the Wipro Group. Bhaduri is the author of three best-selling books - two novels of the 'MBA' Series- Mediocre But Arrogant, Married but Available and the man-agement 'guide-book' Don't hire the best.

Bhaduri's writings have appeared in journals and magazines including The Wall Street Journal, The Hindu Business Line, Operations Research & Management Sciences Today. He is among the top ten HR influencers on Social Media according to SHRM, India. He writes regularly for The Economic Times, People Matters and blogs for the Times of India.
Source: Wikipedia
abhijit bhaduri,author,columnist
"How will business grow in the future.. How will the customers change.. How will markets change.. Understand these. Then look at what skills we need to possess in the organisation if we have to succeed in a world like this? To understand technology and know what makes people learn that particular skill, learning instructions and manuals is important", says the CLO of WIPRO, Mr. Abhijit Bhaduri.

Had you planned to reach this position of CLO?

No! I didn't. The term didn't exist at the time when I finished my MBA. I was in Human Resources. I was into hiring and compensation and then had a short stint in managing an IT project implementation. I think it was the diversity of different sectors that I worked in which actually helped me to understand what's happening in the world around. I have worked in advertising, IT and other sectors. I was lucky to be given those options.

What made you author books?

I wrote short stories during my school and college days. I enjoyed writing letters and traveling as well. Initially, I got a lot of opportunities to travel. I would often write a lot of stories about that and share them with friends. I would compile those letters in a file. Some people advised me to write a full-fledged story instead of compiling them in a file.

When I was leaving for Mumbai, one of my friends gifted me a blank hard-bound book, and said that I should maintain a diary. One day, I wrote the first paragraph in the first page of that book. The story was very vague in my mind because this college experience in India is very unique. That is where this whole book started. I wanted to write about the experiences in a B-School because many people write MBA exams. The idea was to write something which is universal and yet specific to what I had seen. I wrote the story and then tried to get it published but it was hard to find a publisher. Somebody suggested about a website which was looking for unpublished authors and I was lucky to get selected. That encouraged me to write the sequel. Later, I jumped into non-fiction. My 3rd book, "Don't hire the best one" is a piece of non-fiction.

Writing a sequel is really tough. With the 1st book; you haven't been published yet, there is no benchmark, you can say what you have to, it is way easier. But when you do the 2nd one, I think it becomes tougher because you need to write for two categories of audience. One, who have read the book and don't want to see repetitive things in the second one and two, fresh minds with absolutely no idea of what I had written in my previous book. So, I needed to cater to both their expectations which was a very tough challenge.

On my website, I post at least an article a week. The whole process makes you get more comfortable with the craft of writing. As a result of that, you actually start writing better. Whether it has that potential or not that is up to the readers to say. I know that not everyone can comment on one's work. People can never be accurate in judging how good or bad the work is.

You are working in the corporate field for a long time now. Never did you feel like writing about that?

The second book actually has a little bit of corporate put into it. "Marriage but available" is about the first 10 years of the protagonist in the corporate world. The time that I chose to write was when corporate India was actually getting transformed. What liberalization did! It brought in a very different sect of workers into the organisation. A lot of companies which never experienced competition felt the heat of it big time. In both the books, "Mediocre but arrogant" as well as "Married but available", story moves in two strands - one is, what is happening to him at a personal level in terms of his love life and challenges at home and the second strand is about the ups and downs that he experiences in his professional life. The story is actually about weaving these two strands and creating characters around that.

Is it your personal experience that influences your writing or your imagination?

They always say that the first book has some element of you in it. In my book, the protagonist is very confused about what to do in life and completely lost. That confusion, I think, I experienced very much. So, is it my story then? No! Like I said earlier, no one person's story is ever that interesting. My story would be interesting to my friends but it's pretty unlikely that the world at large would find that interesting. Hence you create composite characters and fictitious characters also.

Haven't you ever felt that you should start a venture on your own?

I think you should do something that you inherently enjoy doing. There are lots of people who inherently enjoy being an entrepreneur. According to me, there are two kinds of entrepreneurs. One, who can actually be an entrepreneur with an idea, and start something on his/her own and two, those who are entrepreneurial in whatever they do. What do entrepreneurs do? They take an idea and scale it up. It is just that working in an organisation lets me do all of that, without having to worry about where to buy the office, where to buy this and that. That's not the part of entrepreneurship I would invariably enjoy. This position gives me a great opportunity of acting in both the roles. I can be entrepreneurial with my ideas. It never stopped me from what I wanted to do, whether it's my writing or travelling. I am really enjoying my job. I really love being here doing leadership development. This provides me a huge campus to work with 140,000 people. I don't know whether I would have done that as an entrepreneur with the kind of work I wanted to do, but here, this gives me a better platform to execute all my ideas.

abhijit bhaduri,author,columnist

You have seen new people coming in very often. Are you seeing any changes in the behaviour or work culture in the new generation, compared to the older ones?

Today, people are exposed to media, more brand force, television etc. More the influences you are exposed to, more will be the changes in the way you look at the world. Definitely, today's generation has grown up with technology. But when people come to work space they are no different. They are all same irrespective of the age they belong to. One notable thing about the new generation is their inquisitiveness towards everything. When you see and study generations as such, these days they are radically different and their motivation levels are different. If you ask me to say a difference; earlier, it was a hard bound book but these days it is an e-book.

Can you look back and say that "I am what I am because of that incident"?

I think we are the product of everyday that we live through. I think I was lucky enough that I could travel a lot. While traveling I met many interesting people. Experiencing life on the front yard makes me what I am today. As you travel, you actually realise that there isn't one right way of doing anything. Something that is right to someone might not sound right to someone else.

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Any facts, figures or references stated here are made by the author & don't reflect the endorsement of iU at all times unless otherwise drafted by official staff at iU. This article was first published here on July 2013.

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