Pearls of Wisdom – Review of Go Kiss the World

Pearls  of   Wisdom 

Review of Go Kiss The  World

Subroto Bagchi

Penguin Books India Pvt.Ltd.

11, community centre, Panchsheel Park

New Delhi 110017

Rs.399/

The title  of the book “Go Kiss  the  World” is a translation of the author’s blind mother’s  last words  to him when  he  went  to see her in the hospital  and  the book  is  rather autobiographical  where he shares  experiences  accrued from  his own personal  and professional life  which is narrated in three parts.   

The   rather   lengthy  first part deals with Bagchi’s   immediate and extended family, his chequered education due to his father’s  frequent  movement  and    how  progress follows displacement which he says is  a family trait: “the fact  that I changed five schools over eight years has developed in me a certain bond with displacement. My grandfather moved from West Bengal to Bihar. My father, in turn, went to Orissa, in search of work. When my turn came, after my graduation, I eventually went to work in Delhi, then Calcutta, from there to Bangalore, to San Jose, California, back to Bangalore , then to New Jersey and back again to Bangalore. By 2008, I had been married for twenty eight years  and my wife Susmita  and I had moved 14 houses.”  After   his first  job as a  junior most clerk  in the Industries department  in the Orissa Government ,  he talks  of   his  shift  to the private sector  and  the risks he had taken   which    helped  him   in his overall  growth   as an individual.   A  chill  runs down  through  your spine  when  you read  the conclusion  of this part  where Subrotto  writes   of his   stint with the DCM Group as a Management trainee,   and his dare devil act  when the workers went on a strike.

In the second part of the  book , the author  talks  about the difficult decision he had to make  in quitting DCM group and  joining HCL, (a startup company ) in their sales for a 40percent  lesser  monthly  salary. His decision was influenced by  reading “Jonathan Livingston  Seagull” by Richard Bach, a book with an unusual cover he chanced to pick up   while walking in Cannaught Circus in Delhi. From then on for three decades  there was no looking back  as  the ever changing world of computers and computer technology, beckoned and  fascinated him, “for all this, I have to thank –Brihaspati Dev Pathak” (who was the  general manager of DCM group  and   from whom  he  had learnt life’s lessons) he acknowledges.  But  success and failure are like a see saw  game  and  Subroto  after learning to fly had also learnt to fail  as a co founder of a business  which did not last long. However  the  experience grounded him as an entrepreneur, taught him the pitfalls of   running a startup and helped him to  learn what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur  and how to sell consulting, an abstract concept. His  next  job  in a large organization  and perhaps the  longest one which also brought  him  laurels   was with WIPRO  for which after a stint abroad  he  returned  to India to give WIPRO’S  R and D offices  a contemporary look. This  part concludes with the costly decision he made in leaving the organization and joining Lucent Technologies  which he describes as “my life’s singular attempt at irrevocable, professional self destruction “.

The third part, and also the most inspiring  one   is all about   Subrotto’s thirst for innovation, his co-founding Mind-Tree, one of  India’s most admired software services  companies and its first Chief Operating Officer for the first  eight years  of the company. ( He has  since  stepped out of his role to become a  Gardener  tending top 100 Mindtree Minds  and serving the organization’s thirty communities of practice.) True to his dying mother’s last words Subrotto  does  indeed kiss the world  with  nuggets of wisdom  he offers in the  last chapter.  It is mandatory  for all young professionals  to  own  the book  notwithstanding  its slightly high price. 

n.meera raghavendra rao

   

 

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4 thoughts on “Pearls of Wisdom – Review of Go Kiss the World

  1. Prof.K.Prabhakar

    Dear Meera Rao, I read the book and thought of writing a review. However, indolence swept me as usual and could not complete it beyond few sentences. Your review is really good and captures the essence of spirit of the book. Thanks. I felt like reading all the three chapters and could recollect the event that lead him to lead Mindtree. I think one important point is he studied political science and no way connected with the world of computers. The agile nature of the author to steer different career options and his social responsibility and love of human beings is well brought out in describing how he made the differently challenged children to design the logo of Mindtree. Thanks.

  2. meera rao

    Thanks for your feed back. Glad to know the review motivated you to read all the three chapters of the book. The author seems to have understood man and machine equally well.

  3. Professor V.Ragahavan

    Your review also made me buy the book and read it. I first thought I am buying it to give to my son (an IT professional). It turned out that I read it first and would now give it him when he comes back from USA. Being an avid reader, he might have already gone through it.

    It is great reading. The lessons that Subroto Bagchi had learnt in life are beautifully summarized in the last chapter. Statements like: Mohamed Yunus dreamt that poor village women will have access to credit without collateral… To receive, you must first give… Learn to forgive others and yourself… Success is your ability to withstand pain longer… still ring in my ears.

    Thanks.

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