Pearls of Wisdom
Review of Go Kiss The World
Penguin Books India Pvt.Ltd.
11, community centre, Panchsheel Park
New Delhi 110017
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