The launch of The Professional —a book by Subroto Bagchi

The Professional

Subroto Bagchi’s book, The Professional, (his third book)  was launched at   the Taj Coromandel on the 4th. of December  to a packed  audience   comprising members of MMA  and the invitees of Penguin, (it was a joint meeting by the  Madras management Association and  Penguin the  publishers  of the book).   Ms. Kamini Mahadevan, Consultant Editor, Penguin, while introducing  the author  and the book, she  provided an insight into “The Professional” which  acted   like an aperitiff before a rich spread  and  the audience had a taste of  what professionalism  is   when   the author read  the first chapter from his book. The  Q/A  that  followed  pepped  up the event  with  Bagchi  coming out with more illustrations  from his  professional  and personal experience. I was reminded of  the  launch of his  second book, “GO, KISS THE WORLD”,  which I happened to attend  at  Landmark, Spencer Plaza  not too long ago.

Intrigued by the title of the book and having heard about his highly successful first book, “The   High-Performance Entrepreneur” I went well in advance of the scheduled time expecting the venue to be overcrowded. Most of the chairs were filled up and I managed to get a place somewhere in the middle, (later I realized it was a vantage point).

Subroto  Bagchi  took the centrestage after a brief introduction of him, and immediately discarded the mike and  walking towards the audience  took his position  in the aisle  requesting us to turn our chairs  so that  we could all  face him.  What struck me about Subroto was that his speech of 35 minutes or so   matched his informal appearance throughout. He began with his eary life and education in a small town, Koraput in Orissa. After completing his graduation he took up a government job and was attached to one Kuntia who was called Kuntia Babu. “The only job suitable to my qualification was that of a lower division clerk” he said   smilingly and related a few episodes as instances of   the   bureaucratic behavior of the Babus.  He learnt lessons of life at every stage, from people he worked with, his family members and even from the cucumber seller who sits opposite Nallis, he said.  He had a stint at Wipro which he left, the reason, “middle life crisis” he mused.   “I thought I learnt everything about quality in 10 years. Next thing to learn was innovation, he thought.  He describes his job in Bell Labs, as near suicidal as it dawned on him that he was not cut out to work in a multinational.  In forties you should know who you are, he emphasized.

Moving on to the central message of the book   Subroto affirmed   that    “ordinary people can do extra ordinary things.” In the question-answer session that followed he reiterated this belief saying by 2020 India will have enough work force as demographic balance is in our favour.  Referring to the role of professionals we have a long way to go, he maintained.  “My take is we can’t take on the world, we can only serve the world ’’he said.

To a question about  our youth  who  appear to be  a confused lot, he denied that  they are to be blamed and  it is  the  duty  of    the parents to place things in the proper perspective  in a friendly way. “Today’s kids are intelligent” he observed.

But parents have no time, commented one in the audience.

Let this not turn into a session on parenting, he smiled. “If you find your passion, time will find you” he quipped.     

I came back with the feeling that, here is a writer who   certainly walks the talk. Subroto is best known for co-founding MindTree and as  a  chief operating officer for the first eight years of the company, in 2008 he stepped  out of this role to become its  Gardener tending the top 100 MindTree Minds and serving the organization’s 30 communities of practice. 

 n.meera raghavendra rao


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