Subroto on ‘Go Kiss the World’


It also tells you that in order to succeed, you must learn to fail. My first four attempts to seek stability in the IT industry were failures in various degrees, including an attempt to become an entrepreneur.
  • I think I am an entrepreneur and a professional. In my first book, I have given away my formula for entrepreneurship. In this book, I share my formula for building life as a professional.
  • GKTW is a book for young Indian professionals, because they would shape the future of the country. More particularly, I wrote this book for the young Indian professional from small town India because that is where I come from. It draws upon my life’s experience of growing up in places without electricity and tap water to come to where I am. The central message is that ordinary people can do extra-ordinary things.
  • The book draws on my life. But it is not about my life. I use my life as a narrative, it is not the message. The narrative carries what I call “Life-Lessons”, these I have gleamed from situations and people from whom I had something or the other to learn in life. The book lists more than three dozen such people – it pieces together lessons learnt both from people in positions of great power and very ordinary people.
  • The book reaffirms the importance of the immediate family in shaping a young professional – our parents and siblings have a great impact on our lives. We are people first and professionals next. India’s great strength is in the power of the family, in family values and we need to reconnect with them.
  • The book addresses the issues of a professional in three parts: in the 20s when you want to be “someone”. Then the 30s, when are someone and when you reach the 40s, when you make your transition from who you are to who you are meant to be.
  • The book begins with small town India – going back almost a hundred years – there is a lot of narrative about that India – that is why I was keen that an India- watcher like Mark Tully review it and he has been very kind with his endorsement. From the world of professionals, NRN who is an icon has endorsed the book.
  • The book begins by explaining the importance of displacement and asks professionals to welcome displacement, be comfortable with the idea of displacement. Every displacement brings progress.
  • The book tells you some very personal things: how my mother showed extra-ordinary courage and resilience – it talks about how she coped with my father’s mental illness and raised us with small means and great values.
  • It traces my father’s own struggle and how despite his limitations, he had abiding principles that he never gave up. The book also looks at the power of mentors in shaping a young life – at the same time; it urges readers to think of the power to receive and tells people how we must out grow our mentors.
  • Through anecdotes, the book talks about my small town upbringing and some hilarious moments – like smoking a beedi at the age of 4 or chasing a full-grown bear while in school – it is meant to make small town India’s countless youngsters to look at life as a wonderful opportunity – a small town upbringing is not a handicap, it is a blessing because of its innocence and intimacy.
  • The book tells you how I took my life’s first major decision as an adult to quit my studies and start work as a clerk in a government office. It tells you not to shy away from small beginnings. It also tells you that your first few jobs do not determine who you would be one day – how you handle those jobs, definitely does. From the first job, it moves to my entry into the corporate world as a Management Trainee in DCM – it recounts early professional setbacks and leads to my joining the IT industry where I really spent much of my life.
  • The book moves over to the second part – tells you about life as a professional in his or her 30s. It talks about the importance of “flight over food” and the need to embrace the unknown, to take real risks to make real strides in life.
  • o It also tells you that in order to succeed, you must learn to fail. My first four 4 attempts to seek stability in the IT industry were failures in various degrees, including an attempt to become an entrepreneur. But they were preparing me for my long and successful tenure at Wipro. The book also shows glimpses of the struggle behind the current glitz of the IT industry and recounts the contributions of many people for whom the journey was the reward.
  • The book then moves on to life as a professional in the 40’s and discusses how real, mid-life crisis could be and how over-achievers can become their own enemies.
  • Thereafter, it gets into the making of MindTree. It tells you about the ups and downs through which MindTree became India’s first VC funded IT Services Company to go public and shows you many faces of courage – people who came from humble backgrounds to sculpt a great organization.
  • The book recounts my decision to step out as COO to become MindTree’s Gardener – through it, connecting me to my beginnings and telling you why the final motivation in life, beyond all corporate rewards and recognition, has to be an inner call. For a professional, the ultimate realization is that inner call. For a leader it is about servant-leadership and the sense that I am an instrument in an unseen hand.
  • The book concludes with two chapters: one I call Life’s Angels. It tells you how Angels are living people amidst us; how we need to recognize them for they bring us crucial directions sometimes even before we are searching for them.
Comments
Shubhobrato Ghosh Says
Friday June 27th 2008

Dear Sir,

The flow of the text has amazed me a huge extent. I felt it to be a wonderfully well organized and structured book.

Being a MindTree mind, it gives me added pleasure to read the book, but I feel addition of some real life pictures “As the crow flies” would have made it even more descriptive.

A truly Motivating Compilation!

High Regards,
Shubho.

Dilip Sridhar Says
Sunday June 29th 2008

Dear Sir,

Thank you for giving us “Go Kiss the World” and congratulations on writing such a wonderful book. This is definitely one of the most awe inspiring books that I have read.

GKTW is very well structured and honest. It can be read both as an interesting autobiography and a guide. Your columns and books together form a definitive guide for all young minds.

When you gave us your first book “The High Performance Entrepreneur” we were in the process of discussing and starting our own company. Your book inspired us to nose dive and has served as an official guide. The timing of your first book could not have been better for us and our start-up.

Now GKTW shatters a lot of myths our generation holds. But at the same time your journey and experience strengthens our belief in our own little journey.

Though I am envious of the 100 young minds that have the opportunity to work directly with one of the most inspiring personalities of this decade, I am hopeful that you would expand your role someday to mentor and guide start-ups and not limit yourself to MindTree. Probably this can be your next great journey.

Keep inspiring us with more of your writing!!!

With highest regards for you,
Dilip

Gautham Says
Wednesday July 2nd 2008

Subroto,
You’ve given an insight into your past and the adversities that made you up. Loved every bit of it. I’m sure I’ll get into your inner circle of 100 soon.

ADITYA Says
Thursday July 3rd 2008

“The sun, indoors these days

Bangalored for sure.

The chill has clasped us, all mates

Lost in the labirynth or

lazy languishing here.

The tree minds

Its own nature

As the second leaf unfurls

At CROSSWORD

This evening:

Harbinger of

The green galore

assaying in the wings….”

All the best, SUBROTO,

ADITYA
c/o NABARD, Bangalore
THE MAIL SENT to subroto@mindtree.com ON June 13 BOUNCED

Hari shetty Says
Thursday August 7th 2008

Dear sir,

Thanks for sharing your thoughts and ideologies with us which not only helped me to be a better professional but also a better human being.I got the courage to turn entrereneur after reading THPE and Pour your heart into.Thank you once again for the wonderful books and articles.

You are a role model and mentor from the days of Arbor mentis.It was heartning to read THPE and Go kiss the world.It is indeed a book straight from the heart.

But i did not like the way you criticized wipro’s policy on wealth sharing.I believe that wipro has given you much more than what one can see.It may be intangible but wipro has played a important role in shaping your life.I was always told during my worklife never to criticize yor former employer and i strongly believed in it.But after reading GKTW i am bit confused.

I am sure you will not say anything withouht thinking and since you are my role model i would like to have a clarification from you on this

Thanks & Regards

hari

Mrinmoy Das Says
Monday August 25th 2008

Dear Sir,
I am an Ex-Mindtree mind, I have collection of all your writing. Where can I get the new book “GKTW”.

Thanks & Regards
Mrinmoy Das

Raji Hari Says
Tuesday September 2nd 2008

Sir,

I have just read the 237 pages of your book “Go Kiss the World”. I have begun writing to you at once not knowing exactly what I am about to write but I know, write to you I must. I have read a few of your articles but have not read your earlier book and so when I casually picked up the book lying at the back seat of my friend’s car, I had no idea I will be left with a feeling of “mixed emotions” from a book saying “Life’s Lessons for the young professional” since I may not exactly fit in to the category as defined!

I cruised through the descriptions of your mother – the strong human that she was. I experienced every moment of it – not surprising when I have a mother who turned completely deaf when we three sisters were in our primary schooling as a result of a major kidney surgery. “Sound is Life” your mother said and my mother believes “Sound alone is not life”. Ironically , both women show, like you have rightly penned “a willingness to open up to the limitless path of our existence” and have ensured the family continues in cheer non affected by this major turn of events in their lives. I enjoyed the line where she exclaims “how fair you are”!

The parent mentoring and the strong values of honesty, integrity and hard work imbibed from them and a complete non attachment to the materialistic world form a guiding light through out our life and yes I was “relieved” to read your mention of the difference between a struggle and a simple life in your epilogue. I was missing it as I read on and it was almost as if you read my mind in the end! I narrate a lot of such stories to my now 10 year old son and remind him that it was the simplicity that gave us all the happiness in the world and the struggle parents go through never reaches our happy brain then! I used the word “relieved” since my son almost always feels sympathetic in the end and I need to remind him every time that he need not be, for it was simple happiness not a struggle leading to happiness!

I particularly liked your detailing on how difficult a sales job can be and the need for a never accept a “no” attitude. The sections I can recall as moments of “reading joy” are many but to name a few – the Diego Garcia moment, relating drawing maps and knowledge of current issues to your childhood “training”, “pressing preoccupations”, “world runs because of such men”, the steady signature on the MO form, deferring the encashment of the blank cheque life sometimes gives us and “not handling out the punishment when it is most expected is the best way to bring lasting repentance”. I loved the “creating memories of the future” – I do it all the time, be it personal or professional but could never find the right words!

On the professional front, your thoughts on displacement, good solid work in the early part of ones career, pursue hobbies for a “fuller” life, challenges in selling and executing a consulting project and looking for sameness when we interview people were interesting.

I have been in the Internal Audit in Wipro in mid 90s – reading about the Wipro greats Azim Premji, Dr. Sridhar Mitta, Ashok Soota took me back to the MG road offices and the factories of Wipro! I could feel the charisma of Azim Premji ( when I first met him at the Peenya factory ) all over again!

The Grand finale – “Life’s personal angels” and “Go Kiss the World” finally left me with moist eyes as I realized I had just read what a young professional in the present times needs to understand. I got back into the corporate world after a gap of 7 years of taking care of my home and son, being a “home manager” so to say and initially never got to understand the ways of the modern corporate world – the younger generation brimming with confidence and rearing to go yet sometimes not principled enough when it comes to moving up the ladder. I cannot however even for a moment deny the huge learning I had, getting into the young minds of my team. It continues to be an enriching experience. I spend hours appreciating this generation for the “go get” attitude but have fervently wished it came with a tinge of sweet honey as listed in your “important lessons learnt”. I now realize they may be in that path of learning those lessons as their life takes them forward and I hope to make a difference to at least a few , if not many , in some way ,touching their lives forever in an unforgettable manner. The understanding of “value add” by being with and growing with an organization rather than moving on as and when a “thousand” jump in salary offer comes by, is the need of the hour.

Thank you for the crisp quick reading!

Mohan Says
Thursday October 23rd 2008

Dear Subroto,
I picked up a copy of the book on a whim and finished it during the back-forth commute to Electronics City in a few days. I would recommend the book to most young minds joining the industry in the current ‘turbulent’ time

Though I had read about you, and have read your articles in the past, reading the book gave a glimpse into who Subroto really is. Great style of writing: weaving a bit of insight and advice into an autobiography.

Cheers
Mohan

Aniruddha Sengupta Says
Monday October 27th 2008

Hi!

Just finished reading the book, its literally littered with gems, it was also a racy read, hence, intend to read it once more “to collect the gems…” I am a 40 yr young entrepreneur, living my dream with the optimism that the ‘tipping point’ is just round the bend.
Your message that “it is not important to make it big but make it good” is truly inspiring.

Kripakar Says
Tuesday October 28th 2008

dear subroto,
i was introduced to the book by Mr.K.Ravi, Chartered accountant and my mentor.
only 3 books so far occupied my mind completely and did not allow me to put them down till completely read, running into late hours in the night. the first was Freedom at midnight (when i was 19), then Alchemist and now G.K.T.W.
Azim premji’s words on 120% loaded and 100% efficiency have really opened flood gates of thought process in me.
two characters were outstanding – your father and Dadamoni.
i am inspired, if not influenced

regards
Kripakar
Chartered Accountant
Chennai

more than anything else, it

Soujanya Says
Friday November 7th 2008

It’s very true- ” ordinary people can do extra-ordinary things”, but it is very difficult to be ordinary, especially in urban areas.

Friday July 25th 2014

Oh myy goodness! Awesome article dude! Many thanks, However I am having problems
with your RSS. I don’t understand why I can’t subscribe to it.
Is there anyone else having the same RSS issues? Anybody who knows
the answer will you kindly respond? Thanks!!

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