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The books that shaped my life

Every issue, we ask prominent businessmen about the books that made them the people they are today. This month: Ankur Bhatia, Executive Director, Bird Group.

Anumeha Chaturvedi | Print Edition: August 23, 2009

Ankur Bhatia
Ankur Bhatia

Every issue, we ask prominent businessmen about the books that made them the people they are today. This month: Ankur Bhatia, Executive Director, Bird Group.

Maverick, Ricardo Semler
Maverick is the story of Ricardo Semler and the revolutionary changes he brought about in his Brazilian manufacturing firm, Semco. Semler’s innovations—of encouraging employees to hire and evaluate their bosses, doing away with dress codes, introducing flexible timings, and encouraging employees to take more ownership of their work—taught me the importance of doing things differently.

In Spite of the Gods, Edward Luce
I strongly believe there’s no other book than this, to know your country better. In Spite of the Gods is an enlightening study of the forces that shape India as it tries to balance the stubborn traditions of the past with an uneven, modern present.

The Fountainhead, Ayn Rand
I loved it. I don’t know how many times I’ve read this, but it got to the point where I had to stop, as I would get too fired up. The Fountainhead encouraged me to think as an individual, assume responsibility for my successes and failures, and take risks to reach my goals.

The Odyssey, Homer
I’m fortunate to have been taught this by the legendary professor Albert Lord in college. Lord’s presentation of the text, the extraordinary beauty of the verses, the logic and history of the oral tradition, influenced me greatly.

Reality Check, Guy Kawasaki
Reality Check is Guy’s wit, wisdom, and contrarian opinions all rolled into one. From competition to customer service, innovation to marketing, he shows readers how to ignore fads and avoid foolhardiness while sticking to common sense.

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