Inflection – Career Arcs from Evolving India

Blurb: Real careers are not perfect. Professional success is not absolute. People shape careers and then over time,
careers shape people. Feb 1999. The batch of 1999 steps out from one of India’s leading business schools—Indian Institute of Management, Kolkata—into the real world of careers, not unlike many other professionals before and after.  Eighteen years later—in the middle of their working lives—32 of these professionals pause and take stock. They look back on their careers, on the choices they made, their successes and their failures, their highs and their lows. They reflect on what they assumed when they graduated from B-school and what the world has taught them since.  There are Real Lessons in Their Reflections; There are Common Themes in Their Career Arcs. This is the story of real careers taking shape in the rapidly evolving post-liberalisation India of the last two decades. Of conventional careers and not-so-conventional careers and something in between. Of people who took the corporate path, who became entrepreneurs, who became academics, who went abroad, who became specialists and even those who let their careers go with the flow, unplanned. Step in as they take stock of their journeys.  As relevant for mid-career professionals, to peek over their shoulders at peers, as for those starting their professional careers, curious about the careers choices ahead and the road signs on the way.

About the authors:  Nilesh Shrivastava currently heads the South Asia financial sector investments portfolio at International Finance Corporation, part of the World Bank Group. Pushp Deep Gupta is Executive Director at Deloitte Consulting in Leadership Advisory. Both Nilesh and Pushp are graduates of Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta, batch of 1999.

Review:  All careers don’t guarantee success; you need to make them happen with right planning. In the year 1999, batches of students pass out from Indian Institute of Management, Kolkata into the actual world to make their career. Fast forward life, 18 years later, 32 candidates from this batch pause and meet. They all rewind their lives, rethinking about the choices, failures, success, highs, and lows, bad and good of themselves. They realise the lessons they learnt, the themes which their career gave them. This is a real story of real careers that took shape in India of the last two quick moved decades. After I quit working in a corporate sector and turned back to self employment, I always thought of reading something on the world I was a part of earlier. When this book was in my hand, I was happy reading it. Not just the subject was interesting but something I could connect with. It is unfortunate that our education system doesn’t prepare us for the outside world which is different than what has been shown to us. Most of the times many of us don’t know where to start and how to start. The book has 32 individual stories which have been written in such an interesting way that gives us a desire to know more about each story. The book addresses the issues which every one of us faces in our careers. I am sure you will get to connect with someone from these 32 mentioned stories of individuals. These stories will guide you to channelize yourself being productive to get desired results and reach your goals. I highly recommend it to everyone as it is highly inspiring and educative, doesn’t matter at which level of your career you are; the book has something for everyone.

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