A couple of years ago, I picked up Richard Branson’s Screw it, Let’s Do it: Lessons in Life. It talks about how people should take on the opportunities they get, not procrastinate, and just do it. He reflects this in his own life and his organisation. He believes in working hard and also partying hard. For instance, he says that one should party hard over the weekend but that doesn’t mean you should come late to office on Monday. He has also talked about how we should drive ourselves and challenge
I had a very regular schedule: Work, go home, watch some TV and then go to sleep. Though I had aspirations to do something more, I didn’t know how to do it. From the book, I realised you will have to take out time for what you want to do. So I tend to work faster and though I still keep the same hours — do the same hours of work, spend the same amount of time at home — I have found enough time to write two books. The third one is on its way.
I liked Branson’s book so much that I bought 25 copies and gave them to key members of my team.
The second book I would like to mention is The Five People You Meet in Heaven
by Mitch Albom. It was gifted to me by a dear one.
The book is about an old man who dies in a freak accident and meets five people in heaven who had influenced his life on earth though he may not have realised it then. Everyone has pressure and stress in his life, whether it is related to work or home. The book tells you how to balance your life.
These two books have also inspired me to write. In fact my last book, I Bought the Monk’s Ferrari
, is inspired by real life incidents and stories of people whom I have met and worked with in my 15-year career. It is all about achieving success and staying successful. Ravi Subramaniam is Head, Consumer Assets and Credit Cards, HSBC.
(Co-ordinated by Prince Mathews Thomas) Ex Libris features business leaders on the books that influence their thinking.
(This story appears in the 18 December, 2009 issue of Forbes India. To visit our Archives, click here.)