Monday, May 12, 2014

Behind the Book: Anis Bari


Today we have Mr. Anis Bari the author of the latest book Dreams of Mango People by Leadstart with us here at Reviews and Musings where he will take us Behind the book.
 
Anis Bari, a graduate of the Asian Institute of Management, Manila, and a Computer Engineer from PESIT, Bangalore, worked with Hewlett Packard before co-founding Tantra Consultancy Services, an award-winning start-up.
 
He was recognized as the most promising Entrepreneur of the Year (2010), by the global organization TiE (The Indus Entrepreneur). Anis has won numerous business plan competitions globally and has a deep interest in entrepreneurship and social innovation. He is also a shaper of Global Shapers Community, an initiative of World Economic Forum to bring the change agents together.
 
He has authored, Brush up Ur Quant, a book for management entrants. Anis is an internationally rated chess player and also mentors students through Yuvolve Youth Forum. He can be reached at: Email  | Blog

 
Source: Google Images
Some critical acclaim for the book:
 
Do yourself a favor. Read this book. Your dreams will come alive, in a light, sometimes in a humorous way. You will relate to the stories and be gently awakened to make your story a reality. - Ghanshyam Tiwari, Harvard Kennedy School
 
The conceptualization and execution gives the reader a feel that dreams and reality co-exist on the same horizon. Dreams of the Mango People will set you free for all your inhibitions and hesitations, which come along with a desire to dream. - Vikas Choudhary, Harvard University, IIT Kharagpur, Director, Eduvision.
 
Dreams of the Mango People will force you to think and visualize your dreams. A self-refection guide that helps to believe in the power of dreams. - Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Actor
 
This book is not only inspiring but also shows you the ways to start the business with strong foundation. The success of any business is determined by courage of its founders and preparedness of its leader. Dreams of the Mango People will act as a comprehensive guide for both these essential ingredients of success. -Abhinav Chanakya, Wharton Business School (ISEP)
 
Dreams of the Mango People explains the importance of living each moment without pressure, without forecasting the result, because some experiences cannot be explained by a function and the life itself is too mysterious to be managed mathematically. -Micro Di Maio, Bacconi University, Italy
 
Dreams of the Mango People is so much about what I believe and teach. The 'heroes' of stories whether myths, folk-tales, novels, plays or films are created not just for our entertainment but for our edification. Take up the struggle and change whatever needs changing to make the world a better place- Barry John, Writer and Director


In conversation with him:
 
1. Welcome to Reviews and Musings. It is a pleasure having you here and thank you so much for your time. Talking about Dreams of the Mango People, it has a very quirky title. One that makes a reader notices it instantaneously. Can you tell us something more about the book?

Thanks a lot for having me over. It’s my honor to be interviewed by one of the famed blog that everyone follows. The title ‘Dreams of The Mango People’ represents the dreams of the general cross section of people. I got this term ‘Mango People’ from a Bollywood movie ‘Love Aaj Kal’ and also later Mr. Robert Vadra brought this term into vogue commenting on the Aam Aadmi (common man) of India.
 
Well, the book is not about Mr. Vadra or Mr. Arvind Kejriwal of Aam Aadmi Party. ‘Dreams of The mango people’ is about dreams of the general strata of the society and how ordinary people choose to become extra-ordinary. The book showcases the stories of people who dared to turn away from the external voices to listen to their own inner voice. It has success stories as well as failure stories both on professional and personal front. The core part is about the entrepreneurial dream and treading the path entrepreneurs dare to take.


2. How did the entire concept of this book come into being?

Actually the idea of writing a book on the mango people came across a conversation with one of my professors in Manila. I got the opportunity to take part in the business challenge organized by European Union and AIM in Makati. We won that business challenge and qualified for the Asia Venture Business Challenge, Bangkok. After returning from there, I wrote an article on AIM Chronicle blog. The article was on entrepreneurship.
 
Our program director, Professor Gaston D Ortigas liked the article very much and told me ‘’Hey… you write well… You should write often on entrepreneurship and innovation but write for them who don’t get chance like you guys to attend the international business school. Write something on entrepreneurship that attracts the common people who stay far removed from the jargons used in business schools’’. This gave me a boost to write.
 
I saw many common people like me who all live under the dilemma whether to pursue our dream or not. So I thought the book has to be about the dreams, which a common man see and somehow someone try to live or many others don’t even try. I decided to have a blend of real short stories and entrepreneurial frameworks but the only challenge was to KISS (Keep it simple and short). 
 
3. Reading so many wonderful reviews of the book, how does it feel?

It feels really good to have positive reviews of the book and especially from the noted ones who all in some way have inspired others (including me) to take a leap forward. My purpose of writing is to create value for the readers. Getting good reviews gives me some confidence that the readers will like it too and make their vision and mission aligned to make this world a better place.


4. Can you take us through your journey of being an entrepreneur to being an author?
 
I started writing (short articles) when I was in Engineering, but never published any of those. After college, I got myself into typical culture of software industry where I always struggled to keep deadlines. All this because my heart was at something else, I wanted to do something else.
 
One fine day I wrote lovely electronic resignation letter and finally packed my bag and moved out of the office. I always believed in value creation but unfortunately I was not creating much value for the software company neither the company was creating some value for me (low salary). 
 
After trying my hands into entrepreneurship, to strengthen the entrepreneurial & leadership skills, I started preparing for MBA examinations and got an offer from AIM, Manila. At that time, I thought I should share my learning and experience to other students who all prepare for MBA entrance exams so wrote a book ‘Brush Up Ur Quant’ which got published by Nidhi Publication in India. The purpose was to let the aspirants know the unconventional ways of approaching the problems and maximize the score.

While studying at AIM, We used to write WAC (Written Analysis of Cases) and I scored well in those WAC assignments. Our Program Director, Professor Gaston D Ortigas motivated me a lot to write something related to entrepreneurship on AIM Chronicle Blog. He said one should write something on entrepreneurship but for common people.
 
The idea behind writing ‘Dreams of The Mango People’ was to showcase the uncommon stories of common man and the spirit of Entrepreneurship. I shared my own experience and learning in a very simple language so that anyone can relate it to and get the confidence of writing his/her own case in the world. The purpose of my writing is to touch the lives of common people, which they could relate to themselves.


5. How has been your experience about getting published in today’s times?

This being my first non-fiction book, it was really a challenge to get publishers believe in my work. I can also understand the risk aversion part. I was turned down by few publishers initially. There were some publishers in Delhi whom my uncle knew, they gave a totally different reactions like “Aisi Book market me nahi chalti… Aap cost of printing bear karo fir hum sochenge” (These kind of books never works…you bear the cost of printing, then we will think about it).
 
It was like either my way or else go to highway. I preferred the highway.  Leadstart Publishing showed some confidence in me and once they read the manuscript they agreed to take a chance. The over all experience with Leadstart has been really wonderful. I also got to learn a lot about publishing industry and standards.

6. Keep Dreaming, Keep Believing, Keep Doing and Keep Achieving– the mantra that your whole book revolves around. Has it been inspired by your own personal experiences?

To some extent yes!! So many people including Dr. Verghese Kuriean, Steve Jobs, Sachin Tendulkar, Vishwanathan Anand, and to name a few have inspired me. They all are in the league for value creators in their own fields. But this also comes from my personal experience and this is the sole reason I have shared my success as well as failure stories (professional & personal) in this book.
 
I have failed many times but never stopped trying. There have been days when I have struggled to find time to put the things together, struggling to meet deadlines but I have never thought of calling it quits. Vision is something that you want to achieve and mission is what you do on daily basis to achieve your dream/vision. I have always tried to take mission as an experience (learning experience) rather than performance. Many times friendship is tested and spirits are broken in this challenging race to achieve dream.


7. If someone were to ask you – What sets this book apart from all those other inspirational books available in the market, your answer would be?

It is actually for the mango people, by the mango people. I have always been an average performing guy who always struggled to make deadlines and some other priorities of life. The readers can easily relate and get inspired to act now, from different stories of the mango people. This book is perfect blend of inspiring stories and entrepreneurial frameworks in simple mango people’s language.

8. Anis Bari – the entrepreneur and Anis Bari the author – how different are they?

Not much different. As an entrepreneur I do lot of research at ideation stage and brainstorm with my friends and mentors. When these things fail then I follow my heart. However I am lucky to have brilliant friends and amazing mentors.
 
As an author, I am allowed to put my thoughts across freely. As a result most of the things come directly from my heart. This doesn’t mean I don’t use brain in writing. 
 
So as an entrepreneur if I go for some workshop then I focus more on discussing some management fundas, few case studies and entrepreneurial frameworks. As an author I even write about my makeups & breakups, emotions and it’s impact on my entrepreneurial journey. 
 
This can somehow tell the readers that there has to be someone who be there in your birthday bash and also in Lehman Brother’s crash. 

9. We would love to know your future projects or any other books you might be working on currently.
 
I am working on few startup ideas in education and e-commerce domain. As far as my writing journey is concerned, I have completed a book titled “The Sulemani Keeda of Entrepreneurship” last month but not yet started sending the manuscripts to publishers. It’s actually an entrepreneurial toolkit that everyone should have before starting any venture. It contains all the frameworks needed in detail but in a simple understandable language.
 
Recently I have also started working on a fiction novel ‘Dream as Lovely as Mrs. Lovely Khanna’. It’s a romantic love story of an aspiring entrepreneur where relationship is being questioned, loyalties tested in a process of shielding inner voice from external world. I am trying to put things together in Bollywood masala types. 
 
10. One message that you would like to give to your readers and all those aspiring authors who dream of being HERE someday, having the title of author associated with their name.

To all my readers, today life has become a set of equations where everyone wants to plug in the data and take back the results. Fortunately or unfortunately, human life cannot be simulated. Don’t let your inner voice suppressed by the external world. Stop judging your worth based on others’ opinions because they have no respect for you or your dreams! To make a difference, to succeed in life, you need to know your goalposts. Appreciate what you are doing, gazing out of the window, missing the mud, but seeing stars. It’s never too late to seek a new world.
 
For all the aspiring authors, I would just like you to tell you honestly, it’s not a rocket science. You just have to start. Don’t start with an intention of writing a bestseller book. Don’t start with an end in mind. It’s the journey & joy of writing that is more important. Be true to yourself, rest will automatically come.

A huge thank you for sparing some of your precious time to be with here today, we would like to wish you all the best for all your future endeavors.
 
P.S: A detailed book review to follow soon!

4 comments:

  1. Enjoyed reading the interview and book looks promising:)

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    Replies
    1. Oh yes Vishal even I am waiting to read it :)

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    2. Thank you so much Sir for stopping by, it was a pleasure interacting with you here!

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