It feels amazing to be talking to a person who is considered an institution in himself. Ashutosh Garg, the author of books like The Buck Stops Here and The Corner Office is much more than what his bio tells us about him.
Ashutosh Garg, worked in the corporate sector for twenty-five years before launching Guardian Pharmacy. He was with ITC Limited for seventeen years, leaving in 1995 as managing director of one of the group companies. Thereafter, he spent eight years in the aerospace industry. He has been a regular contributor to publications such as Business India and The Economic Times.
Let’s get to know him better in his own words.
1. First and foremost a warm welcome to Reviews & Musings and thank you so much for sparing your time for us. We would like to know about your journey of becoming a published author.
Thank you very much. I spent the first 25 years of my life working in the corporate world and the last 11 years as an entrepreneur, building Guardian Pharmacy. I was always fond of writing, starting with “letters to the editor” when I was in school and college! Later I wrote a column for Business India when I was based in Singapore. I have also written for several papers and online editions of various news channels. So when I decided to write my first book “The Buck Stops Here”, it was easy to take the plunge into writing a book.
2. In both your books till now you have experimented with fiction or drama so to speak and nonfiction or self help as it can be called. Has it been intentional?
I am a “young” author with two books published and two more under publication. I am experimenting with different genres. My first book The Buck Stops Here was written to share my journey from a manager to an entrepreneur with several aspiring entrepreneurs. In its second edition, this book evolved into a self-help book and the sub title changed to “Learnings of a #Startup Entrepreneur”. My second book, The Corner Office is a fiction book but focused on the corporate sector which is a space I know well. My next books cover topics from self-help to drama. I enjoy writing and therefore want to keep experimenting.
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3. Both your books talk about the corporate world at very different levels. How difficult or easy was to shift gears and write such a gripping narrative for both of them?
I write on the corporate world because this is a world that I know well. The first book was sharing experiences and therefore the thoughts flowed easily. The second book The Corner Office was a little more philosophical based on the lives of hundreds of friends and acquaintances who I have known or met over the past 3 decades. With this book I wanted readers to pause and think – is the race to elusive “corner office” the only goal through one’s life?
4. As a renowned published author with books that have been garnering a lot of positive feedback, is there any particular feedback that stands out, one that you would like to share with our readers.
I have received a lot of feedback on both my books. However, feedback from readers on the first book The Buck Stops Here has been very satisfying specially when people write in to me and say that the book has helped them to iron out issues in the businesses. I remember a passenger sitting next to me on a flight was reading The Buck Stops Here. I asked him whether he liked the book and he told me that he was planning to buy 10 copies and gift it to his friends. When I offered to sign the book, he looked at me surprised but after he reconfirmed that I was indeed the author after verifying my photograph in the book, he chatted with me throughout the flight!
5. On a lighter note- which of the two books is your favourite and why?
Though The Buck Stops Here has done really well, I prefer The Corner Office. This book made me think a lot before I started to write it on my computer. As I developed the characters, I had to make sure that the characters were realistic and yet should not have any characteristics that would identify my character with someone in real life.
6. One advice you would like to give to all those aspiring authors who consider you as an ideal.
Keep pursuing your passion to write and develop marketing capabilities for your book. However, don’t write because you want to make money. Write because you want to leave a legacy. Your book will live forever - money may or may not follow.
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7. Do we see you experimenting with genres in future? If yes which ones would you like to explore?
I am writing my “magnum opus” – a work of pure fiction that spans 8 decades.
8. We would like to know about any future projects you are currently working on.
I am also writing a book on Retirement titled “Don’t Retire. Reinvent, Reboot and Rewire.” This book is being published by Harper Collins and is due in August 2015. I am also working on another book titled “the Brand Called YOU”
9. Some words for your readers.
Thank you very much for all your support, your E Mails and your feedback on my Amazon and FlipKart page.
Thank you very much for your time! We would like to wish you all the best for your endeavours.