This week, we asked Suvadip Ghosh Mazumdar, vice president, Leo Burnett, Mumbai, about his reading habit and if he's read anything off late that he'd recommend:
"Well, I simply love reading....and just about anything. As a school kid, I used to pride in how I used to finish all the Enid Blyton's, Hardy Boys etc kept in the school library. However I must point out that this passion for reading didn't extend itself into the academic textbooks but that is another issue altogether . Later this passion also led to writing. While in school I was one of the founding members of 'Voices' - a supplement of The Statesman in Kolkata. Later in college, I was a freelance writer for The Telegraph for sometime.
Recently I finished a book called 'Blue Ocean Strategy'. In today's fierce market place where everyone indulges in indiscriminate price wars, 'Blue Ocean Strategy' is a refreshing way forward. The aim of Blue Ocean Strategy is not to outperform the competition in the existing industry, but to create a new market space or blue ocean, thereby making competition irrelevant.
W.Chan Kim & Renee Mauborgne (the authors) go on to give extremely interesting examples on how various brands created their own new uncontested market spaces (blue oceans) rather than try to bite into the already crowded market (red oceans). For eg - Casella Wines was planning to enter an already crowded wine market in the US. Casella Wines saw that a majority of Americans saw wine as intimidating and pretentious and the complexity of wine's taste created flavor challenges for the average person. Thus instead of offering wine as a wine, Casella created a social drink accessible to everyone: beer drinkers, cocktail drinkers, and other drinkers of non - wine beverages. They called it Yellow Tail. Within the next few years, it was the number one red wine in a 750ml bottle sold in the US outstripping the well established California labels. The book also goes on to give similar examples on various brands across categories.
Other than fiction / non fiction, I am also an avid reader of a whole host of slice of life articles that appear on websites like Indiatimes, Yahoo! etc. These articles present interesting perspectives on many issues like relationships, marriage, in office dynamics and other aspects of life. The multitude of perspectives are an interesting take and provide a fresh view. They are also a great source of insights.