Several people have influenced me in the course of my life. Let me speak about them.
In reverse chronological order (as this will give me time to refresh my memory too):
Words have life. They keep evolving, and words are integral to my job. Like the proverb says "A well-spoken word is worth more than apples of gold."
- US President Barack Obama - I consider him as an exceptional orator. I have been a student of public speaking for some years now and I have seldom found someone who can so brilliantly blend content and style for maximum impact. Right from his debut speech at the Democrat party convention, where he dazzled with his lucidity of approach and awareness of issues, he was destined for the top job.
- I am also keenly following the exploits of his speechwriter Jon Favreau. At 27 years, Favreau is one of the youngest Directors of Speechwriting the White House has ever had.
- Vikram Seth continues to be my favourite Indian writer. To me, he is the pioneer who opened the doors for Indian literature in English abroad. Since his first book, A Suitable Boy, many have followed him and carved a niché for Indian writers.
- I like the way Thomas Friedman, Pulitzer Prize winning New York columnist and author, captures trends and harnesses the mass media to convey his ideas.
- Among older giants, PG Wodehouse tops my list of all time great writers followed closely by Graham Greene.
- My daily reading ranges from Jug Suraiya to Shobhaa De and I continue to marvel at the progress and impact made by Indian writers.
"Leadership is a topic close to my heart. My professional background with some of the big businesses has offered me a ringside view of top Indian business leaders. I take advantage of any opportunity to speak to a lot of journalists who engage with various heads of organisations. I am convinced that India's business leaders will emerge as part of crème de la crème of large organisations and Fortune corporations because of the unique language and cultural DNA Indians bring to the global market place."