Inflection (Book Review) by Nilesh Shrivastava and Pushp Deep Gupta

Book Name: Inflection

Authors: Nilesh Shrivastava and Pushp Deep Gupta

Publisher: Fingerprint

Rating: 4.2/5

Book Blurb: Real careers are not perfect. Professional success is not absolute. People shape careers and then over time,  careers shape people.
Feb 1999. The batch of 1999 steps out from one of India’s leading business schools—Indian Institute of Management, Kolkata—into the real world of careers, not unlike many other professionals before and after.

Eighteen years later—in the middle of their working lives—32 of these professionals pause and take stock. They look back on their careers, on the choices they made, their successes and their failures, their highs and their lows. They reflect on what they assumed when they graduated from B-school and what the world has taught them since.

There are Real Lessons in Their Reflections; There are Common Themes in Their Career Arcs.
This is the story of real careers taking shape in the rapidly evolving post-liberalisation India of the last two decades. Of conventional careers and not-so-conventional careers and something in between. Of people who took the corporate path, who became entrepreneurs, who became academics, who went abroad, who became specialists and even those who let their careers go with the flow, unplanned. Step in as they take stock of their journeys.

As relevant for mid-career professionals, to peek over their shoulders at peers, as for those starting their professional careers, curious about the careers choices ahead and the road signs on the way.

Review: Inflection is unlikely any other book you may have come across. The authors have compiled career growth stories of their batchmates (all of them from the same batch at IIM, Kolkata) and spun a nice summary around it.

While a lot of books have focussed on life either at such academic institutions or even after it, this book takes a different and not so common approach. It details the careers of individuals who have almost the same education and how they reached the respective position in their chosen profession. It details the struggles, lessons learned and which is why this book can serve as a handy guide for entrepreneurs, students in their final semester or even casual readers.

“If today, no corporates exist… if today no industries exist, no roles or functions- what then is the value of your cv? Are you prepared to deal with any real problem of the world?”

The book is written in simple and lucid form; the authors are talented individuals in their own right and it reflects in the treatment of this book. It’s well structured and doesn’t limit itself to repetition. The people selected and careers detailed here collage together to form a very diverse group and so you’ve stories of people from almost all walks of life.

Off the beaten track is a fascinating chapter in this book and details lives of people who took a different route and ended up in not so common professional streams.

The beauty of this book is that it can perform a lot of functions- look upon it as a handy guide or a sort of self-help book for budding entrepreneurs or if you are in an uncertain stage of your career, well, this book may just lift up your spirits.

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