From The Art of War by Sun Tzu to The Prince by Niccolò Machiavelli or Meditations by Marcus Aurelius, thinkers functioning in the realm of business leadership and strategy have always relied on classics or ancient texts for inspiration and insight. Back home in India, Srimad Bhagavad Gita has motivated generations of entrepreneurs and leaders of myriad hues.
But there is an interesting fact here: it was Bhagavad Gita’s ‘content’ that most of these thinkers and leaders focused on or used to motivate themselves and their followers. This is where Malayalee entrepreneur and leadership thinker Ajayya Kumar makes a difference. His latest book, Business Gita (Ivory Books) takes an elegant leap of faith and focuses on the form that Srimad Bhagavad Gita has made globally famous -- the conversation -- and uses it to provide insightful and engaging advice to entrepreneurs.
Business Gita is all about conversations. Short, crisp, pithy, aphoristic, anecdotal and allegorical chats. Every conversation features Ajayya Kumar and a friend, colleague or a family member. He candidly shares pearls of wisdom gleaned from his decades of experience as a successful entrepreneur, thinker, author, parent, friend, culture curator and non-resident Indian. Ajayya Kumar targets a wide pool. His conversations cover a wide spectrum of subjects. They include leadership, impacts of technology, sports, science, climate change, books and more books.
But what really makes these short chats stand apart is their relatability. Ajayya Kumar’s prose is not pretentious or pompous. He uses a style that’s raw but refined, mundane but with a subliminal tint. He talks like a caring elder, wise comrade or a compassionate stranger. He is not judgemental, nor is he pontifical.
The conversations make us feel that the author understands the complexity of life and work but he is a strong believer in the power of simple solutions that can fix complicated problems. Ajayya Kumar’s humility is heartwarming. He often expresses the urge to share for greater common good. No wonder that many of the conversations anchor on the ideals of giving and giving back.
To say Ajayya Kumar is focusing on the ‘form’ of Gita doesn’t mean he discards the content. Business Gita is very much in sync with the ideas and teachings shared by the great text. Most conversations here reflect the universal truths that form the foundation of the Gita and more.
This is not the first book by Ajayya Kumar, who is an acclaimed speaker as well his TEDx Talk “Importance of solitude in entrepreneurship” has crossed over a million views on the platform. Ajayya Kumar has also penned three interesting books: Formula-G: Scale Your Startup to a Growth Machine | With Pro Tips, Toolkits & Success Stories; Lessons from 21 Films for the 21st Century Entrepreneurs; and Mindful Parenting : The Art of Guiding Children to Success. No doubt, for its unique approach to business and strategy literature, Business Gita is going to set a very sustainable trend in the world of ideas. It’s a refreshing read and hence highly recommended for all entrepreneurs, business thinkers and anyone who’s interested in the beauty of conversations.
Postscript: Do you have a low attention span and think reading is not your thing? Try Business Gita.