Books From Which Meena Ganesh Imbibed Ideas For Her Business
This entrepreneur thinks generalists, and not specialists, will succeed in the future as she speaks to BloombergQuint about the books that have influenced her.
Meena Ganesh, the founder and chief executive officer of the healthcare company Portea, draws up a list of her favourite reads from which she drew inspiration for her business.
Here’s her reading list.
Being Mortal, Medicine, And What Matters In The End, By Atul Gawande
This book opened my eyes to ageing with dignity and dying with grace, Ganesh said. “The medical profession tries hard to cure, however, the needs of the old and the sick are beyond cure. The elderly deserve to not just be looked after, but to retain their independence, and not get infantilised.”
“Portea drew a lot of inspiration from the thoughts in this book,” she said. “This book led me to put together my own thoughts on caring for the elderly through their sunset years and providing care for the sick and helping them recover or die with dignity.”
Range, By David Epstein
Ganesh calls this a “contrarian book” as its author Daniel Epstein talks about the need to cultivate multiple interests. “In the future, as anything very specialised gets taken over by computers, human beings need to bring their diverse experiences and ability to synthesise varied skills, to remain relevant and productive,” she said.
The Power Of Now, By Eckhart Tolle
My spiritual journey began many years ago with this book, Ganesh said. “I keep reminding myself of the Power of Now, and the fact that this is the only reality. This helps me stay balanced and sane through the ups and downs of life,” she said, adding: “It helps me forget negative experiences and forgive those that I feel have hurt me.”
Losing My Virginity, By Richard Branson
This book, according to Ganesh, is a very inspiring account of Branson’s rise to an acclaimed business genius. “He seemed to have a genius for not only finding the right opportunities but also sticking it out through all challenges.”
Branson, Ganesh said, has shown that it’s possible to live life to the fullest, providing adequate attention to family, friends and having a good time, while building complicated businesses. “His willingness to learn, experiment, fail and start again without losing heart, makes him a model for entrepreneurs.”
Saying No To Jugaad, The Making Of Bigbasket, By TN Hari, MS Subramanian
I enjoyed reading this book, Ganesh said.
Her key takeaways from the book are:
- Remain grounded and don’t get carried away by the latest fad.
- Culture is important, leaders should demonstrate by behaviour, don’t take shortcuts that undermine culture.
- Maniacal focus on external and internal customers.
- Right cost structure, frugality and talent aligned to culture.
- Be optimistic, but have a healthy scepticism of hype.