Insights into Indian Corporate Culture-Book Review

  • For those in or about to enter the corporate world and HR professionals, this book surely adds VALUE.

I have never written book reviews so was apprehensive about reviewing this book. But when I started reading it, loved the free flowing style, pace and insights so thought review tho banta hai.


Corporate life is both challenging and satisfying, the challenges being more esp. post COVID. What I liked about this book is that it is combination of being research based individual stories and personal insights. They tell us about the aspirations, pressures and possibilities of corporate life.


The author, Divya Khanna, is an independent market research professional who worked with leading advertising companies prior to taking up research. When she wrote she always left office at 5.30 pm, I thought of the former CEO of HDFC Bank Aditya Puri who also left at 5.30. In a way, it stresses the need for work-life balance. 


I personally liked bosses who left by 6 pm even though some stayed back, and made team members too, because they wished to avoid their spouses at home. That is another story.


What I also liked is the author’s willingness to share insights from her life, reflections that come with age and ability to say she was wrong on this and this.


The book also includes contemporary issues like Work from Home (WFH). It devotes a lot of time to the pros and cons of WFH. This is at a time when Consultants and Corporates are grappling with how to deal with employee’s preference for WFH and its impact on performance appraisal tools. What I liked are the benefits of working from office, at a time when WFH seems to a preferred choice. 


It also has a chapter on Work Space Design which I found particularly useful. Whilst many companies have realized its importance and plan accordingly not many who are outside the corporate world realize its importance and pitfalls of having a faulty design.


Another contemporary issue is how working couples deal with each professional’s lives and choices one has to make esp. when they start a family. Examples are real so one gets practical insights. 


The book also covers stories of modern day working and living, corporate stress and how to deal with it, downsizing due to WFH, planning for & living a retired life, additional roles of HR post pandemic. 


My humble suggestion to readers is to jot down learnings’, reflect and continue to do so regularly over the years because nothing in life is constant. This way it is paisa vasool (book MRP Rs 499, insist on a 20% discount). 


A lot of insights are from those living in Bengaluru and Delhi (plus on-line surveys). I wish people from Chennai and Kolkata were also interviewed. That would make the book more inclusive.


In her next book, I would like Divya to have visuals. Thanks Divya for being honest about your feelings and experiences. 


For those in or about to enter the corporate world and HR professionals, this book surely adds Value.


Hardikh Shubh Kaam nayein Divya Khanna.


Book title is, “The Company We Keep, Insights into Indian Corporate Culture’


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