Vikas Gupta completed his BE and then MBA. He is currently CEO of Cello (Writing) Group of Companies, producing 5 Million pens a day, domestic market leader, export to 85 countries, 10, 000 employees. Let us know more about his writing.
What inspired you to start writing?
Reflections on different conversations with friends, family, events & quest for “meaning” of life to make it fulfilling by optimizing on what one has. I believe I am privileged to have born to awesome parents (not rich but awesome), great education & reasonable career being CEO of some amazing companies for 16 out of total 26 years of work. Now with Vanprastha Ashram around the corner I think about giving back. However, being am MBA I want to make it self-sustaining rather then charity. Charity is conceit, its demeaning, its limiting. Why Housing? It gets security & dignity to a family. Those are things worth preserving & striving for. Therein lies the salvation for large number of our people (100 crores out of 125 total). That’s the game changer for restoration of a nuclear family unit as base of what C K Prahlad called fortune at Bottom of Pyramid. So I want to make the model that brings simple well made houses tantalizingly within reach for masses & thereby democratizes it.
What did you like to read when you were a boy?
Arthur Hailey, Asimov, E S Gardner, Wodehouse, Irving Wallace,
What is the greatest challenge in writing a book?
To start, I think just about everyone has a few stories in them & one just have to overcome the writer’s block. Not think about how many will sell & how much money will be, made etc. In any case those are outcomes, which, as Krishna said, is not in our hands in any case. Just do what’s in your control, sit with your computer & start, now!
How much research do you do before writing the book?
For my book Mindful But Absent I didn’t do any research specifically for the book before starting to write. I did invest significant time on construction technologies & business model for Low Cost Housing though. While writing the book there is a bit of research needed which one gets to know as the plot evolves.
What motivated you to write the book “Mindful But Absent”?
The feeling I got while handing over keys of the prototype to beneficiary family made me realize that I want to democratize it. I might still keep the propriety part for creating alpha returns for my investors but the “Known Material”, “Known Technology” part with slight bit on process automation needed to be told as a possibility. Even if it inspires few people to make houses or write a book , or to walk away from something mundane & try something that they want to do – well it would be worth it.
How did you come up with the idea of writing fiction genre book?
Well I had a message & I thought fiction, that too revolving around lives of MBAs, will carry it farther as it might resonate with more people
Who are your favourite authors?
Nassim Taleb, Richard Bach, P G Wodehouse, Stephen Hawking,
How much time do you dedicate to writing on a daily basis?
Its not fixed – now I am working on a new book & its just whenever I like, in a plane, by the pool, late night whatever.
What words of wisdom would you like to give to aspiring writers?
Tell a story you have in you – start now.
You can buy his book now: