IBLF Delhi Edition Brings Together India’s Top Non-Fiction Writers; Concludes On A High Note

The full day event witnessed a confluence of like-minded people interested in non-fiction literature


The Delhi edition of the Indian Business Literature Festival (IBLF) concluded with eminent authors across the non-fictional domain sharing their individual stories on India’s biggest literary forum. The full day event witnessed  a confluence of like-minded people interested in non-fiction literature that has an impact on individual and business theory and practice.

The proceedings began with the inaugural address by Dr Annurag Batra, Chairman and Editor-in-Chief, BW Businessworld and exchange4media Group, who spoke about his vision for IBLF and his plans to take it to 21 cities this time and provide a credible platform to non-fiction authors and celebrate the new talent.

This was followed by Dr Bibek Debroy, Chairman, Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Ministers session with Dr Amit Kapoor, Honorary Chairman, Institute for Competitiveness & Lecturer, Stanford University on Dr Debroy’s popular book ‘Inked in India’.

During his session Dr Debroy highlighted some important aspects of the book which is a written record of the journey of make and unmake, from a pre-Independence India with a strong manufacturing base for pens, nibs and ink, to the post-Independence economic policies which eroded that competitive advantage and led to economic churn and the exit of foreign firms from the country. Going beyond the nostalgia and lost sheen of fountain pens, he shared how it tackled economic transition and the impact of policy on local enterprise.

The session was followed by another captivating keynote and fireside chat with Gurcharan Das, Former CEO, Proctor and Gamble, India.

Das spoke about  ‘Making A Life vs Making A Living’.. He shed light on how one can identify their true calling. 

“Sometimes in life you do not find a purpose, you also have to create a purpose. A very important part of this is reading books. At the same time one should not be too busy making a living so as to forget making a life”, he stated.

Das also underlined that another way to gain happiness is by serving others. “When you do something even for profit, you are benefiting others in some ways and you may even be benefiting yourself. All human beings are happier working with a sense of purpose. Just doing business is also part of our problem. This includes a to-do list and excessive planning. The idea is to ultimately maintain a healthy work-life balance while focusing on public and private life equally”, he reiterated.

Noted Filmmaker Muzaffar Ali spoke about his autobiography ‘Zikr: In the Light and Shade of Time’ which narrates his journey in a very linear fashion.

The filmmaker said that women are  the carrier of cultures and act as a buffer for the household from the external influences that are challenging our households.

When asked about the whole idea behind the book Zikr: In The Light And Shade Of Time, the celebrated filmmaker said, “"A lot of people were asking me to write something but it's not easy to put pen to paper to write about your life. Depicting your life is a very sensitive thing to do because every life is very interesting and every human being lives a full life where they are involved in relationships, shaped by many influences, and problems."

"Everybody is going through a process and to understand that process through one's own life was a challenging thing to do. I thought let's start from the threshold and write about different shades of Lucknow through my father's vision," he added.

Dr Mukesh Batra, Founder & Chairman, Dr Batra’s Group of Companies in conversation with Noor Fathima Warsia, Group Editorial Director, BW Businessworld spoke about the takeaways of his book-’The Nation's Homeopath’. 

The book is an unusual tale of entrepreneurship, risk appetite, resilience and self-belief. During the course of the session, Dr Mukesh Batra spoke about the early eighties when India was still a decade away from liberalisation, and loans were not readily available and how he  borrowed money at a staggering interest rate of 36 percent per annum. He also spoke about the strong conviction that his business would work out and not only did the business succeed, Dr. Batra's became a household name.

In another riveting session with former Chief Commissioner of Income Tax Hardayal Singh and Rishabh Gulati, Managing Editor, NewsX, on his book ‘The Moral Compass,’ Singh said that the book is a catalyst to help people focus on their problems, introspect and find their own solutions based on good conscience. He further emphasised that the book does not offer any instant solutions.

He said that the reason for writing this book was to do some research and find out how objectivity and fairness can be restored in times when decision-making involves personal involvement. 

The next discussion was on the popular book ‘The Custodian of Trust: A Banker's Memoir, by former Chairman of SBI, Rajnish Kumar and he recounted how his term was ‘rather momentous’ as the period-from 2017 to 2020-during which he shouldered this responsibility was rather unique under any circumstances. He also spoke about the Indian banking sector when it was going through one of its most tumultuous phases and how he dealt with the problem of non-performing loans (NPLs) that had severely impacted the balance sheet and profitability of banks, especially those in the public sector.

The final session at IBLF Delhi Edition was with Karan Bajaj, Founder of Whitehat Jr., which was later acquired by Byju's. Bajaj also launched his new book  titled- "The Freedom Manifesto: 7 rules to live the life of your calling" at the event.

In conversation with Dr. Annurag Batra, Editor-in-Chief & Chairman of BW Businessworld & Founder of exchange4Media and Rajiv Verma, Former CEO, HT Media, Bajaj stated that the success rate for creative industries was only 10 per cent and it was important to keep this in mind when starting a project as 90 per cent of them usually end in failure.

When asked what inspired him to write this book, Bajaj explained that the idea behind the book is to encourage more people to take risks in their lives. He elaborated that he learned this himself in the past few years - something unexpected and different can happen if you take chances.

Bajaj also spoke about how non-fiction writing was different from writing a novel.” For novels, the focus is on the characters. However, for non-fiction, the focus is on sharing life lessons that the author has learned from their own experiences”, he stated.

Elaborating on the anatomy of success to Bajaj said. “Increase your surface area to take a lot of chances. By increasing your surface area, you're essentially increasing your opportunities to take risks so that you can learn from your own projects.”

Some of the eminent speakers at the 4th Edition of IBLF Delhi Chapter included: Bibek Debroy, Indian economist, serving as the chairman of the Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister of India,  Gurcharan Das,  Former CEO of Proctor and Gamble India, Rajnish Kumar former Chairman of the State Bank of India, Rakesh Dewan is the Chairman, Star Academey and Home Appliances Company, Karan Bajaj, Indian technology entrepreneur and author,  best known as the founder and CEO of WhiteHat Jr., an Edtech company specializing in distance learning which was acquired by BYJU in 2020, Kiran Karnik,  prominent Indian administrator chiefly known for his work in the broadcasting and outsourcing industries, B Thiagarajan, Managing Director, Blue Star Limited, Prabal Basu Roy, Sloan Fellow from the London Business School and a Chartered Accountant, Dr. Amit Kapoor,  Honorary Chairman of the Institute for Competitiveness, Gaurav Dagaonkar, Entrepreneur and the founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at Songfest, Rajiv Verma, former CEO at HT Media, Nilaya Varma, Co-founder of Primus Partners India, Ajay Jain, author, photographer, traveler and founder of the Kunzum Travel Cafe, Mohit Gupta, Co-founder of Frob.Social, Harddayal Singh,  former Chief Commisioner of Income Tax and Ombusman to the income tax department, Ministry of Finance, Govenement of India, Professor Dhruv Nath, Director of Lead Angels Network, Sonu Bhasin, Family Business Historian, Independent Director, Business Author and Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Families & Business, Vaibhav Dange, ndependent Expert on Infrastructure and Governance, Dr. Mukesh Batra,  founder of Dr. Batra's group of companies, Namrata Rana, Author & Director of Strategy Futurescape, Dr. Priyank Narayan, Director of InfoEdge Centre for Entrepreneurship at the Ashoka University, Professor Mukesh Sud,  Associate Professor of the Business Policy Area at the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad and Muzaffar Ali, Indian filmmaker, fashion designer, poet, artist, cultural revivalist, and social worker.

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IBLF literature festival non fiction books Karan Bajaj

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