View News Link brings to you exclusive interview with IIM Calcutta alumnus, leading finance and marketing professional and author Mr. Amish Tripathi. Mr. Tripathi’s debut book ‘THE IMMORTALS OF MELUHA’ has recently been published and is rocking the bestselling charts across leading bookstores in India.

In this interview Mr. Tripathi talks about his life at IIM Calcutta, key issues confronting Indian management education sector and what MBA aspirants should focus on to achieve success in life.

Excerpts from the interview:

Q. First of all, please tell us what inspired you to write a book on Lord Shiva?

A. Actually, I started the book as a philosophy book. The key philosophy in it was the nature of evil. But I got some good advice from my brother and sis-in-law that a pure philosophy book would have a narrower audience. The suggestion was that I should write a thriller/adventure and let the philosophy come across with the story. This would have a mainstream appeal. Now if I have to write an adventure on the nature of evil, who better to be the hero than the destroyer of evil himself, Lord Shiva.

Q. Tell us about your life as a MBA student, as a marketing head of a big insurance company, and now as a writer? What all have been the learning at each of the aforementioned stages of your life till now?

A. Well, the MBA stage and my early career was quite different from what it is now. I guess we are trained to be competitive - maybe even slightly insecure. That is good for the career no doubt. But it is not good for our personal happiness. Writing the book has been transformational for me in that sense. I have become more balanced. I still work hard - but I am not obsessed with my position & status in the corporate world. I used to be a non-believer, but I have become a shiv bhakt now. I am much more appreciative of how kind fate has been to me, what a wonderful family I have. The book has been a blessing.

Q. How was the life at IIM Calcutta? How is the life at IIM-C different from life at other IIMs?

A. I wouldn't know about other IIMs in too much detail, but IIM-C was a great place to be. It rocked! While studying was hard and competitive (as it would normally be), we were not just bookish people in there. We used to have some awesome traditions which were great fun - like the sporting meets, holi celebrations, junta movies etc. I formed some great friendships in there. Unfortunately, I lost touch with many of them over the years as we all got too busy in our respective careers. I am delighted that many of my friends and I have started re-establishing contact over the last year. Facebook is a great support in this!

Q. What is your view on the current expansion of IIMs? Is it good for the MBA aspirants?

A. I think it will be unpatriotic of us to wonder whether the exclusivity of the IIMs will come down if there are more of them set up across different cities. What India needs is a vast expansion of the higher education system. There is simply not enough supply of good universities in the country. So I feel that the more IIMs we have (and of course other Institutes/universities/centres of learning) the better it is for India's long term interests. I'm sure you may have heard that there is an international project on to revive the Nalanda university. It would be a matter of pride for all Indians when this great university - which was the best in the world in its time - opens its doors after 700-800 years to teach students once again.

Q. What message would you like to give to the MBA aspirants of our country?

A. Frankly, I'm not big enough to be giving a message. But if I have to offer some life advice (on account of being older!), I would say that you all should work hard, compete and make India a great world power once again. But at the same time, try to keep your balance. Don't forget the simple pleasures of life in pursuit of success. It is possible to be both successful and happy. You just have to want both badly enough.

Q. Please tell us about the future books that are in the pipeline.

A. The Immortals of Meluha is the first in a trilogy. So the next two books will be a continuation of the same story. They are 'The Secret of the Nagas' and 'The Oath of the Vayuputras'. There are many other book ideas also that I have - on the Ramayan, Mahabharat, Akbar & Dara Shikoh etc. But all that will come in due course. The immediate project is the Shiva Trilogy.