Chess game in boardrooms

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  • Published 21.03.11

New Delhi, March 20: The corporate boardroom functions very much like a game of chess where the pawns or the weakest members get promoted to the top if they stay long enough in the rat race and make enough sacrifices. At times these sacrifices include one’s principles, honesty and relationships.

Financial head honcho Partha Sarathi Basu’s latest book With or Without You dwells on the choices that executives make everyday to create a balance between blind ambition and a genuine drive to achieve success.

“There is, however, always a choice,” says Basu, the chief financial officer of AkzoNoble India, the makers of Dulux Paints.

The choice can be fatal, as it is for the protagonist Aarav, who indulges in deceit and smear campaigns to grab the top spot in his company.

“Choice is the mental process of judging the merits of multiple options and selecting one of them and With or Without You is for all those who have struggled (due to their choices) to keep their jobs from ruining their lives,” says Basu.

Basu, who has a flair for juggling with numbers, has proved with his book that he can play with words with equal panache.

Published by Penguin Books India, the narrative is fast paced and the language lucid.

“I wrote in a story-telling fashion to send the message across easily to the reader,” says Basu, who has been heavily influenced by Paulo Coelho.

Like Coelho, Basu spends little time with the setting and concentrates more on his story’s message.

Having worked with top companies such as Coca-Cola, Whirlpool, IFB Group, the Tatas and SpiceJet, Basu has drawn from personal experience and stories heard through the grapevine while writing about boardroom goings-on.

Basu is quick to defend his profession: “Corporate India is not that complex or murky. This story emphasises the importance of knowing the difference between various professional choices. For the new executive, the story may help him know which pitfalls to avoid, while for the experienced corporate honcho this may act as the jolt required to realise and revise his priorities.”