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Rediff.com  » Business » Films, books that inspire corporate head honchos

Films, books that inspire corporate head honchos

Last updated on: March 04, 2016 12:35 IST

What do A-listers like to read, watch or listen to? And who are the people they admire? Here is a list --

Taare Zameen Par

IMAGE: The poster of the film Taare Zameen Par. The film is one of the favourites of Amit Burman, Vice-Chairman, Dabur.

Amit Burman with wife Divya.

IMAGE: Amit Burman with wife Divya. Photograph: Kind courtesy, Divya Burman's Facebook
 

Amit Burman
Vice-chairman, Dabur

Favourite movie and why?

The Godfather and Sholay during my growing-up years; Taare Zameen Par a a few years ago for the way it handled a sensitive subject like dyslexia; Tamasha that released recently.

But in recent years, the movie that has touched and inspired me is 3 Idiots. It teaches you many things like allowing kids to follow their dreams and pursuing excellence rather than success.

Favourite book

Some of my all-time favourites are The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho, The Art of War by Sun Tzu, Once a Runner by John L Parker and The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini. But the one that has always stayed with me is The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand.

Favourite music/song

Any genre that's soothing to the ear. It can be traditional Rock music, World Pop or a Bollywood number.

Favourite fictional character and why?

The list includes Tintin, Harry Potter, Sherlock Holmes, R K Laxman's Common Man, Chacha Chaudhary and Crime Master Gogo from the movie Andaz Apna Apna. But if I were to pick one character, that would be Superman. He has this incredible power and yet is a good individual. Superman, to me, represents hope.

Favourite historical figure and why?

Bhagat Singh. I really admire his single-minded dedication and pursuit of his dream for an independent India.

Favourite leader and why?

Again Bhagat Singh for the impact he has left on India's freedom struggle and for motivating millions to join it. This quote of his sums up his leadership quality for me: "I emphasise that I am full of ambition and hope and of full charm of life. But I can renounce all at the time of need, and that is the real sacrifice."

Ashish Dhawan

IMAGE: Ashish Dhawan. Photograph: Kind courtesy, CENTA

Ashish Dhawan Chairman,
Ashoka University and Central Square Foundation

Favourite movie and why?

Cinema Paradiso, an Italian film by Giuseppe Tornatore. It is a touching and poignant story about human relationships.

Favourite book

Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari

Favourite music/song

1980s English Rock 'n' Pop

Favourite fictional character and why?

I love Batman because he is a do-gooder out to save his city.

Favourite historical figure and why?

I admire Benjamin Franklin for multiple interests and multiple careers.

Favourite leader and why?

Warren Buffett, for his acumen, temperament, wit and humility.

Mukesh Bansal

IMAGE: Mukesh Bansal. Photograph: Rediff Archives

Mukesh Bansal
Head of Commerce, Flipkart, Chairman, Myntra

Favourite movie and why?

Forrest Gump, because it's a very life-affirming movie and has a very positive approach. It has a certain child-like innocence and curiosity to it; it makes you feel good about life and the world.

Favourite book

Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies by Jared Diamond. It portrays a complete picture of how humanity has evolved and how the current world has come to be.

Favourite music/song

Main pal do pal ka shayar hoon sung by Mukesh in Kabhi Kabhie. I love old songs, this one more so as it puts life in perspective and tells us to make space for our future generations.

Favourite fictional character and why?

Captain Kirk from Star Trek. He never loses his can-do spirit and looks for winning solutions no matter how difficult things might be.

Favourite historical figure and why?

Albert Einstein, because he just completely changed the paradigm of times. He could challenge the status quo and had a unique perspective, irrespective of the norms of the day. There were no limits to his imagination. He was a curious man who had completely new perspectives on everything.

Favourite leader and why?

Mahatma Gandhi. He operated out of a deep sense of values and never compromised on them. He had, and still has, a massive followership without exercising any power.

Naveen Tewari

IMAGE: Naveen Tiwari. Photograph: Kind courtesy, InMobi

Naveen Tewari
Founder and CEO, InMobi

Favourite movie and why?

The Martian. It delivers the most important message of life in a simple, yet powerful way. Mark Watney's dialogue summarises it the best: "At some point, everything's gonna go south on you and you're going to say, this is it. This is how I end. Now you can either accept that, or you can get to work. That's all it is. You just begin. You do the math. You solve one problem and you solve the next one, and then the next. And if you solve enough problems, you get to come home. All you need is to go on, fail, learn, and keep going till you succeed."

Favourite book

Steve Job's biography, the most disruptive inventor and entrepreneur who ever lived.

Favourite music/song

The 1980's Neele neele ambar par chand jab chaye

Favourite fictional character and why?

Sherlock Holmes -- I love his method of deduction.

Favourite historical figure and why? Nikola Tesla. Being a gadget enthusiast, I love inventions and Tesla is possibly the greatest inventor of all time. He plunged into areas never fathomed before and never gave up.

Favourite leader and why?

India is blessed with great legends like Ratan Tata, Azim Premji and Nandan Nilkeni.

They are an epitome of humbleness and great leadership. I am very lucky to have a couple of them as my mentors.

Nikhil Nanda

IMAGE: Nikhil Nanda. Photograph: Kind courtesy, Escorts

Nikhil Nanda
MD, Escorts

Favourite movie and why?
The Godfather, the best movie of all time, a benchmark for direction, acting and screenplay.

Favourite book
The Bhagavad Gita, a spiritual dictionary, a guiding light delivering lessons of life and karma.

Favourite music/song
Jeena yahan marna yahan, iske siva jaana kahan

Favourite fictional character and why?
Hercules, an epitome of strength and adventure.

Favourite historical figure and why?
William Shakespeare, the greatest writer in English language. The world has grown reading him.

Favourite leader and why?
Mahatma Gandhi, an ordinary man, exemplary leader.

Vijay Shekhar

IMAGE: Vijay Shekhar Sharma. Photograph: Kind courtesy, YourStory.com

Vijay Shekhar Sharma
Founder and CEO, Paytm

Favourite movie and why?
Lion King. It was my first English movie. It taught me that you should never take more than you can give.

Favourite book

Straight from the Gut by Jack Welch. It teaches the importance of clear thought process and fast decision making and also the excitement of steering a really large company to new heights.

Favourite music/song

Rock. Where The Streets Have No Name by U2

Favourite fictional character and why?

Obelix. He's so cute, innocent and nice that he becomes extremely funny.

Favourite historical figure and why?

Mahatma Gandhi, for his capability to move masses without any threat or violence.

Favourite leader and why?

Barack Obama. His election speeches are mesmerising; his election battle was also an incredible and graceful fight.

Rajeev Chandrasekhar

IMAGE: Rajeev Chandrasekhar. Photograph: Rediff Archives

Rajeev Chandrasekhar
Founder & chairman, Jupiter Capital, Rajya Sabha MP

Favourite movie and why?

Braveheart, Gladiator -- inspiring stories of individual courage.

Favourite book

Too many to put down. But here are a few: iCon: Steve Jobs, The Greatest Second Act in the History of Business; Money from Thin Air: The Story of Craig McCaw and Biography of Isaac Newton

Favourite music/song

I Am Not Afraid To Take a Stand by Eminem and Wonderful Tonight by Eric Clapton

Favourite fictional character and why?

Garfield and Calvin & Hobbes for making me smile and think; and Jason Bourne because he is the secret agent that I have always wanted to be!

Favourite historical figure and why?

Isaac Newton, Albert Einstein, Shivaji, Neil Armstrong and every Param Vir Chakra winner -- for their achievements and valour.

Favourite leader and why?

Atal Bihari Vajpayee -- for his humility, humour and deep commitment to India.

Nikita Puri and Veenu Sandhu
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