Recently we had a chance to interact with Mr. Hemant Joshi, the author of the book “The Advisory Board”. While having a candid chat with him, about the book and his love for writing, Mr. Hemant discussed about why did he write the book in first place. Read the complete interview below.
When was the first time you realized the love for writing?
When I was in high school, I used to write poetry every now and then. In college, I started reading a lot more and that prompted me to write. After writing a few articles in college magazines, I decided it was time to write a book. I wrote my first book, Digital Nervous Breakdown while I was finishing up engineering. The book was inspired by the Computer Science courses I was taking at the time.
“The Advisory Board” is a pretty interesting title, how was the title inspired?
Every big company has a board of advisors, who advise on the strategy and the direction of the company. However, for small businesses, it is very hard to have good advisors. In the book, taxi drivers form the board of advisors for a small tourism business in Mumbai, hence the title.
What was the best advice you have got from a “Taxi Driver”?
One taxi driver I met in Mumbai in 2017 was hustling between two jobs. He also ran a couple of WhatsApp groups to help people find jobs through recruitment agencies, which was very interesting to hear. He indirectly advised me to keep hustling, and ever since, I’ve kept on experimenting with new projects. One of the stories in the book is inspired by him.
What were the learnings and experiences of writing a book?
Writing is all about consistency. If you can dedicate some portion of your daily life to writing, everyone can write a book. It will take time, but it happens.
The biggest learning was that writing is only half the job done. As an author, you are also involved in design, marketing, sales and distribution. In short, you are running a business. I’d encourage everyone to do research on all of these aspects before publishing a book. I’m happy to help anyone with the same.
Tell us something about the character “Shekhar”, who plays the protagonist?
Shekhar runs a Mumbai-based tourism company called Westland, which he started a decade ago. For the past 2 years, the business is not doing well. Losses are creeping up. At the same time, his wife is no more. She passed away because of Dengue.
One night, Shekhar’s car is smashed while it is parked outside his building. At this point, Shekhar has lost almost everything in life.
He feels like quitting. But he starts meeting taxi drivers every day, who give him excellent advice because of which the process of healing starts.
You have been writing about technology for long, did that help you while writing this?
Yes. My work in the tech industry directly inspires my writing. My first book was inspired by a course I took in college. The Advisory Board is inspired by the struggles a startup founder goes through while running a small company.
Though Shekhar is not very technical, I’ve used some fundamentals of modern startups to weave the story.
What is the message that you would like to share with young readers?
Today, with phones in our hands, we’ve stopped communicating with strangers around us. While riding in public transport or walking on the streets, we no longer talk to any random person. Because of this, we miss out on a lot of unexpected discoveries.
If done carefully, talking to strangers can be a blessing for everyone.
Is there any upcoming book that you are working on?
Right now, I am working on a short story collection, which will contain stories about building startups. Entrepreneurs read a lot of non-fiction, but only limited fiction and this is my way to bridge that gap.
If anyone is interested in reading these stories for free, they can subscribe to my newsletter through my website – hemantrjoshi.com
Book link – http://bit.ly/theadvisoryboard