[Year in Review 2021] Top 15 author interviews — on entrepreneurship, leadership, digital transformation

In addition to detailed book reviews, YourStory presents key author insights on their journeys, interpretations of successful leadership, and messages for aspiring entrepreneurs.
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Launched in 2012, YourStory’s Book Review section features over 325 titles on entrepreneurship, innovation, startups, leadership, and tech trends. See also our list of Top 10 Books of the Year for Entrepreneurs for 2021, 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, and 2012.

Following up on our book reviews, YourStory has interviewed dozens of these authors over the years as well. Here is our pick of Top 15 Author Interviews of 2021, with direct insights and tips from the experts (see also our Top Author Interviews of 2020, 2019, and  2018). Click through on the links below for each full-length interview, and follow through to see the full reviews of their books.

We thank all these authors for their compelling and informative books, and for spreading the creative movement far and wide!

We wish the authors and our readers a Happy New Year ahead, and look forward to more books and interviews in 2022!

‘Coach your employees by asking powerful questions, and finding answers together’ –consultant and author Ruchira Chaudhary on coaching strategies for leaders

Ruchira Chaudhary is the author of Coaching: The Secret Code to Uncommon Leadership (see my book review here). Conventional command-and-control practices are yielding to more agile, collaborative and emergent models.

Ruchira joins us in this extended chat on startup founders as coaches and coachees, the growth mindset for future success, and coaching as a life skill.

Creativity, clarity, channels: three co-authors share success tips for effective storytelling

Adri Bruckner, Anjana Menon, and Marybeth Sandell are the co-authors of What's Your Story? The Essential Business Storytelling Handbook (see my book review here). The book presents a wide range of frameworks, examples and tips for business communication.

The co-authors join us in this four-way conversation on trends, impacts, and best practices in the field of business storytelling.

From transactions to Tech4Good – authors Theodora Lau and Bradley Leimer on the inclusion opportunity for fintech

Theodora Lau and Bradley Leimer are the co-authors of Beyond Good: How Technology is Leading a Purpose-driven Business Revolution (see my book review here). The material makes for a valuable read for startups, financial services players, and business leaders.

Theodora and Bradley join us in this chat on emerging trends in fintech space, innovation opportunities, and ecosystem collaboration.

From reinvention to resilience: how exponential technologies call for business transformation

A wealth of checklists, tips, and examples of business innovation is featured in the new book, From Incremental to Exponential: How Large Companies Can See the Future and Rethink Innovation, by Vivek Wadhwa, Ismail Amila and Alex Salkever (see my book review here).

Vivek’s earlier books include The Immigrant Exodus (see my book review). Vivek and Ismail join us in this chat on business innovation in the pandemic era, examples of innovative cultures, and opportunities for entrepreneurs.

‘Virtual work will be the future, even more than now’ – in conversation with Theresa Sigillito Hollema, author of ‘Virtual Teams Across Cultures’

Theresa Sigillito Hollema is the author of Virtual Teams Across Cultures: Create Successful Teams Around the World (see my book review here). She has worked with global teams for over 25 years, helping organisations capitalise on cultural diversity and virtual connections.

In this conversation, Theresa discusses the rise of virtual teams during the pandemic, the key supportive role of leadership, and trends in task-technology fit.

Digital reality – trends and tips in VR and AR from Jeremy Dalton, author of ‘Reality Check’

A range of immersive media applications is already delivering solid benefits to organisations across industry sectors, from learning and operations to sales and design.

They are well chronicled in the book Reality Check: How Immersive Technologies can Transform your Business, by Jeremy Dalton (see my book review here). He joins us in this chat on new XR implementations, market drivers, and tips for innovators.

Cycles, stories, conversations – Hero Group’s Sunil Kant Munjal on writing his book, ‘The Making of Hero’

The business saga of the ‘band of brothers’ who withstood challenges right from the turbulence of the India-Pakistan partition is well captured in the book, The Making of Hero: Four Brothers, Two Wheels and a Revolution that Shaped India (see my book review here).

It documents the journey of the Hero Group and is written by Sunil Kant Munjal, the company’s chairman. He joins us in this interview on the journey of authoring a book, business storytelling, and the role of leadership.

From information to innovation – insights on the changing role of the CIO from Alex Siow, author of ‘Leading with IT’

Alex Siow is the author of Leading with IT: Lessons from Singapore's First CIO. The book covers a wide range of topics: IT infrastructure and applications, information processing, knowledge management, and organisational culture (see my book review here).

Alex joins us in this interview on the CIO’s role in digital transformation, cybersecurity, innovation, and economic survival of organisations.

Billon Dollar startup story – author Mihir Dalal on the journey of writing the book about Flipkart

Mihir Dalal is the author of Big Billion Startup: The Untold Flipkart Story. The book was declared the winner of the annual Gaja Capital Business Book Prize (see my awards writeup here).

Spanning two decades, the Flipkart story is placed within the broader context of the rise of the internet economy and venture capital industry in India. Mihir joins us in this interview on the journey of authoring a book, business storytelling, and India’s startup boom.

Creative design strategies help sustainability and inclusion – insights from Payal Arora, author, ‘The Next Billon Users’

Digital anthropologist Payal Arora is the author of The Next Billion Users: Digital Life beyond the West (see my book review and earlier author interview). She also spoke this year at the DesignUp 2021 conference, which included a virtual fundraising drive for India’s COVID-19 victims.

Payal joins us in this chat on inclusive design, the need for better collaboration between industry and academia, and tips for aspiring designers and founders in the pandemic era and beyond.

Credibility, lessons, storytelling: Bigbasket’s TN Hari on what makes a good business book

TN Hari wears multiple hats: author, angel investor, mentor and advisor to startups and accelerators. He is also Head HR at Bigbasket.com, and his books include Saying No to Jugaad: The Making of Bigbasket (see my book review here) and Cut the Crap and Jargon (co-authored with YourStory founder Shradha Sharma – see book review).

Hari joins us in this interview on the journey of authoring a book, business storytelling, and trends in 2021.

Stretch, scale, succeed – design thinking tips and examples from Pavan Soni, author of ‘Design Your Thinking’

Dr Pavan Soni is the author of Design your Thinking: The Mindsets, Toolsets and Skillsets for Creative Problem-Solving (see my book review here). He is the founder of innovation consultancy Inflexion Point. Pavan chaired a panel on design thinking at CII’s annual Global Knowledge Summit.

In this chat, he talks about the importance of design thinking, its relationship to other creative disciplines, and pandemic resilience.

Experiment, learn, adapt – creative tips from Paul Sloane, lateral thinking facilitator and author

Paul Sloane is the author of The Leader's Guide to Lateral Thinking Skills: Unlock the Creativity and Innovation in You and Your Team (see my book review here). His earlier bestsellers include How to Be a Brilliant Thinker and The Innovative Leader.

In this conversation, Paul Sloane discusses challenges in the entrepreneurial journey, the spirit of creativity, and frugal innovators.

Resilience and robustness: author Robin Banerjee explains why business storytelling must include failure lessons

Robin Banerjee is the author of Who Blunders and How: The Dumb Side of the Corporate World (see my book review here). He is MD of Caprihans India, with 35 years of industry experience.

In this interview, he talks about the importance of learning from failure, the role of storytelling, and pandemic resilience.

Curiosity, flexibility, adaptability – why Stripe Partners’ Simon Roberts thinks these are key skills in the pandemic era

Simon Roberts, Co-founder and Partner at UK-based Stripe Partners, is the author of The Power of Not Thinking: How Our Bodies Learn and Why We Should Trust Them. He delivered a keynote speech at DesignUp 2021, and is a fluent Hindi speaker as well.

A business anthropologist, Simon is also Board President at EPIC People. He joins us in this chat on the role of design in the pandemic era, industry trends and shifts, and tips for aspiring designers.

Entrepreneurship, banking, reforms: author Tamal Bandyopadhyay on writing the book ‘HDFC 2.0’

Tamal Bandyopadhyay is the author of six books, including HDFC 2.0 From Dawn to Digital. Tamal has also been a bank advisor, and his other books are From Lehman to Demonetisation: A Decade of Disruptions, Reforms and Misadventures. Tamal joins us in this interview on the journey of authoring a book, business storytelling, and India’s banking sector.

YourStory has also published the pocketbook ‘Proverbs and Quotes for Entrepreneurs: A World of Inspiration for Startups’ as a creative and motivational guide for innovators (downloadable as apps here: Apple, Android).

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