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Author Debashis Sarkar talks to Knowledge about the research needed for his books Xand how he aims to help students and fresh graduates.

For a person who got initiated into management writing way back in 1998, it might be difficult to call himself a student of business performance improvement and customer service excellence. Not for Debashsis Sarkar, who is the author of six books, a few of which have been conceptualised and written in the United States to bring in a wider experience to a larger audience.

“To be current, one needs to be learning continuously,” he says, adding that it is this learning that enabled him to put his experiences in the form of ideas, tools and techniques in his books. His most recent book Lesson in Lean Management: 53 Ideas to Transform Services (reviewed below) was an outcome of the thought to reach an audience beyond the boundaries of management practices and education. “This book is for anyone who wants to understand the basics of Lean Management, be it a junior executive, a CEO, a fresh graduate, or even someone who runs a small business,” states the author. Sarkar goes on to elaborate that the principles of Lean Management are such that they can be applied to any kind of institution, even an education institution.

Interestingly, Sarkar started out with a book way back in 1998, an experience is describes as that of “a rookie writer who simply wanted to share his learning.” Even though the rookie writer has turned into a professional author, the philosophy behind his writing and his books remains the same: to share his experiences and learning. And that’s why, the entire process of his writing a book is far from being linear or straight.

“That has to be the case! If I were to put the writing time into a framework, I would say that this book took me about a year and a half to write, but that’s just cumulating the time. Otherwise, it is based on the experiences of about a decade!” Sarkar shares. In fact, for his kind of work, there was little research to rely on, except a few theories that were available. The rest of the body of work had to be based on experience, implementation, and applicability. “In this field you also need a place to experiment and apply the tools.  Otherwise, all you will be left with is a few theories!”

Talking about college students or those who are going to graduate soon to realise their dreams in the industry, Sarkar is excited to impart some advice to them. “Firstly, I would say that irrespective of the area of study you are in, be it engineering, teaching or anything else, it would be a good idea to understand the philosophy of Lean Management since it is extremely simple and based on eliminating waste.” He even goes on to simplify it to the extent of the analogy of throwing out rotting vegetables from your refrigerator at home. “Secondly, I need them to realise that it is not a tool or technique, but is a philosophy in itself. A way of doing business. Lastly, I would say that these principles can be applied to any field or profession,” he concludes.

Adopting an idea that has been successful elsewhere and then trying to extend it to other areas is not easy. But Sarkar definitely makes it look so.