Book Review: Madan Sabnavis's 'Corporate Quirks': A Zany Look At A White-Collar World

Book Review: Madan Sabnavis's 'Corporate Quirks': A Zany Look At A White-Collar World

The author has written about his wide-ranging experience as a corporate economist and given it a whacky side in this entertaining book

Vidya HebleUpdated: Saturday, December 02, 2023, 08:59 PM IST
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Pic: Freepik

If it’s going to be quirky, it must be written by an off-beat author, right? Well, Madan Sabnavis – whose regular columns on finance you may be following on the Editorial page of the FPJ — is described as an “accidental” economist, who became one due to his inability to open other career doors! Accidentally though it may be, he has been a corporate economist for 36 years now, and it is his wide-ranging experiences in this sector, coupled with his knack of seeing the wacky side of things, which have resulted in this entertaining book.

Readers who are in the midst of the corporate jungle might find many of the passages and anecdotes familiar; that’s because some of these are universal, applicable to CEOs and bosses mostly everywhere. Moreover, while the “quirks” are amusing, what Sabnavis writes about are actually serious things, which will probably resonate with most people.

Did you think meetings and strategies are boring chores? Check out the ‘Humdrums of Corporate Life chapter where you will find that “A meeting is an event where the minutes are kept and the hours are lost”. Get the gist?

It’s not all jokes and fun, though the reading is consistently enjoyable. Sabnavis comments, bringing to bear his experiences and world view, on aspects of corporate life that may have intrigued or even bothered some of you. Talking about subjects like career progression, sycophancy, “best practices”, even retirement... Reading chapter after chapter you might feel as if you are having an informal chat with one who can see both sides of the coin, and advise you on them too.

Because, of course, in the corporate world there are the bosses and there are the employees... and sometimes they even meet! In light of the bigger picture, however, everyone is merely a player on the stage of (corporate) life. And it’s the stories that link these personalities which put the quirks into the corporate, skilfully drawn out by Sabnavis.

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