Book Review: The Rich Labourer by Parthajeet Sarma (co-authored by Sibani Sarma)


Book: The Rich Labourer

Author: Parthajeet Sarma (co-authored by Sibani Sarma)

Publisher: iDream Publications

Genre: Non-fiction – Business

In One Line: “Let us be human centric. Probe and ponder, before proving.”

Characterisation: There are quite a few names that find mention in the book. However, none of them have really been developed as a flesh and blood character. That does not harm the book though because the theme of the book is different and an in-depth characterisation is not a need.

Language: In books like these, and more so when the writer has a lot of in-depth knowledge about it, the language can get very technical. That often leaves the reader a little confused. This is where this book stands out. The concepts have been explained in easy words through short sentences. The examples that accompany it  also helps in furthering the understanding of it.

Plot SettingThe author has described the places amply – be that the poverty stricken house where the story begins or village of Rampur where the project was implemented.

Book Cover Art: I liked the cover. Even though the writer has used fiction as a backdrop, he has made the cover a formal one. The message thus that the cover conveys is that it is a “business book” . This goes well with the tagline of the book.

How’s the Title: It is only towards the very end of the book that the initial characters are brought back by saying that the parents, despite poverty, managed to give the children a great education and a good life. However, the rest of the book is not about them. It is about innovative thinking, the want to do something and the gutsy approach to make it happen and finally getting the dream achieved. With this premise in mind, the title seems a little misleading. The book is not about the “The Rich Labourer” but about “Structured Innovation” (non fiction skewed title) or “Riya’s Project” (fiction skewed title)

Is The Blurb Catchy: The first paragraph of the blurb, I felt, was trying to hard, to get the reader’s attention. Instead, here is how the blurb should have looked: what the book addresses-how does the reader benefit. Since there are books dealing with similar concepts by the dozen, it should harp more on what the USP of this book is.

Learning From The Story: It talks about a lot of concepts which can be a learning for the reader. For me, the most interesting concept was the “experience journey map” which “captures the story of the customer’s experience”. What one needs to do to get maximum benefit from the read, however, is to know that each industry has its own set of factors according to which it functions. So, this book, while it can be used as a starting  framework to develop the initial skeleton of the plan, the ultimate detailing would have to be customised and tailored.

Areas Of Improvement: The book is a storehouse of information that can be used for someone who is looking to start a new venture. It becomes even more important if the reader is one who wants to start it on the Indian soil. Given this, I felt, that writing it under the backdrop of a fiction was totally uncalled for and not needed at all.

In some places I felt that a little more could have been written about. However, given that this is the first version and the author has mentioned that there will be a version two based on reader inputs, I’m hopeful that this will be taken care of.

What Is ‘Said By Not Saying’: While the book talks about the method of “Probe-Ponder-Prove” to be used in the setting up of a new venture, the same thoughts can be used in life situations as well – be that handling a career change, a break up, incessant teenage tantrums or dealing with the death of a parent. It is indeed a “structured method to be innovative” and innovative thinking or out of box thinking is the first step of what is required to solve the most toughest of challenges.

My Reaction When I Finally Closed The Book:   smiley-business

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