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Reading, writing, technology: Bangalore Business Literature Festival kicks off this weekend with a galaxy of authors >

by Madanmohan Rao [September 08, 2023]

The ninth edition of the Bangalore Business Literature Festival is kicking off this weekend at WeWork Galaxy on Residency Road. The day-long event on Saturday features a range of fireside chats involving prominent authors, CEOs, startup founders, and thought leaders.

Over the years, BBLF has hosted more than 200 speakers and thousands of readers, through its in-person and online editions (during the pandemic). Themes addressed this year include the future of work, social entrepreneurship, global tech trends, startup storytelling, and the Indian economy. 

As media partner for BBLF 2023, is delighted to present insights on the world of books and business by some of the outstanding experts.

Book responses

“Our book is doing very well! Readers, and my students, have been kind in passing the word around. It has had two reprints, and is being translated into Hindi, Marathi and Telugu. There is also an international edition in Singapore,” says Mukesh Sud, Associate Professor of Strategy at IIM Ahmedabad, and co-author of Leapfrog: Six Practices to Thrive at Work.

“One reviewer commented that while she never reads self-help books (authors think too much of themselves!) she was attracted by the cover and flipped through it,” Sud recalls.

The reviewer said she could resonate with a number of stories and bought the book. “She largely enjoyed it but found that the number of pages of refences overwhelming. So she asked ChatGPT: How would you describe a 200 page book which has 40 pages of references? The short version of the answer: the book has been written by an academic,” Sud jokes.

“Our book has been received very well. In a period of four months, we are already on the fourth print run. We have also had the book out in international markets and have recently launched the audio book,” explain Hersh Haladker and Raghunath Anant Mashelkar, authors of Exprovement: Exponential Improvement Through Converging Parallels.

Reading habits

Successive waves of digital innovations like the Internet and smartphone have transformed the market and experience for readers.

“At one point in time, books were one of the very few ways to consume information. In today's day and age there are numerous ways to consume it. So the definition of authors is not just people who write books but also who write for the various different formats available,” Hersh Haladker observes.

In an attempt to keep up with this, Haladker and Mashelkar included QR codes in their book that bring together various formats, thereby creating an online companion.

“I love reading, and am not a podcast fan. When you are in an academic institute (and hang around the library) you see some many purchases recommended by other faculty with different interests. I chanced upon Sapiens Vol 2 and the graphic version is just lovely,” Sud says, describing his reading habits.

ChatGPT and beyond

The rise of generative AI has taken the world by storm, and the impact of ChatGPT will be multifaceted. It will vary by industry, region, and specific job roles, the BBLF authors explain.

“AI will certainly play a big role in creative writing. I don’t see the same level of impact in non-fiction right now. But that might change. There is also an issue of writing style that generative AI will need to perfect,” Sud observes. 

“Roles primarily centred on information provision or basic customer service might see reductions as AI chatbots make inroads. Automated customer support, instant information retrieval, and AI-driven task completion can boost organisational efficiency, allowing employees to focus on more complex tasks,” Haladker explains.

While certain jobs may become obsolete, new roles, such as AI trainers, chatbot developers, and AI ethicists will emerge.

The business and academic worlds

The world of business has seen massive upheaval over the past few decades, with consolidation as well as the rise of new digital giants and startups. A lot of research has been published in the academic world, and more of it needs to be accessible for the public. 

Haladker points to 3M and Google X Labs as particularly outstanding innovators. “3M constantly breaks boundaries of the industry divide. Google X Labs makes fiction a reality using multi-disciplinary teams,” he says. 

“There is a ton of research in the social sciences which stays in academic journals. Many writers are attempting to get that to the common person on the street,” Sud says, pointing to his own book as an example.

Tips for authors

The authors also offer tips for aspiring authors. “Write, no matter the platform or medium,” Haladker advises.

“BBLF sets an intellectual high among the top thought leaders. It is indeed a privilege to be able to present our humble work here,” he adds.

“Just keep writing. Don’t wait till you feel like it, just sit and write. I like starting my day at 4 am and put in three to four hours to get a head start with say 400-500 words. I then return to it later in the day usually in the afternoon,” Sud explains.

“I am reminded of a line by William Golding, an author I read in school. When asked why he wrote, he said he enjoyed writing, and also wrote to earn the respect of people whom he respected. That is my journey too,” Sud signs off.

Madanmohan Rao is Co-founder of, and author of 15+ books on innovation, knowledge management, and digital transformation. He can be followed on LinkedIn and Twitter.