This is a biography like no other.
This book connects to you at multiple levels. I consumed the Audible version of the book, and was so glad to do that. Could appreciate the depth of the book in Rajat’s own raspy voice, which is soothing and charming, and graced with a patina that comes only from a life well-lived.
And what a life it was. Starting from a lower middle-class upbringing in Kolkata and Delhi, Rajat makes his way to the prestigious IIT Delhi and then onto Harvard Business School, no less.
But the real roller-coaster starts when he joins the corporate world, specifically the renowned and revered consultancy firm McKinsey. Rajat’s rise through the ranks to become the CEO, first non-white CEO of the firm, is stellar and filled with stories of his close association with esteemed colleagues, his work at the firm and various humanitarian organizations, including WHO and Public Health India Foundation. And through a twist of fate – a phone call with an old associate, Rajrathnam, that was mis-timed, mis-understood, and mis-interpreted by the jury – Rajat is convicted of insider trading and sentenced to prison. The book also goes at length into the details of the time he spent at the prison, and the horror episode called the SHU – solitary housing unit!
What did I love about the book?? There’s not a thing to not like. But above all, the quotes of Tagore that Rajat has chosen to start each chapter with, and his soothing voice, details of his family life, are something that I am not likely to forget in a hurry. How could you forget the story of an ageing father, who gets a day out from prison to attend the graduation day of his daughter?
Go grab your own copy, and learn the sessions of ascension on the corporate ladder, the high life, and the dangers that lurk around any small, seemingly innocuous, call.