Interview – Neeraj Bhople, author of How to kill your b/oss and get away with it
How to kill your b/oss and get away with it by Neeraj Bhople is a step by step guide to digitally transform your organization. It is a book that presents to you the what, why, and how of the process of digital transformation.
Just a few days back, I finished reading and honestly, it had some crucial touchpoints for any organization. You might check out my review here:
And then, when I got the chance to interview author Neeraj, how could I miss it. Read on to discover his personality and to know his take on reading and writing.
Please introduce yourself to our readers.
I am an IT professional with 20 years of experience working with various clients across the world and currently, I am the CTO of Seniority.in – a senior citizen-focused e-commerce/product company. I am from Nagpur but based out of Pune now.
When did it dawn upon you that you wanted to be a writer?
When I was very young, my best friend got me into reading. She used to read a lot and recommend books to me. While reading them, I used to imagine myself being a writer of one such book that people will recommend to their friends. It was a good dream to have, though I never considered myself good at writing.
What inspires you to write books? What are the things which catch your attention?
Anything that makes me think, inspires me to write. Sometimes, random things inspire me – some signboard, something that I read or hear or some incident that happened. I write the subject name in a small diary that I keep. It has a list of subjects or viewpoints that I want to write about.
Everyone has a different way of looking at things in the world. The same thing will be looked at differently by different people and they will form their opinions that will never be the same as someone else’s. It is this view that I try to pen down. Sometimes the subject or the viewpoint comes out in the form of an article and sometimes in the form of a book or a novella. What matters is to have a view.
Tell something in brief about your book ‘How to kill your b/oss and get away with it’? How did the idea of coming up with this book strike you? What amount of research you did for this one.
This book is about how to digitally transform an organization successfully. All over the world, many organizations are trying to transform the way they work or the entire business domain itself. But almost 70% of them fail to achieve what they aimed for. This book tells ways to be successful at it.
I have been in the IT field and working on transformations of some kind for 20 years now. While I used to take knowledge sharing sessions with my colleagues, I decided it was time for me to consolidate my experience and views about digital transformations into a book. I read a lot about various transformations around the world and combined that information with my knowledge and experience to pen down the book. The research took a long time, but writing the book took about 2 months
Do you view writing as a kind of spiritual practice?
I look at writing as a therapeutic experience. Sometimes, it can be very cathartic. But writing down your views or feelings or even technical stuff on paper helps to organize the thoughts in your mind. That itself helps in clearing your mind and de-stress. Writing for yourself is very relaxing. If that writing helps someone else gain a new perspective, it’s even better.
Do you have a set schedule for writing, or are you one of those who write only when they feel inspired?
Writing a book needs both – inspiration and discipline. The first thing that I do while writing a book or article is to define the structure. Some parts need inspiration and a lot of “me time” to write. Some parts need you to just sit and start collating points. Depending on how I am feeling that day, I pick the sections I want to write. But usually, once I start writing, I start getting into the zone automatically.
What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
I like to learn new things. I started painting a few months ago, before that it was piano and musical notations… it goes on and on. Anything new, I will learn it.
Have you ever faced writer’s block? If yes, how did you overcome it?
Many times. I feel that most of the time, writer’s block happens not because you can’t write, but because you can’t find points or interesting subjects to write about. My diary comes to the rescue then. All the topics written in it are things that inspired me at the time I noted them down. I pick up a topic from there and start writing. Once I start, everything falls into place.
Of course, there are times when, no matter what, you just can’t get yourself to write. When that happens – I don’t force myself. I let go. There are many things to do other than writing. I enjoy them. The next day, I start again.
When you were young, did you ever see writing as a career or a full-time profession?
When I was young, yes. That age always makes you feel like you can do anything. But as I grew older, I realized that writing cannot be a full-time profession. At least for me. I do enjoy it and there are many things that I write about and will write about. But I don’t think I can do it full time – maybe after I have earned enough to retire peacefully, I will. Not till then 😊
What is that dream goal you want to achieve before you die?
I just want to live a happy life. That’s all. I don’t set long term goals in my personal or professional life. Short term, yes. But in the long run, I let life take its course as I keep doing things I like and enjoy doing them.
How would you describe the contemporary scenario of writing and reading in India?
In the last few years, writing books has become easier. There are so many avenues available to learn and practice your skills on the internet. You get fantastic reviews from people. And publishing a book has also become simpler. So, the number of amateur writers has increased. That’s a good sign.
However, I do feel that reading has not changed much. In fact, it probably has worsened. People tend to avoid newer writers and go for established names. Also, many people nowadays go for audiobooks. It takes out the charm and takes away the essence of what the writer wanted to convey. Hearing a book is not the same as reading a book – it may give you the dry facts, but you lose out on the beauty of reading. Lack of time and constant bombardment of things on social media keeps people too preoccupied to spend time reading nowadays.
How important is marketing a book in the present conditions when every day we see new titles coming up? Any tips to share?
Every book has a different audience. You should know who your audience is and market the book accordingly. Also, the title of the book matters a lot. If you had 10 books in front of you on the same subject, you would choose the one whose title describes the content the best. The title needs to stand out. You know what is in the book, buyers don’t. The title needs to draw them in.
Do you read much and if so who are your favorite authors? What is your favorite genre?
I do read, on various topics. Especially non-fiction. It’s the subject that matters to me more than the author. However, my favorite writer is Richard Bach and favorite book is his “Illusions”. I read it when I was in school.
Any advice you would like to give to aspiring writers?
I don’t think I am that good a writer yet to give out advice. But since I have managed to write and publish a book, I can say that what you need is a subject that you know enough about and have a viewpoint to share. If you have these two things – structure the book first. Write the table of contents, chapter names or rough structure of the storyline. Once you have spent time doing that, just start writing. Don’t worry about the end-product. Just write. Once you have finished the first draft, the editing and re-editing of it will bring out the shine.
Are we going to hear more from you in the future?
Now that I know I can finish a book; I will be writing more. I started my second book and there are few other titles in the pipeline. So, sooner or later, I will have my second book out.
*We wish Author Neeraj all the best for his future endeavors.*
Connect with the author:
1. Facebook book page: https://www.facebook.com/How-to-kill-your-boss-and-get-away-with-it-113200650136444/
2. Facebook my page: https://www.facebook.com/neeraj.bhople
3. LinkedIn page: https://www.linkedin.com/in/neerajbhople/
4. Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kalakandi_art_studio/