15 November 2014

Author Q&A Session #1: With Sameer Kamat

Well, this is the very first Author Q&A Session on my blog. When I came up with the idea, I was feeling little delirious mostly because this is a new kind of experience for me too. But after approaching the authors with this whole Q&A idea, I feel really confident and lucky enough to have this whole new thing to feature on my blog. And I bet in this very session you might sometimes go into ROFL mode. So hold your seats and grab your mouse tighter to have a roller-coaster session with the author of Business Doctors - Management Consulting Gone Wild,, Sameer Kamat

And do check out the book review here.

Me:  Welcome Sameer, you are the very first author to be featured on the Author Q&A Session on my blog. And Congratulations on your new book, Business Doctors: Management Consulting Gone Wild. Please tell us briefly about your book, Business Doctors: Management Consulting Gone Wild.

Sameer: Thanks, Aditi. Honoured to be the first author to be featured on your site.
My Book ‘Business Doctors’ is a story about what might happen if two apparently disconnected worlds (the corporate world and the underworld) collide.

Me: So my first question would be what are Business Doctors, Sameer? Do they exist in real world? Because we all know about Financial Advisers and after reading the book, I think more or less Business Doctors too play the same role like a Financial Adviser.

Sameer: Business Doctors do exist in the real world. They wear expensive suits & ties. They have the best qualifications from the top universities and they earn the best salaries in the world.
The little difference is that the popular term used to describe them is – Management Consultants. The reason for calling them Business Doctors will be apparent in the first chapter of the book.
Just like Financial Advisors provide guidance on managing money, management consultants provide guidance on managing entire businesses.

Me: What inspired you to write about Business Doctors? Was it because of your Management background experience?

Sameer: I spent many years working as a management consultant. However, unlike regular jobs like engineering, software etc, the field of management consulting is quite niche and mysterious to most people. So I was looking for ways to introduce the idea to folks who may not be familiar with it. Instead of writing a boring non-fiction book, I thought it might be interesting to spice things up and present it like an action movie.
Business Doctors has a lot of the typical action scenes – jail breaks, car chases, guns, explosions. But there are also plenty of management concepts that would prompt readers to look at their own businesses in a different light.

Me: Business Doctors: Management Consulting Gone Wild is a self-published book right? So after publishing your first book with a reputed and quite established publishing house, what made you take the step to choose the road to self-publishing?

Sameer: As I keep telling people, writing the book is the easy part. Well, relatively speaking. What happens after that, in case you decide to go down the traditional publishing route, needs far more patience and perseverance.
It took 5 years for my first book (Beyond The MBA Hype) to reach bookstores after it was first written. For my second book, I did not want to wait for that long. Even though I have published one book, I don’t have a track record in fiction. So the process wouldn’t have been a cakewalk anyway.
Here’s the bigger story of getting Business Doctors self-published in India.

Me: Business Doctors have all the elements to become a major Bollywood film. So will you sell the rights for your book, if some producer/director approaches you with the request to make Business Doctors into a commercial film?

Sameer: The story is set in America. The plot and characters are completely international. Many readers have described it as a Hollywood style hardcore masala movie. So, the delusions of seeing it on the big screen do pop up occasionally.
But the biggest concern in having it made into a Bollywood movie is that Ekta Kapoor (Director/Producer of Hindi movies and tons of Hindi TV Series, which are both famous for the "inevitable" melodrama and for their long-never-ending story lines!!!) might insist on adding a Saas-Bahu (Mother-in-law and Daugther-in-law) angle to it, Karan Johar (Director/Producer of Hindi Bollywood movies, which are famous for the "enthralling" item songs and dances of the heroines!!) would expect Angie (the female lead) to do an item number and Farah Khan (Director/Producer of Hindi movies, which are famous for the actors/heroes wearing no shirt all throught the movie just to show-off their toned body!!!) might force Michael Schneider (the protagonist) to have a sentimental climax scene in a temple while revealing his 8-pack.

Me: OMG! I totally ROFLing right now!!! How much time did it take to finish writing Business Doctors?

Sameer: I didn’t keep track of the time, but it took several months to write the first draft. It was then read by several beta readers who provided valuable feedback.
I was working as a finance professional at that time, which made it more difficult to complete the herculean task of writing around 75,000 words (probably more).

Me: In India, it seems engineers and management guys and girls are all choosing the easy way to become their own boss- by becoming an author rather than working for an MNC. So did you follow this trend or was it always your one true-dream to become an author?

Sameer: Reality check desperately needed here for anyone who’s planning to quit their jobs to become an author. Don’t!
Writing books doesn’t pay. The royalty rates in India are too low. Even if the book does relatively well (and the odds are very low of that happening, given the competition and the turmoil that the publishing industry has been going through), it can’t replace a regular salary.
I don’t rely on the income from books. I manage an admissions consulting business that allows me to indulge in extra-curricular activities, like writing books.

Me: So who's your favorite author and why?

Sameer: This is the question that I really dread. Shameful for an author (of 2 books) to say this, but I don’t read books. 

Me: Lastly, all the best for all your future endeavors. I hope all your books become very successful not only in India but in other countries too.

Sameer: Thanks for the wishes, Aditi, and for the opportunity of getting featured on your blog. Hope you get all the top authors lining up for a Q&A on your site. If either Spielberg or Mahesh Bhatt (Director/Producer of Hindi Bollywood movies) comes to you to enquire about the movie rights for the book, let me know. 

Sameer's Bio:


Sameer Kamat is the founder of MBA Crystal Ball and Booksoarus. His first book, Beyond The MBA Hype published by HarperCollins, is currently in the third reprint.
His second book Business Doctors - Management Consulting Gone Wild, a story based on the bizarre concept of management consultants trying to turn around an underworld organisation. On the day it got listed on Amazon India, it broke into the Top 25 in Indian Writing.

Connect with Sameer on: Facebook | Twitter | LinkedIn | Email



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