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"Rich Man, Happy Man"
By Lord Bill Lall of Woodlands in Britain

Bill Lall tells his own inspiring, rags to riches story in "Rich Man Happy Man". This is a book for the person who dreams of becoming a happy millionaire. Bill Lall takes the reader on a journey, when he left India for England, a lonely, poor and dejected man, till when he becomes a millionaire, with many properties and the title of a Lord
Doing things our way

London, Feb. 01, 2005

Forget Dale Carnegie, a new breed of Indian authors are fast churning out their own self-help books for a readership tired of Western lifestyle concepts.

"Beyond a point foreign examples are just that - foreign," Anil Bhatnagar, motivational speaker and business guru, says. "More and more people here (in India) want books that relate to their circumstances, their way of life," said Bhatnagar, author of "Success 24x7".

The book begins with the tale of a village barber who, after experiencing a minor accident with a car, would run up a tree every time he saw a car approaching.

Bhatnagar, who has written for the Covey Leadership Centre`s Personal Excellence and Executive Excellence and has big corporate clients like Airtel, BHEL and Indian Oil Corporation, uses the example to talk about how companies and those who lead them react to adversity.

Indian readers and companies are increasingly demanding examples closer home, which is boosting the market for self-help books in the country, said K. P. R. Nair of Konark Publishers.

"Self-help books are a rage in not only English but also Hindi and other vernacular languages," said Nair. "In fact, (management guru) Shiv Khera`s `You Can Win` sold more copies in India in Hindi than English.

"For many years, motivational and self-help books written by foreigners were a big hit even in vernacular languages and these authors obviously had no clue about Indian circumstances. So, Indian authors started to fill this gap.

"Actually self-help books written in India have a big market, they can even be sold in other developing countries where people can learn from our experience."

Agreed Shobit Arya of Wisdom Tree: "Literally dozens of Indian writers are coming up with self-help books.

"For years, all the American books like `How To Win Friends and Influence People` and `Who Moved My Cheese` were being lapped up and then, I think, Indian authors felt, `Why can`t we write inspirational stuff for our audience?`

"And the readership also is slowly accepting Indian authors who write about instances they can easily identify with."

That`s exactly what Vineet Bajpai felt when, four-and-a-half years ago, he wanted to start a company and went hunting for a guidebook.

"I found a lot of foreign books about foreign conditions of business but nothing for India," said Bajpai. So the 26-year-old just wrote his own, called "Build From Scratch", one of the country`s first books on young entrepreneurship.

"After a year of me starting my company, I wrote a book on how to start a company in India - especially if you have no money," said Bajpai about the 210-page, part pep talk, part street-smart mantra of doing business.

It is the sort of spirit Lord Bill Lall of Woodlands in Britain, a non-resident Indian, says his book "Rich Man, Happy Man" promotes.

He says Indians need to delve into their roots to find success rather than aping the West.

"The secret is to have an Indian heart but a Western mind. The ancient Indian texts are full of advice about how to succeed but we haven`t been able to tap that.

"And that`s what people like me are trying to do - give Indians the wisdom that the culture already possesses."

Agrees Rashmi Datt whose book "Managing Your Boss" has just been published. "A lot of times, the circumstances through which Indians go through are very different from the West. You can`t really always apply help techniques across continents."

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