Vineet Bhatt: Through the Rear View Mirror

It gives a warm feeling when you see the name of one of your alumnus on the cover of a book. And, there are so many books out there, but very few to actually act as a companion in troubled times. Keeping the readers’ requirement and interest in mind, our alumnus Mr Vineet Bhatt decided to chronicle his experiences and author “Rear View Mirror” a self-help guide in form of fiction.

Team MM caught up with him for a candid chat on his experiences and his plans for future.

MM: When was the last time you visited the institute? What are the changes that you noticed and want to see?

VB: I visited the institute previously in 2013. I have seen a sea change in the institute. The infrastructure has developed a lot. The energy levels are higher. It is really wonderful to see all these changes. So much development has taken place.

MM: What inspired you to author “Rear View Mirror”?

VB: These are all my personal experiences that I tried to capture in my book. All these experiences that I have accumulated have been in my professional & social life. In 25 years of my professional life, I have come across several kinds of people. All these experiences made me reflect on the behavioural part of people. And especially the purpose of education and what ideally should education lead to. I thought I must write a book, and in form of fiction. Fiction, because, self-help is an extremely heavy stuff. I wanted to write in a simple form, narrative and descriptive, and the one that contains many teachings embedded within the story.

MM: You left a lucrative career in the corporate sector and opted for the road less travelled by. What made you take this decision?

VB: Well, if you want to do something different in life, the first thing that you must give up is: being a follower. If you want to do something different, think of something creative that others find difficult to do. I think writing was something that I loved to do. I really enjoyed writing this book. It was really fun. The kind of happiness that writing gave me, I thought that if I have to dedicate myself fully to writing, I can’t do justice to it, until and unless I give up what I have been doing till now. I have another passion, which is public speaking and leadership coaching and consulting. So, I thought of focussing on these. These activities give greater fulfilment.

MM: There has been a recent trend of engineers and people from corporate professional background, giving up their jobs and taking up writing. And those books are the ones which are actually reaching people’s hearts. What do you think is promoting this trend?

VB: This is one of the things that I have address, not in the exactly same manner, but quite much the same. What is the motive of education? I think it is leaving behind a legacy, of improving the society. It should benefit the larger mankind. We should strive to make this world better than we found it. The purpose of education should never be making money. It will leave you very dissatisfied. If you look twenty years back from that point and think about what you have done, you will realize that there was no life in it. Do what you want to do. I am not saying don’t make money, but don’t make it the centre of your existence. Don’t sell you dreams. I think that’s the reason why more and more people are resorting to doing what they love to do rather than what they are forced to do.

The purpose of education is to impart certain level of responsibility in us. Responsibility towards creating a legacy.

MM: What was the placement and academic scenario of Department of Metallurgical and Material Engineering during your time of study?

VB: At that point of time it was pretty good. All of us were placed in good places. I don’t have the data to compare it with today’s scene. But yes, the institute did impart that much of knowledge to us, to fend for ourselves. It was good.

MM: Why did you choose to pursue management studies after engineering?

VB: I would recommend that everybody should be exposed to management studies. The reason being: it gives you an overview of a wider horizon. It doesn’t make you an expert in any subject, but it makes you aware of almost all the parts of business, leadership and handling people. I think that’s an essential part of growing as a professional. We all learnt management on the job. But going for a degree means that you are going for the knowledge within a short period of time. You compact the timeline. You get to apply it quickly. That’s why I went for it, to get a wide spectrum of knowledge.

MM: How important, according to you, is the institute-alumni and student-alumni relations? Are you satisfied with the current state of affairs?

VB: I am a bit fuzzy about the current state, I don’t have much idea. But whatever I heard from the people, I believe there has been some sort of conflict. A few entities have sprung up and that needs to be sorted out. I believe that the alumni student relationship is extremely important. Because as we grow in age and profession, we realize the importance of networking. When you are young, you do not feel the need of networking as much as when you grow up.

I think alumni understand that the student’s don’t understand fully the need of networking. But the significance has to be understood. Why do you think we keep coming back? It’s because we want to know what our seniors have done, how our juniors are doing and in whichever way, we can leverage each other’s strengths. Synergizing with each other is an essential part of growth. From that point of view, the student-alumni relations are extremely essential.

MM: What are the endeavours that you are planning to take up in near future? Can we expect a new book sometime again?

VB: Yes, of course. I am already working on it. But now, most of my time is being spent on promoting my book. You see, if people don’t know me and know my name across, they won’t read my new book. The first thing is to get visible and get my name in the literary circles. At the same time, going ahead with the work on the new book.

MM: Any theme that you have on your mind now?

VB: one, it’s always going to be fiction. Second, it’s largely going to be self-help. Because, in my belief, every book, must have a take away. If you read a book and throw it away after one reading, it’s not the one worth reading at all. Because, what you have read, you have thrown it away. A book should be the one, to which you can return again and again; for the content and the philosophy. I do understand that people read books for entertainment. The purpose of the entertainment should be to inspire you to move into action. If the book fails to do that, I wonder why that book was written.

MM: Any message that you would like to convey to the student community of the institute?

VB: The value of the education should not be measured by the amount of money that you earn. It should be measured by the amount of good that you can do to the society to make this world a better place to live in. the motive should be leave behind a legacy. The educations system must instil a sense of responsibility in you, or rather in all of us.

“If you believe in rebirth, then you will be leaving this earth a better place for yourself.”

If you don’t leave the world better that you found it, you are doing a disfavour to yourself.