Striking a chord with Gen Y

Reading Workshops

A day before addressing young executives at a famous consulting firm in Gurgaon, Parul A Mittal, author of Arranged Love, had received 75 responses on the topic – ‘the perfect soulmate’ – over emails from the employees of the firm. At the book-reading session which was held the following day, she gifted a few self-signed books to the ones who gave most interesting responses. 

It was not a one-off session but a part of half a dozen interactive workshops in past one month at Gurgaon-based-offices of MNCs including Hughes, Aricent, iYogi, Serco and Deloitte. Parul like several other authors of chic-lit romantic fictions has addressed a number of prospective readers to garner interest among the 20-something employees of IT companies and consulting firms.

“I will attend 10 similar sessions in the coming weeks as I have got an overwhelming response at the corporates,” says Parul.

Gunjan Veda, author of Beautiful Country, believes that such workshops help readers connect with the author and also introduces himself/herself with the youngsters who would not otherwise hear about the book.  “Young readers don’t have the time to browse a book store every week or 10 days as a lot of new books are launched frequently,” says Gunjan. 

Corporate executives, however, find these workshops ‘rejuvenating’ and a creative break from mind-numbing working hours. “It gives our computer engineers a chance to come out of their virtual worlds. We had invited Chetan Bhagat also to hold a talk with our employees after one of his books released,” says Prashant Upadhyaya, director technology, Aricent.

On the face of it, there doesn’t appear any similarity between book-reading and making computer programmes, however, Upadhyaya begs to differ.

He says, “Just like in writing fiction, we make a part of the computer program, move forward to come back later to finish the segment we left unfinished earlier.”

These sessions also help inject a dose of motivation in the young executives. “Most of these authors have something inspirational to share about their lives which helps boost the morale of our workforce,” says Upadhyaya.

Manshu Singh, human resource head of iyogi – a technical support company – says, “though only a few people turn up at such events but this helps fulfill passion of those who are voracious readers. Ekta Kalra, an engineer from Hughes Systique calls these sessions a happy break from monotony.

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