Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Thank you - Cover Design Contest now closed

Thank you all, for the amazing response to my Cover Design Contest.

I received 58 entries in a short two weeks. Well, it would be more accurate to say that I received 100 + entries as 58 individuals wrote in, many with multiple designs.

Results will be announced in a couple of weeks.

Meanwhile, I am off to Dubai on a work-cum-holiday trip. I will be moderating a session at the 2nd Pan IIM Alumni Gulf Summit on October 30, 2010 in Dubai at Park Hyatt Hotel.

And also giving a talk organised by TiE Dubai chapter on Nov 2 at Knowledge Village Auditorium, Block 1, Dubai Internet City between 6-8 pm. Non-members can attend but you need to register by emailing tiedubai at

Apart from that, suggestions on what to do in Dubai (which one cannot do in Mumbai :) would be most appreciated.

Lastly, I wanted to explore the possibility of Magrudys (well known book chain in Dubai) stocking my books. If anyone knows who is the right person to connect with there, please mujhe enlighten kar dijiye.

The email id, as always, is rashmi_b at

Wish you all a very Happy Diwali!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Design my next cover - update

Wow. In less than 72 hours, no less than 8 of you have sent in cover designs for my third book. I am amazed, and grateful for the response.

Since many of you have emailed, asking Qs and clarifications, let me answer in this public forum.

What is the size of the book?
Same as previous books - the standard book size. Don't worry about that, we'll take care of it later. The more important thing is the concept.

What am I looking for?
I have left it open, so as not to hamper creativity. But my preference is for a bold and bright design where title is clearly visible from a distance. As the subject matter of the book is inspirational and motivational the colours and graphics used should convey that mood as well.

Can I use photographs?
Yes, but only if you own the copyright for those photos. Otherwise we will have to go and acquire that as well. My first preference though is for a graphic element.

Does it have to look the same as previous books?
No, but some element of continuity with the look already created would be nice. How you create that is for you to decide!

Will you really close the contest early?
I know I said that but it's not fair - I take back those words! Because it seems like some of you have sent the work in a terrible rush. You can take your time, mull over it. The last date for submission is Oct 25th.

Are you stuck on white and red?
No. In fact white and red is not an option. At best you can use background colour as white if you wish.

Hope the above clarifications help. Look forward to more 'I Have a Dream' cover designs at

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Design my next cover!

My third book will be released on January 26, 2011. The title is 'I Have a Dream', inspired by the famous speech given by Martin Luther King (may Steve Jobs now rest in peace :)

I chose this title because it reflects the spirit of my book. 'I Have a Dream' features the stories of 20 social entrepreneurs, amazing men and women who have devoted their life to making life better for others.

But, using tools and techniques of business and entrepreneurship.

The book is 99% complete, but there's a small hitch. I need a cover!

I do have a few designs, but none of them has given that 'wow this is the one!' feeling. And so, with faith and hope in my talented young readers, I throw open the cover to you - to design.

What are the elements?

Title: "I Have a Dream"

Author: Rashmi Bansal

Strap line I From the author of the bestsellers 'Stay Hungry Stay Foolish' and 'Connect the Dots'

Strap line II The inspiring stories of 20 social entrepreneurs who found new ways to solve old problems.

Any other guidelines?
None. You can place the elements as you like. Use the background and colour scheme you like. Use a graphic element, or choose not to.

I am giving you a free canvas - to create something which is hat ke. I will know it is the right cover when I see it and fall in love at first sight.

How to submit
As a jpg, or pdf - mail the attachment along with your contact details (phone, email & 2 lines about you) to

If your cover is selected you will get credits in the book. And a cash prize of Rs 5000, as well.

Last date: Monday Oct 25th. But the sooner you send the better. If I like one of the early submissions I may just close the contest right then and there :)

Look forward to opening my mailbox and finding a beautiful surprise...

Friday, October 08, 2010

'Connect the Dots' event Vashi: Sun Oct 10

There is a small event for my book 'Connect the Dots' tomorrow evening at In Orbit Mall Vashi.

Venue: Atrium, ground floor, near Crossword kiosk
Date: Sunday, 10th October
Time: 6 pm

Mr Prem Ganapathy of Dosa Plaza will be present, along with me. All are welcome!

Monday, October 04, 2010

More lips on 'lipstick'

So you think the issue is better childcare. Or flexitime.

Think again.

This email in response to my women vs career post comes from an 18 year old. And it gives you a glimpse of the 'advice' women receive from a very young age. A better description would be Brainwashing.

This young girl, a Bachelor of Mass Media student from Mumbai writes:

Maybe at a little to early a stage to respond... but some of my experiences take me to relating to your Blog Post. I am 18, struggling far and wide to make my place. Having 'n' number of projects and no defined schedule is a part of my life. And I totally Love it!

But then I realize, not so soon honey. I get advises from all sorts of apparently 'Practical' Mentors and Guides, to slow down a little.

"After all, you are a girl. you need a Job where you can settle,something more 9-5."

"You should be lucky enough to find a good husband who supports you, or this all is going to go for a waste".

I mean, hello, give me a break. Why do my career aspirations have to be defined on the possibilities of finding a good husband?

But aisa hai, and most women succumb very early. They fashion their lives and career with these warnings and hidaayats at the back of their mind.

Even those who do professional degrees - be it engineering, medicine or management - can hear the CD playing in their heads...

"Family first, me second".

"Children first, career second".

"Husband's career first, mine second".

You get the drift.

It is this deep-rooted social conditioning - visible and invisible - that is the real Enemy women have to battle. Every single day. In different ways.

The 18 year old is prepared to fight it out.

But anyways, 'It ain't enough to get me down Sir, you hear that!' is all I say. I am still going to go my way!

The energy and optimism of youth, unfortunately doesn't always last. And at every stage 'the husband factor' continues to haunt.

Here is the career dilemma of a young woman of 26, a software engineer with bigger dreams for her future. But...

Hi Rashmi,

Read your post Lipstick Jungle - Survival Guide, and here's my career story.

Currently 26 years old. Working as a software engineer in one of the MNC's where I am the small fish in the big sea. I want to change my career and get into Brand management of Luxury good (very niche field). Although I know what I want to do, I have a problem.

I don't want to do a normal MBA from India, for two reasons, one, I have no patience to crack CAT and get into an IIM. Two, I don't want to invest two years in studies. By the time I get out of college, which will start next year 2011, I'll be 28 years old. And I'll just be a "management trainee".

I'll need to work extra hard during this time if I have to prove myself, also since it's a niche field and since I don't have any background in branding or luxury goods, it'll be tough for me.

Also I'll have to get married by 28, as I will have to have a kid by 32 max. So MBA from India doesn't seem all that great. If I have to do MBA from some foreign university, I'll need to apply to European schools that have 1 year MBA. But also, MBA from abroad means minimum 30-40 lakhs of investment, meaning I'll have to take loan.

Again, if things turn out well, I get a job which helps me repay the loan, but by the time I am out and working, I'll need to get married. I don't know where I'll get married or where I'll have to relocate for my husband. Which means jeopardising my job which would help me replay the huge loan I'll be taking. I am quite confused. Any inputs?


On the one hand, I think J is being very 'practical', and it is better to approach a problem in the context of one's constraints. But I can't help thinking, had she been a male software engineer, 26 years old, none of these constraints would exist!

Anyways, on to more constructive advice. I think J is on the right track. A one year MBA from Europe, preferably France would be her best option. This article in Businessweek magazine has a lot of useful pointers.

As regards loan - well that is a risk anyone going for a foreign MBA must take. Given the vast potential of luxury retail in India (a market barely tapped, at present), the long-term prospects of a career in this sector are great.

As regards your husband, well, that is an X factor. Whether you remain in software or in luxury marketing, you may have to relocate. And you will probably take a 'baby break'.

So why not go for a career in a field which excites you? I think one positive thing I might add is that IMHO women do have an edge in luxury marketing, and in time you could easily go the consultant route as well.

Have faith, it will all work out but maybe not as neatly and logically as you might wish!

(Readers may add their own advice to J, especially anyone who has done a European MBA/ worked in the luxury market).

And all you women out there, do keep the stories, the issues and concerns, coming in. The email id is rashmi_b at

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