Book review by Bhaskar Parichha
Title: Limitless: The Power of Unlocking Your True Potential
Author: Radhika Gupta
Publisher: Hachette India
What do you do when you are rejected for your dream job and can’t handle one more person telling you to be strong? What stops you from asking for that big role at work when you know you have a shot at getting it? For many, the real world of work isn’t cool to navigate and life’s challenges hardly ever have simple answers.
Limitless: The Power of Unlocking Your True Potential by Radhika Gupta has answers to these vexing questions. The three essential batons in this book are: one, the world is full of possibilities; two, each of us has infinite potential to fly; and three, the book tells how to climb up the ladder.
MD and CEO of Edelweiss Mutual Funds, Radhika Gupta is one of the youngest CEOs in corporate India and the only female head of a major asset management company. A graduate of the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, a hedge fund manager and an entrepreneur, she has been listed by several media outlets among top powerful men and young business leaders. Her audiovisual ‘The Girl with a Broken Neck’ has inspired lakhs of viewers.
What Radhika does in this book is this: she offers straight-talking advice on how one can multiply one’s chances at attaining success. It begins, she says, by investing in the most valuable asset one possess: one’s own self.
Drawing on personal experiences of overcoming adversity and attaining success, Radhika’s intensely stirring stories and sharp, practical counsel provides all the motivation one need to discover self-confidence and live one’s best life. The account is her own and those of other achievers she has met.
Case one: “Vinita is a student at an engineering college in Pune. In her family, she is not only the first girl to have left her home city to study outside, but is also the first prospective engineer. Every girl, she says, should make ‘use of every opportunity she has and every resource she is provided’. Vinita is driven, ambitious, and clearly wants to be someone. And yet she feels more than a little low. This is the last week of her final year at engineering college, and, she has been rejected by five companies during the campus placement process.”
Case two: “Prateek is 32 years old. He graduated from business school nine years ago and works for a well-known multi-national company in Mumbai. His work hours are comfortable and he has been with the company for five years. He is paid well enough and has received two, promotions since he joined. He wants to try something different–joining in a higher position in a smaller company, starting his own business, just anything that is different, really. He wants to take a risk. But he just can’t seem to make that jump.”
Through several such real-life instances, Radhika’s advice is: “Own your ambition. Embrace your uniqueness. Recognize the role your critics will play in your achievements. Build adaptability. Allow rejection to redirect you to your desired destination. Cultivate resilience.” Cherished tips indeed.
Cut to her own story. In the concluding chapter, she has some animated questions like what are the challenges of being a young woman in the male-dominated world of finance. She tells how she is asked a version of this question nearly every day on panels, in interviews and on social media. She states, characteristically, as if this question has to be asked and she has to respond.
Luckily, for Radhika, her gender hasn’t posed challenges. But she acknowledges that Sexism- both conscious and unconscious still exists, despite the progress we have made. Even if there is no outright bias, there are subtle reminders that make you feel dissimilar.
Divided into seven chapters and with a little over 270 pages, this handy self-help book makes for indispensable reading–particularly for youngsters who have to swim through the banalities of the corporate world.
Her inspirational wisdom in the book is so uplifting!
Bhaskar Parichha is a journalist and author of Unbiased, No Strings Attached: Writings on Odisha and Biju Patnaik – A Political Biography. He lives in Bhubaneswar and writes bilingually. Besides writing for newspapers, he also reviews books on various media platforms.
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