Books by Indian Diaspora Leaders: What’s Out

Books by Indian Diaspora Leaders: What’s Out

February 11, 2022 | Author: Indiaspora Staff

Given the number of fantastic reads that have been recently published by Indian diaspora leaders, we felt compelled to create this page to serve as a resource of several books that are out this month, recently out, or will be out soon.

Out this Month (March)


Pay Up: The Future of Women and Work (and Why It’s Different Than You Think) by Founder of Girls Who Code Reshma Saujani

Release date: March 15, 2022

The founder of Girls Who Code and bestselling author of Brave, Not Perfect confronts the “big lie” of corporate feminism and presents a bold plan to address the burnout and inequity harming America’s working women today.

We told women that to break glass ceilings and succeed in their careers, all they needed to do is dream big, raise their hands, and lean in. But data tells a different story. Historic numbers of women left their jobs in 2021, resulting in their lowest workforce participation since 1988. Women’s unemployment rose to nearly fifteen percent, and globally women lost over $800 billion in wages.

In this urgent and rousing call to arms, Reshma Saujani dismantles the myth of “having it all” and argues the time has come for innovative corporate leadership, government intervention, and sweeping culture shift; it’s time to Pay Up.

Reshma is a leading activist and the founder of Girls Who Code and the Marshall Plan for Moms. She has spent more than a decade advocating for women’s and girls’ economic empowerment, working to close the gender gap in the tech sector, and, most recently, championing policies to support mothers impacted by the pandemic. Saujani is also the author of the international bestseller Brave, Not Perfect, and her influential TED talk, “Teach Girls Bravery, Not Perfection,” has more than five million views.


Building Happier Kids: Stress-busting Tools for Parents by Hansa Bhargava

Release Date: March 15, 2022

Kids today are facing unprecedented pressures—and their mental health is suffering. As a parent, you may feel burned out and exhausted yourself—and perhaps overwhelmed by the idea of taking on your child’s stress. But Building Happier Kids offers practical, concrete steps you can take to help your kids and yourself! Dr. Bhargava prescribes taking an intentional pause from modern life’s nonstop pace to focus on ways you can meaningfully impact your family’s emotional well-being. Overscheduling, homework, and every-present electronic devices may make these seem easier said than done, but Dr. Bhargava offers realistic, balanced advice that will help you prioritize health and restore the happiness of childhood.

Out in February


Dignity in a Digital Age by Congressman Ro Khanna, Silicon Valley’s Member of Congress

Release Date: February 1, 2022

Born into an immigrant family, Khanna understands how economic opportunity can change the course of a person’s life. Anchored by an approach Khanna refers to as “progressive capitalism,” he shows how democratizing access to tech can strengthen every sector of economy and culture. By expanding technological jobs nationwide through public and private partnerships, we can close the wealth gap in America and begin to repair the fractured, distrusting relationships that have plagued our country for far too long.

Moving deftly between storytelling, policy, and some of the country’s greatest thinkers in political philosophy and economics, Khanna presents a bold vision we can’t afford to ignore. Dignity in a Digital Age is a roadmap to how we can seek dignity for every American in an era in which technology shapes every aspect of our lives.

Indiaspora hosted a Virtual Salon with Q&A with the Congressman Wednesday, March 2, 2022 at 5 pm Pacific Time / 8 pm Eastern. To watch, click here.

Rep. Khanna represents California’s 17th Congressional District, located in the heart of Silicon Valley, and is serving his third term. He sits on the House Committees on Agriculture, Armed Services, and Oversight and Reform, where he chairs the Environmental Subcommittee. Additionally, he is the Deputy Whip of the Congressional Progressive Caucus; serves as an Assistant Whip for the Democratic Caucus and is the Democratic Vice Chair of the House Caucus on India and Indian Americans.


Lifepass: Drop Your Limits, Rise to Your Potential by founder of ClassPass Payal Kadakia

Release Date: February 15, 2022

When Payal Kadakia let go of the pressure to achieve a traditional kind of success, she tuned in to her passion and built ClassPass into a billion-dollar business. While on her own journey, she discovered that there are common perceptions and limits that hold people back from pursuing what they love and fulfilling their potential. Through research and reflection, Kadakia developed a new way of thinking to work through those constraints.​

In this book she reveals her groundbreaking approach to goalsetting—the LifePassMethod—that not only changed her career,but her entire life. Using Kadakia’s four-step approach you will reflect on your life, identify your dreams, put yourself back in charge of your priorities, and make progress toward specific, measurable goals across your life. LifePass is filled with inspiring stories and exercises to help you pause and reflect on your own wants, needs, and patterns to ensure you are staying true to yourself and what you want out of life. You will learn to push through limits, fuel your life with purpose, and accomplish more of what’s meaningful to you. ​ It’s time to live by your own rules. LifePass shows you how.

Indiaspora is hosting a Virtual Salon with Q&A with Payal Thursday, March 17, 2022 at 5 pm Pacific Time / 8 pm Eastern. To attend, register here.

Note: This event is intended for young professionals ages 18-35.

Payal is a mother, artist and entrepreneur. She is the founder of ClassPass, a fitness and wellness subscription platform valued at over $1 Billion and acquired in October 2021, as well as the founder and artistic director of the Sa Dance Company, created with a mission to increase awareness of Indian dance in the mainstream and serve as a platform for expressing the Indian-American identity. Payal has been listed as Fast Company’s 100 Most Creative People and was named to Fortune’s 40 under 40 list.

Out in January


United Mind: Rethinking How We Lead Our Lives, Work Together, and Change Our World by Amita Shukla

Release Date: January 28, 2022

This is a guide for our times. In a world where we are drowning in data yet hungry for wisdom, moving ever faster yet confused where we are headed, and feeling divided yet longing for connection, this is a call to pause. It is an invitation to turn our attention from the challenges of our lives, work, and world to the space where our answers and solutions reside—our own mind.

United Mind leads you on an inward journey guided by a simple concept: Most of our thoughts emerge in three basic states of mind that drive our doing, thinking, and being. When we don’t know how these states run our mind, it can feel like a space divided against itself and lead to the many challenges and struggles we face. When these states unite in harmony, we gain clarity and wisdom to creatively rethink how we lead our lives, work together, and change our world.

This book is for any mind curious about itself. It builds on concepts first shared in Enduring Edge: Transforming How We Think, Create and Change (yet assumes no familiarity with that book). United Mind reflects the stories and experiences of readers, audiences, and students who played with the concept of the three states to transform their own minds and lives. It offers simple practices and practical insights to help us unlock our mind’s limitless talents and transcend its limiting traps. Ultimately, it leads us to realize that everything we experience—within and in the world—reflects our state of mind.


Leadership to Last by Harvard Business School Professors Geoffrey Jones and Tarun Khanna

Release Date: January 24, 2022

Society tends to glorify the get-rich-quick entrepreneur–who builds a company, takes it public and then (maybe) contributes to charity. Geoffrey Jones and Tarun Khanna interview iconic leaders in India who have demonstrated leadership to last. There are leaders from South Asia and other emerging markets as well to illustrate that the ideas Indian entrepreneurs speak about are echoed by their counterparts in the Global South. All these magnates–Ratan Tata, Anu Aga, Adi Godrej, Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, Devi Shetty and Rahul Bajaj, to name a few–have built, to general acclaim and acknowledgement, organizations that are seen as forward-looking and innovative. They subscribe to a code of ethics and contribute to the betterment of society. The authors demonstrate that this is a lot harder to achieve than unicorn status.

The authors corroborate how these stories are less about building a get-rich-quick organization and much more about triggering foundational and institutional change in society. These interviews eloquently lay out the opportunities and challenges of today and the future. The profiled leaders inspire awe by displaying audacity of intent, humility of demeanour and steadfastness of purpose.

Geoffrey is the Isidor Straus Professor of Business History, and Faculty Chair of the School’s Business History Initiative. He holds degrees of BA, MA and PhD from Cambridge University, UK. He has an honorary Doctorate in Economics and Business Administration from Copenhagen Business School, Denmark, and an honorary PhD from the University of Helsinki, Finland.

Tarun is the Jorge Paulo Lemann Professor at the Harvard Business School and Director of the Lakshmi Mittal and Family South Asia Institute. For over two decades, he has studied entrepreneurship as a means to social and economic development in emerging markets. At HBS since 1993, after obtaining degrees from Princeton and Harvard, he has taught courses on strategy, corporate governance and international business to MBA and Ph.D. students and senior executives.

Out in 2021


The Invisible Majority: India’s Abled and Disabled by journalist C.K. Meena and V.R. Ferose, an Inclusion leader

Release Date: December 3, 2021

Sixteen fractures and eight surgeries caused by brittle bone disease could not stop Ummul Kher from cracking the prestigious IAS exam and joining the civil services. The determination of homemaker Smrithy Rajesh to educate her child affected by autism and ADHD empowered her to forge a career path for herself. Inspired by a blind friend, Pancham Cajla successfully transformed several railway stations, making them accessible to the visually impaired.

These are only a few of the umpteen stories of resilience, courage and remarkable determination that offer a sensitive, holistic view of the lives of persons with disabilities in this much-needed book for today’s India. Navigating a range of topics with lucid ease – from history and laws to widespread social attitudes – it meticulously records and amplifies the diverse, vibrant voices of persons with disabilities. Equally, it turns its gaze on those inextricably linked to their lives – health professionals, educators, trainers, employers, caregivers and activists – highlighting the key roles they play. Insightful, informative and moving, The Invisible Majority: India’s Abled Disabled is a timely and invaluable book that inspires societal transformation while addressing the crucial question: how do we make India a more inclusive nation?

Ferose’s Medium article on why he wrote the book.

The Invisible Majority | Kepler’s Books ( All proceeds go to Kepler’s, an independent bookstore in Menlo.

C. K. Meena is a journalist, novelist and newspaper columnist. She started her career at The City Tab, a Bangalore weekly tabloid, in the 1980s and worked at Deccan Herald from 1986–93, after which she co-founded the Asian College of Journalism in Bangalore.

Ferose heads the SAP Academy for Engineering. He formerly headed the Globalization Services unit and was responsible for enabling the global adoption of SAP products worldwide. Ferose is the Chairperson on the Board of Specialisterne USA, a not-for profit foundation with the goal to create one million jobs for people with autism and similar challenges. He is the founder of the India Inclusion Foundation, a nonprofit that aims to bring the topic of inclusion to the forefront in India. He also has co-authored a best- selling book on people with disabilities, GIFTED. He is also an Indiaspora Patron member.


Unshackling India: Hard Truths and Clear Choices for Economic Revival by scholars Ajay Chhibber and Salman Anees Soz

Release Date: November 29, 2021

As India enters its seventy-fifth year of independence, conventional policy is unlikely to combat the breadth of its economic challenges. Across a range of areas-human capital, technology, agriculture, finance, trade, public service delivery and more-new ideas must now be on the table. The COVID-19 pandemic has not only cost India many lives and livelihoods, it has also exposed major structural weaknesses in the economy.

Unshackling India examines the question: Can India use the next twenty-five years, when it will reach the hundredth year of independence, to restructure not only its economy but rejuvenate its democratic energy and unshackle its potential-to become a genuinely developed economy by 2047? The book argues that India can foster a prosperous and inclusive economy if it sets its mind to it, acknowledges the hard truths, and lays out the clear choices and new ideas India must adopt towards that end.

Ajay is Distinguished Visiting Scholar at the Institute of International Economic Policy, George Washington University, and Non-Resident Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council. He was Distinguished Visiting Professor at the National Institute for Public Finance and Policy and India’s first Director General of Independent Evaluation with the status of Minister of State in 2013-14. From 2008-2013 he was UN Assistant Secretary-General, Assistant Administrator at UNDP. He holds a PhD from Stanford University.

Salman is an economic development consultant, author and commentator. He has extensive experience across a range of economic development issues in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, Middle East and North Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. He serves as a consultant to multiple World Bank teams and was previously a consultant at the Asian Development Bank. He holds a master’s degree in business administration from Yale University, and a master’s degree in economics from Northeastern University.


You Can’t Be Serious by Kal Penn, American actor, author and former White House staff member

Release Date: November 2, 2021

You Can’t Be Serious is a series of funny, consequential, awkward, and ridiculous stories from Kal Penn’s idiosyncratic life. It’s about being the grandson of Gandhian freedom fighters, and the son of immigrant parents: people who came to this country with very little and went very far—and whose vision of the American dream probably never included their son sliding off an oiled-up naked woman in the raunchy Ryan Reynolds movie Van Wilder…or getting a phone call from Air Force One as Kal flew with the country’s first Black president.

With intelligence, humor, and charm on every page, Kal reflects on the most exasperating and rewarding moments from his journey so far. He pulls back the curtain on the nuances of opportunity and racism in the entertainment industry and recounts how he built allies, found encouragement, and dealt with early reminders that he might never fit in. He describes his initially unpromising first date with his now-fiancé Josh, involving an 18-pack of Coors Light and an afternoon of watching NASCAR. And of course, he reveals how, after a decade and a half of fighting for and enjoying successes in Hollywood, he made the terrifying but rewarding decision to take a sabbatical from a fulfilling acting career for an opportunity to serve his country as an Obama White House aide.

Above all, You Can’t Be Serious shows that everyone can have more than one life story. Kal demonstrates by example that no matter who you are and where you come from, you have many more choices than those presented to you. It’s a story about struggle, triumph, and learning how to keep your head up. And okay, yes, it’s also about how he accidentally (and very stupidly) accepted an invitation to take the entire White House Office of Public Engagement to a strip club—because, let’s be honest, that’s the kind of stuff you really want to hear about.


My Life in Full: Work, Family, and Our Future by Indra Nooyi, Former Chairperson & CEO, PepsiCo

Release Date: September 28, 2021

For a dozen years as one of the world’s most admired CEOs, Indra Nooyi redefined what it means to be an exceptional leader. The first woman of color and immigrant to run a Fortune 50 company — and one of the foremost strategic thinkers of our time — she transformed PepsiCo with a unique vision, a vigorous pursuit of excellence, and a deep sense of purpose. Now, in a rich memoir brimming with grace, grit, and good humor, My Life in Full offers a firsthand view of Nooyi’s legendary career and the sacrifices it so often demanded.  

Nooyi takes us through the events that shaped her, from her childhood and early education in 1960s India, to the Yale School of Management, to her rise as a corporate consultant and strategist who soon ascended into the most senior executive ranks. The book offers an inside look at PepsiCo, and Nooyi’s thinking as she steered the iconic American company toward healthier products and reinvented its environmental profile, despite resistance at every turn. 

For the first time and in raw detail, Nooyi also lays bare the difficulties that came with managing her demanding job with a growing family, and what she learned along the way. She makes a clear, actionable, urgent call for business and government to prioritize the care ecosystem, paid leave and work flexibility, and a convincing argument for how improving company and community support for young family builders will unleash the economy’s full potential. 

Generous, authoritative, and grounded in lived experience, My Life in Full is the story of an extraordinary leader’s life, a moving tribute to the relationships that created it, and a blueprint for 21st century prosperity.

January 29, former Chairman and CEO of Pepsico Indra Nooyi joined our members for a Virtual Salon to discuss her new book My Life in Full: Work, Family, and Our Future.

Our event was live-streamed to our Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Youtube channels on Saturday, January 29th at 8:00 am PT | 11:00 am ET.


Winning in the Digital Age by Nitin Seth, CEO of Incedo Inc.

Release Date: July 15, 2021

The practical handbook for understanding and winning in the post-COVID digital age and becoming a 21st century leader.

For every enterprise and its leaders, the digital age is a roller-coaster ride with more than its fair share of thrills and spills. It presents them with great opportunities to leapfrog and grow. However, success is not easy in the Digital Age. It requires a complete overhaul of the business model and organizational design, and the mind-sets of professionals. Such a large and complex change is not easy to manage, and enterprises often lose their way in their digital transformation attempts.

Nitin brings in this book his 25+ years of experience in leadership roles in world-class firms like McKinsey and Fidelity and Digital natives like Flipkart and Incedo. He presents compelling insights and practical examples and answers key questions on how enterprises can win in the Digital Age. Nitin brings clarity to the transformation process, breaking it down into seven building blocks and presenting how best to master them.

Nitin’s Q&A interview in Sunday Guardian.

Nitin is an industry leader with a unique combination of experiences as a global manager, entrepreneur, and management consultant. Nitin is the CEO of Incedo Inc, a high growth technology services firm focused on digital transformation and analytics. Prior to Incedo, Nitin has held several top management positions, including COO of Flipkart, India’s largest e-commerce company; Managing Director and Country Head for Fidelity International in India; and Director of McKinsey’s Global Knowledge Centre in India. He is also an Indiaspora Benefactor member.


Note: Information on these books was compiled from publishers’ websites, Amazon, or other public sources.