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Mainak Dhar: Take some time off every day not to ‘do stuff’ but to re-energise


About the Author


An alumnus of IIM Ahmedabad with 25 years of experience in blue-chip multinationals, Mainak is the CEO of a multinational firm for India and South Asia. His passions outside of work are family, writing, and fitness.

Mainak is a bestselling author with over 15 books to his credit and holds a black belt in karate. Among all the hats that he wears, he considers his most important role to be the best possible husband and father he can be.


Exclusive Author Interview


Q. Tell us something about your book BRAND NEW START.

Brand New Start aims to equip readers, especially those still in college and looking to start their careers; or those early in their careers, how they can fast-start their careers by being more thoughtful and intentional about the personal brand they create.

Q. What inspired you to write this book?

My journey began in the early days of the lockdown. I had heard of people losing jobs, or facing career uncertainties with the looming COVID-19 crisis.

Other than being a writer, my day job is in the corporate world, where I’ve spent twenty-five years and I’ve always been passionate about coaching people.

So, I put out a post on LinkedIn offering to help those who needed a hand with their careers.

Within a couple of weeks, over two dozen young people had reached out, largely those early in their careers without established networks or mentors.

I began chatting with them; helping someone craft their resume or helping someone think through which career option to pursue.

I spotted many common threads in these conversations- getting people to think of choosing options which fit them versus just chasing someone else’s definition of success, being aware of how they could differentiate themselves versus just flaunting degrees and years of experience, and how they could show up in a more intentional manner at key ‘moments of truth’ like interviews.

I began to think that it would be more useful to more people if I put all of these learnings down in the form of a book, and Brand New Start was born.

Q. How reading your book can change an individual's life?

It would be highly pretentious to say that reading any book would change a person’s life, but I hope readers enjoy reading the book, and hopefully take away some new ways of thinking of how they could build their careers, and themselves.

Q. One thing every entrepreneur should do daily?

Not just entrepreneurs, but every single person should take some time off every day not to ‘do stuff’ but to re-energise, get in touch with how they’re feeling, think of ideas.

We get too caught up doing stuff (meetings, emails, work) that we forget to keep time for ourselves. Do whatever works for you- for me, it’s my early morning run every day.

Q. What keeps you motivated?

Knowing that there are people counting on me to do the best I can for them. Starting with my wife and son. Then the people at work, and finally readers who I’m connecting with through my writing.

Q. What is your work schedule like when you're writing?

I wake up very early and run for about 90 minutes. When I’m working on a book, that’s typically when I’m thinking of ideas. I get about 30 minutes of writing done, then wake up my son for school, work out a bit more, and then get ready for the office.

Then it’s breakfast with my wife and then begin work at the office. That’s my routine!

Doesn’t sound like a lot of writing each day, but with a family and a full-time job, I’ve realised that the only way I can do justice to all the roles I have is to do a little bit of writing every single day and be disciplined about it.

When we were travelling on work in the pre-COVID days, I’d also get a fair bit of writing done on flights, in airport lounges, etc.

Q. What do you like to do when you're not writing?

My life’s pretty simple. It’s family first and foremost, so if I have any spare time, it’s spent with my wife and son. Then, it’s all the people at work who are counting on me.

Finally, it’s getting some everyday time for me for my fitness and my writing. That’s what you’ll find me doing on any given day.

Q. Future of through your eyes?

You’ve built a great network of young people. Your future should be about how you harness that to generate meaningful conversation and ideas about the things that really matter.

We as a nation face many challenges, but equally have exciting opportunities, and you could really use your network to start generating ideas and conversations about these, to get the youth involved in issues that matter.

Get a contest going on ideas to solve some social or economic issues; have startups or entrepreneurs engage with your network to crowd-source ideas; have people share career advice and learnings so they can learn from each other.

Young people are our future, and you should think of how you harness your own energy and that of your network to engage in things around you that will make a positive difference.


About the Book


Brand New Start empowers and equips young employees to fast-start their careers by unlocking the X factor of their personal brand.

Studying in college or business school and wondering what it takes to land your dream job?

Early in your career and wondering how to set yourself up for success?

Feeling off-track after just a couple of years of working and wondering how to find an opportunity that fits you better?

If you find yourself nodding to any of these questions, then this is the book for you. Brand New Start teaches you that a lot of success at the start of your career hinges on how well you understand, articulate and present the most important brand you can work on.


Combining the wisdom and experience of a CEO gained over two and a half decades in the corporate world with the accessible and engaging storytelling of a bestselling novelist, Brand New Start is a unique book.

It will make you reflect, smile, rethink some things you've taken for granted, and ultimately equip you with practical advice on how to build a more authentic, more compelling and more differentiated personal brand as a cornerstone of your career success.



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