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20 September 2016

Book Review: Faster, Higher, Smarter - Utkarsh Rai

I have not read many books in this genre so I was really not sure what to be expected here. While I have heard of several that address a similar point, Utkarsh Rai's book - Faster, Higher, Smarter is targeted mostly at middle managers and people who are going through a transitional phase in their career. This also happens to be one of the first books that I have come across to have been written by an Indian addressing the bull by its horns.


Split across 8 parts, the book aims to address different sets of values and some people management methods.

Managing Self
Managing your Manager
Managing your Team
Managing your Peers
Managing your Managers Boss
Managing Managers Peers
Managing Others
Managing the Acrobatics of the future.

The book often takes leaves out of the author's own life and how he managed the situation. There is also an honest attempt to capture the various problems some high fliers faced during their early career and how they managed to make the best use of the situation in their favor.

The usage of simple language and thought provoking quotes at the start of each chapter motivate you to aim higher and achieve better than the best. It gives you a connect with the situations that are described and makes you feel the pang of not having had such a book earlier in your career.

The book tends to slow down and lose pace several times in the course of reading and sounds monotonus. However, the non-fiction genre is never meant to be kept exciting and has a different audience to address who are used to such a tone.

The book is recommended read no matter what stage of your career you are in. It does a decent job of guiding you ahead and preparing you in terms of what to talk, how to talk and how to be ahead in your career.

This review is a part of Flipkart Sponsored Book review program. To pick up your copy of this book just click here

About the Book:

Title : Faster, Smarter, Higher : Managing Your Career
Author :  Utkarsh Rai
Publisher : Rupa Publications India
Genre : Non Fiction / Management
ISBN : 9788129137500, 812913750X

27 January 2016

Hangout with Honda - Honda Connect

Honda invited us over a few days back to hangout with them and learn what they have been up to and what's new with them. I have been following up with the auto industry and have been kind of fascinated by the way the cars behave now. The cars that are manufactured now have ECUs which are computers in their own word. The data from these can be read from a port that has been in all cars that were manufactured since 1996 in the USA. This port is known as an OBD2 port (On Board Diagnostics Version 2 Port). Wikipedia and Geek My Ride say that there is a treasure trove of data that can be unlocked and read. At best, to put it in short, this can unlock a minimum of Gas Efficiency, Car Location from an on board GPS Module, decode engine light reasons (Defect Tracking Code) etc. Using this, Honda has come up with an app that provides this information and more.

Honda Connect available from Google Play Store and iTunes provides the below features:

  • Track Fuel Efficiency
  • Track the trip details
  • Identify the location of the parked car
  • Identify the Service History and provide Service Reminders
  • Provide a method to contact the dealer to schedule an appointment.
  • Provide a direct connection with the Honda Call Center.
  • Send your location details to your loved ones so that they can track you when you are travelling there by reducing the pain of knowing where you have reached.
  • Distress Identification and Help from Honda
  • And many more features
We tested the application in real time to know how it performed under various conditions. We were given a Honda car and the application installed in our phones monitoring the car that we were driving. We were simply amazed by the sheer accuracy and the speed at which the enter set up performed including the Distress Id and Help. We induced a defect into the running car. We were told that the same car is visible on a dashboard to the employees at the Honda Call Center. They have a turn around time of less than 5 mins in each case. We received a call in less than 2 mins and the exact problem was explained to us. We were also directed to the nearest dealer and told that they would be expecting us. All in all, it was a pleasant experience using the app.