Anand Mahindra’s Reading List: 7 Book Recommendations for Your Next Pick

Seven good reads from across genres that come highly recommended by the chairman of Mahindra Group, Anand Mahindra.

Something that fascinates me as an avid reader is finding out what books fellow readers like. This knowing creates a sense of camaraderie between readers. It is especially interesting to find out about books that world leaders and business people read.

Luckily for us, Anand Mahindra, entrepreneur and chairman of Mahindra Group, often takes to Twitter to make his book recommendations known. 

Here are seven books he highly recommends to put on your list:

1. Girl Power – Indian Women Who Broke The Rules

Written by: Neha J Hiranandani

Fifty awesome women. Fifty awe-inspiring stories. One defining moment. Scientists, artists, entrepreneurs, scholars, athletes and queens, the book traces the journeys of these Indian women and their extraordinary lives. This book is a fantastic read for the next generation and Anand Mahindra agrees.

In his tweet dated 7 November 2019, Mahindra says that bringing up two daughters of his own, he has never doubted the power of girls. The book has stories of inspiring women like Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw and Indra Nooyi and also untold stories of women like Manju Devi, the first woman porter of North-West Railways among many others.

Pick up your copy here.

2. Race for Tomorrow – Survival, Innovation and Profit on the Front Lines of the Climate Crisis

Written by: Simon Mundy

A book cover with yellow and teal background, with text

In this extraordinary journey through 26 countries, Simon Mundy meets the people on the front lines of the climate crisis, showing how the struggle to respond is already reshaping the modern world-shattering communities, shaking up global business and propelling a ground-breaking wave of cutting-edge innovation.

Telling unforgettable human stories from six continents, this is an account of the disaster, promise, frantic adaptation and relentless innovation, hope, survival, and the forces that will define our future.

In his Tweet on 28 October 2021, Mahindra posted a video of the book with the title – ‘the video says it all’.

Pick up your copy here.

3. Iqbal Singh Chahal – Covid Warrior

Written by: Minhaz Merchant

Set in Mumbai, this book reveals the inside story of how the Commissioner of the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM), Iqbal Singh Chahal, along with his team, tackled the COVID-19 pandemic with a series of innovations acclaimed globally as the ‘Mumbai Model’. The MCGM’s success in controlling the pandemic, including in Asia’s biggest slum – Dharavi, where physical distancing is impossible, has drawn praise from among others the World Bank, the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the US Congress.

Mahindra in his tweet dated 24 May 2022, describes the book as an inspiring story of the defeat of the Coronavirus in the financial capital of India.

Pick up your copy here.

4. A Promised Land

Written by: Barack Obama

A Promised Land is the autobiography of USA’s 44th President Barack Obama. It details the life of Obama, including his youth and how he rose to fame and success as a US president.

In Mahindra’s tweet dated 19 June 2021, Mahindra said, “Never thought I’d describe an autobiography as a page-turner, filled with nail-biting suspense. But I guess the life of an American President would have more twists and turns than a Netflix thriller. Read this for an example of the prudent and judicious exercise of enormous power.”

Pick up your copy here.

5. Inside Out Leadership

Written by: Rajiv Vij

Anchored in the principles of personal mastery, Rajiv describes how deepening your self-awareness, learning to regulate your emotional triggers and reforming your conditioned beliefs, aligning your life and work to a higher purpose, and consistently taking responsibility for your actions not only make you an inspirational leader but also directly contributes to your happiness, balance and fulfilment.

In his tweet dated 14 October 2021, Mahindra said, “The Inside-Out approach described in this book, is crucial for anyone trying to be a better leader. I’ve written the foreword because I am a great admirer of Rajiv and I believe this book will significantly influence your life and leadership.”

Pick up your copy here.

6. Those Magnificent Women and their Flying Machines: ISRO’S Mission to Mars 

Written by: Minnie Vaid

Those Magnificent Women and Their Flying Machines narrates the inspiring stories of some extraordinary women: how they overcame the naysayers and gender barriers in a field dominated by men to achieve the impossible.

“Optimistic that it will encourage many young girls to pursue STEM in India and follow the ISRO women’s path to glory,” tweeted Mahindra on 20 April 2019.

Pick up your copy here.

7. Accidental India: A History of the Nation’s Passage through Crisis and Change

Written by: Shankkar Aiyar

In this book, the author examines India’s ascent through the paradigm of seven game changers: the economic liberalisation of 1991, the Green Revolution of the sixties, the nationalisation of banks in 1969, Operation Flood in the seventies, the mid-day meal scheme of 1982, the software revolution of the nineties, and the passing of the Right to Information Act in 2005. He argues that these turning points in the country’s history were not the result of foresight or careful planning but were rather the accidental consequences of major crises that had to be resolved at any cost.

In his tweet dated 26 October 2012, Mahindra said, “Now reading Accidental India by

Shankkar Aiyar who proves change arrives in India only in the wake of crises. Great timing!”

Pick up your copy here.

(Edited by Yoshita Rao)

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