“Most people don’t worry about personal finance enough”

Manoj Shrivastava, Executive Director – IT, Sistema Shyam Teleservices Ltd, talks about the motivation behind writing a book on establishing financial independence. By Pooja Paryani

In his 26 years in the IT industry, Manoj Shrivastava has served large corporates like Bharti Airtel and Reliance ADA Group in senior leadership roles. An engineering graduate from SGSITS, Indore, Manoj has a post-graduate degree in computer engineering from the Indian Institute of Science, and a global CIO certification from Indian School of Business. In Sistema Shyam Teleservices Ltd, Manoj is responsible for IT leadership and strategy, technology transformation, service delivery, and stakeholder engagement. For his achievements in IT he was recognised as a Telecom Icon in CIO Power List 2016.

As passionate as he is about IT, there’s another topic equally close to Manoj’s heart—finance, specifically personal finance. For the last few years, Manoj has been on a mission to educate the Indian youth on the importance of financial planning. His soon to be launched book, The Key: Discover the key to Financial Freedom and Wealth Creation, is part of that endeavour.

How come an IT Leader is writing about Personal Finance?
“That is the USP of the book, that it is written by a non-finance professional. The other USP is that it is a story. Stories help in understanding concepts in an unstructured manner and help readers internalise the learning better. Most people who are not from a finance background actually fear the topic. They get lost when they are talking to their financial advisors and therefore make uninformed decisions regarding their finances. I too was in the same boat 13 to 14 years ago. Even with the best education and 10 years of work experience I was literally financially broke. A few friends helped me to understand some key concepts regarding personal finance and I started with baby steps. The book is the gist of my experience in the last 12 years.”

What’s the purpose of the book?
“Schools and colleges make you ready for a job. They empower you with knowledge and skills that are required to earn a living. Unfortunately no one teaches you how to grow money and become rich.  When one reaches the age of 30-35 years he/she realises there’s a need to set finances in order. That is when one realises that though they have the will they don’t have the skill to do so. The book is written to address this gap.

“Most problems in life are due to money and/or relationships. Sometimes relationship problems are also due to money. We face certain situations and realise that we have not planned for them; and I don’t mean insurance here. I mean we have not planned for such situations financially. Also, the youth today have some wrong impressions about investments. They think that the sole purpose of life is to enjoy and live in the moment. They do not prepare for the future. It’s only when they see the fruits of their investments that they realise that there’s nothing more exhilarating than seeing their money grow. The book therefore showcases the art and craft of growing money.”

What practical benefits does it give readers?
The Key is written as a story and there are innumerable benefits for readers. The new economy has brought more opportunities and more aspirations. The modern Indian youth realises that he can create wealth and become rich and also aspires to fulfil all his life’s desires as soon as possible. This leads to a dilemma—whether to live life in the present or live it for the future. The Key answers these life questions in simple terms. The book provides a blueprint for readers to achieve any objective in life, be it their child’s education, a trip abroad, their child’s marriage, their retirement, etc. It lays down a step-by-step process to put the readers on the path to wealth creation. The book covers a waterwheel model I’ve devised that can be used as a guide to create wealth.

What’s the central plot in the book?
“I will only give a teaser. The Key is the story of Sanjay and Sridhar who face some difficult situations in life and realise that it is their lack of financial literacy that has led them to this situation. Fortunately they find mentors in Shriva and Manu, who explain the concepts of finance in simple and lucid terms. This motivates them to follow the path of wealth creation and financial freedom, besides steering them out of the current situation they are facing.”

“Those interested can download a free ebook Leading To The Key from, and also get a discount on the book when it is launched in end-November 2016.” 

Categories:   People, Interviews


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