My Novel ‘Spy from Unaula’ covered on TV Asia and Radio Desi Junction in USA

It was a cold November evening in Chicago. The snow storm just before Thanksgiving was unexpected. The chill took the mercury down from seven degrees to minus twelve Celsius in matter of few hours. I could see nothing but white everywhere outside. Holed up in my hotel room, I was wondering if I did wrong by not bringing adequate winter clothing. Chicago is not new to me. It has been my destination for work for last more than six years apart from my hometown Pune. This time too, I was busy planning my work for the next day and thinking about the untimely chill that prevented me to even walk down to the nearest Mexican joint ‘Chillis’ for my evening bite.

It was just that time, I got a call from my friend who was graceful enough to give me a ride and also give me company at the Indian restaurant ‘India House’ for the evening. In just thirty minutes I was there with welcome warmth of the people around. Ravi Rawat, the partner of the restaurant, who happened to know me since last few years happened to be there. For next two hours we all sat relishing delicacies after delicacies and finally ended up in hot cup of Indian tea. It was then that the topic of my new book ‘Spy from Unaula’ came up. They all heard the story in rapt attention for next more than thirty minutes.

Next evening, Ravi called me on my phone. ‘Alok, I spoke about your book to my friend Jassi Parmar who operates the famous FM channel ‘Desi Junction’ from Chicago. He is highly interested to know more about the book and the story of the Indian spy. Meanwhile I have a copy of your book that we would like you to autograph.’

In a couple of hours I was sitting with Jassi. A simple looking person who came to meet me with his son. The story was repeated and more questions were asked. Jassi expressed his desire to cover my book and the story in his Saturday afternoon prime time radio program ‘ Jassi Di Lassi’. The initial recording was done in the office of a common friend Neil.

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(From Left to Right) Rajiv, Jassi Parmar (Radio Jockey), myself, Neil Khot and Ravi Rawat after my Radio Interview in Chicago

I was thrilled when the program started. Ravi, like a strong supporter of my book coordinated everything. I was hooked to my mobile phone, streaming the radio program and listening to every word Jassi was talking. He ended up building a great pitch by talking about the book and the snippets of the book all throughout the program. Finally, at the end I got a call from the radio station for coming live on the program for an interview, followed by my favourite patriotic song. It was a great feeling with so many people hearing me over the world.

I thought, this was it and I should get back to my work like any ordinary person. Back in the evening, I got a call from Neil. ‘Alok, Vandana from TV Asia is interested in covering you and wanted to know more about your book. Would you be interested.’

Next evening I was at Neil’s house shooting for the interview. Vandana was very patient with me and taught me how to give a great interview. I tried my best. I never thought that I would get so much attention in US and that too when I am there not for the publicly of my book, but for my work.

The interview was telecast on TV Asia on Friday evening, a day after I left back for India. My friends were kind enough to record the program on their phones and upload them over the YouTube. More than the feeling of being an author, I have been thinking about the warmth the Indian community brings to one of theirs and celebrate small successes like a big one. They share happiness and sorrows together and look to hold on to their roots and identity with someone like me and my book that inspired them beyond my imagination.

I thank all my friends who made my trip a great one by making me feel special.



Alok Kumar

Alok Kumar is Managing Partner of SRKay Consulting group, a private equity company, nurturing innovative ventures. Alok also serves on the board of ICCL (Indian Clearing Corporation Limited - A subsidiary of BSE- Bombay Stock Exchange) as an external advisor for technology and information security. Prior to this, Alok had been Managing Director of Sears IT & Management Services India Private Limited (SHI) since its inception in December 2009 and served in the same position till very recently. Having been in senior IT management positions in Fortune 500 companies, Alok has won several national and international awards. Alok is instrumental in planning and setting up SHI and thereafter growing it to a multi-locational thousand-plus people organization. Over the last five years, with his strategic vision, Alok helped SHI grow roots in India, develop and support technology applications and infrastructure across core mainframe, cutting edge e-Commerce and big data technologies. With his unique people-oriented transformational leadership style, Alok turned SHI into one of the most valued investments of Sears, garnering great ROIs, and creating value much beyond cost arbitrage. Under his tutelage, SHI has filed two patents and is recognized widely for its best practices in various areas, the latter, currently featured in Indian Institute of Management (IIM) case studies. SHI also became a CMMI Level 3, PCMM Level 3, and ISO 20000 certified organization. Alok is a widely acclaimed corporate leader in India today. He regularly participates and leads various forums as a keynote speaker and is an author of several books in different genres. Alok has several awards to his credit. He is particularly known in the industry for his people management skills and innovative ideas in improving the productivity of employees through unique people practices. He has been credited with the following industry awards: ¬ Emerging Leader of the Year award 2013 by ¬ Game Changer CEO of the Year 2013 (SHRM) ¬ CIO 100 - The Bold CIOs - 2008 (Reliance Infosolutions) ¬ CIO - Ones to Watch Award 2008 (Reliance Industries) ¬ Extended Manager Award - CIOL 2004 (Tata Teleservices) As an able leader of SHI, Alok got SHI recognized widely in the industry with the following several awards: ¬ CII Award for HR Best Practices in 2014 ¬ Global Excellence in Outsourcing Award - AIOP (Phoenix 2013) ¬ IT Innovation Award (Design & Engineering) - Computer Society of India 2012 ¬ Golden Company of the Year - Economic Times 2011-12 ¬ 7th Employer Branding Awards - World HRD Congress (Mumbai, India) 2013: • ‘Asia’s Best Employer’ Award • ‘Best HR Strategy’ in line with business • HR Leadership Award • Talent Management Award by Bloomberg TV India ¬ Employer Branding Awards - World HRD Congress (Singapore, Asia) 2013: • 7th rank in ‘Asia’s Best Employer’ award • Award for ‘Best HR Strategy’ in line with the business • HR Leadership Award Other recognitions: Alok had served on the distinguished panel of NASSCOM's GIC (Global In-house Centers) National Council members. The council members play a key role in major initiatives of the industry and include the torch bearers of IT industry as panel members. Books and Papers: Alok is an established author, with three books to his credit. Alok’s third and latest book, a novel, “The Spy from Unaula” is a 2015 publication. A handwriting analysis enthusiast, Alok collaborated with his wife Nandani on the book, “Handwriting Speaks” in 2006. “Value Sourcing – Future of IT Outsourcing” was co-authored with Keith Sherwell (currently CIO, Altice USA) and was released in 2013. Alok also researched and published two whitepapers: a. “Creating next generation captives” talks about the best practices that are helping generate higher value from the IT company captives.

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