5 Must Read Books For MBA New Joinees

I have been getting quite a few queries from would be b-school joinees on the best way to prepare for their MBA. Some are focusing on a particular job profile while others are not sure about what specialisation they want to get into.

To be honest, it is very difficult to “prepare”. Your own idea of what you want to do and where you want to pursue your career will most likely change. B-School is a journey and I believe that the best thing one can do is to develop new perspectives. And the best possible way to do that is by reading books.

Here is the list of 5 must-read books for B-School new joiners:

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The Purple Cow by Seth Godin

This book is a must read for all marketers. Philip Kotler will soon be taking a chunk of your time in the coming year. But before you get busy with marketing theories, frameworks and traditional marketing Gyaan it is important to remember how to separate the wheat from the chaff, and this book does exactly that. Although published a decade ago, the lessons of this book are very much relevant. It drills into your mind why standing out is important (especially in an overcrowded market like India) and why advertising your product is not same as solving a customer’s problem.

PS: If you don’t know who Seth Godin is, checkout his videos on YouTube.


Zero to One by Peter Thiel

There are a lot of books out there for entrepreneurs talking about the life journeys of successful entrepreneurs. This book, however, is not about Peter Thiel or the PayPal Mafia. It is a no non-sense take on the importance of creating new things to solve problems and the need create niche monopolies to dominate a market. It is short and easy to read. Must for all budding entrepreneurs.


The Rise and Fall of Nations by Ruchir Sharma 

I consider this book as one of my favourites. The author is the Head of Emerging Markets and Chief Global Strategist at Morgan Stanley.  The book does not have theories or economic models. Instead, the author tells you about 10 rules that will help you predict the direction a country will take. And the rules are not what the conventional economists use. Although a bit bigger than the other books in the list, it is full of interesting anecdotes, which will keep you, engaged. A must read for future Consultants and Investment Bankers.


China’s Disruptors by Edward Tse

Surprisingly most b-schools do not cover the China phenomenon in detail (except for the occasional case study). The Chinese economic transformation is important to understand as sooner or later you will be dealing with Chinese customers or business partners. This book takes you through the background and how economic policies gave rise to different waves of entrepreneurs in China.  There are numerous examples of Chinese entrepreneurs sharing their experiences. The book also talks about the differences in Chinese Business/Legal environment and what opportunities are bound to open up as China continues to reform.


Alibaba’s World by Porter Erisman

This book is an insider’s take on the rise of Jack Ma and his Mega Giant company Alibaba. Based on the documentary “Crocodile in the Yangtze” made by the author, it covers the pre-IPO time of how Alibaba came to exist when Internet was just taking off in China. The story a humble English teacher who took on the e-commerce behemoth eBay and built China’s first global internet company from scratch in a decade.

Best of Luck



About the Author:

Ravi Singh is a Consultant working with Cognizant in their Analytics and Information Management practice. He completed his MBA from NMIMS, Mumbai in 2015. He is also a Computer Science Engineer with 4.5 years of IT Industry experience. You may reach out to the author through Linkedin

Ravi Singh

Consultant in Analytics and Information Management. Interested in AI & Machine Learning. Yoga enthusiast, swimmer and Badminton player. You will always find me with a Kindle/Book in my hand during my spare time. Alumni of NMIMS Mumbai 2013-15 batch. You may reach out to me through LinkedIn or Twitter (@ravi_dsingh).