She­fali Karani’s de­but book in­spires read­ers to ‘Own It!’

Gulf Today - - ARTS & CULTURE - Raghib Has­san, Staff Re­porter

DUBAI: Writ­ing a book to in­spire, guide or mo­ti­vate read­ers has al­ways been a daunt­ing task for any writer be­cause it is chal­leng­ing to get con­nected with read­ers; hence not many writ­ers suc­ceed in their en­deav­our. But Dubaibased In­dian-amer­i­can busi­ness­woman She­fali Karani’s de­but book, “Own It!: Love What You Al­ready Have,” on lead­er­ship suc­ceeds in its goal to in­spire her read­ers.

It is her maiden book and she man­aged to strike a chord with her read­ers in her de­but atempt. The book is the re­sult of a per­sonal jour­ney of an au­thor. It in turn trav­els very fast to be­come a hit with read­ers. If you look at the jour­ney of She­fali, you will see how com­fort­ably she em­braces changes of her life, starting from a very early age.

De­spite be­ing an heiress to a strong busi­ness em­pire es­tab­lished by her fam­ily, she man­aged to keep her­self very strong and grounded and weath­ered what­ever chal­lenges came her way. She never gave up, that’s why to­day she is lead­ing a suc­cess­ful busi­ness em­pire. If you look at her il­lus­tri­ous jour­ney, you will see that she let the United States at the age of five, grew up in Mum­bai and Dubai. She be­came an ex­ec­u­tive at the age of 21 at her fam­ily’s cor­po­rate busi­ness in Mum­bai, soon ater she grad­u­ated with a Bach­e­lor cum laude with dis­tinc­tion from Drexel Univer­sity. She also did the one-year MBA Pro­gramme there. She got her CIBE from Columbia Busi­ness School, in NYC.

De­spite hav­ing a strong busi­ness em­pire, she worked very hard to be the best in aca­demics. She did not let her af­flu­ent back­ground af­fect her aca­demic growth. She also treated her own com­pany with great re­spect and carved a niche for her­self in the or­gan­i­sa­tion by sheer hard work. To­day, she is a board di­rec­tor for BSE listed com­pany and two other com­pa­nies. She is also an ex­ec­u­tive busi­ness di­rec­tor for two BSE listed com­pa­nies. She re­sides in Dubai with her hus­band.

If you read the book you will dis­cover that Karani’s thought and ex­pe­ri­ences are very much tied to com­mon peo­ple and that is the beauty of her writ­ing. Her writ­ing is so pure and smooth that it straight goes into the heart of read­ers. The book has a uni­ver­sal ap­peal. The book has been di­vided into many chap­ters like, “Change is good,” “Em­brace your goals,” “Know when to fight,” “Keep go­ing,” “Help­ing oth­ers,” “Go with the flow,” “Per­fec­tion to im­per­fec­tion.” All in all, it is very in­spir­ing.

It has a nat­u­ral flow. Once you start read­ing the book, you won’t be able to stop — in the mid­dle or else­where. At 141 pages, the book is in­deed a page-turner.

The way she has turned her neg­a­tive ex­pe­ri­ences into a pos­i­tive is also com­mend­able. The book shows how a litle girl trans­formed her­self into a suc­cess­ful busi­ness­woman. Talk­ing about the book, Sheefali said, “It is all about lead­er­ship les­sons which I have learnt as a busi­ness­woman through­out of my life so far. It has uni­ver­sal mes­sages that res­onate with other work­ing women or stu­dents or mil­len­ni­als.” When asked what made her come up with a book? She said, “It was a very ran­dom de­ci­sion that hap­pened. I thought of us­ing my own ex­pe­ri­ences to tell the story to peo­ple, be­cause I deal with lots of univer­sity stu­dents. I do talk shows and go as a speaker to var­i­ous uni­ver­si­ties. So I thought it would be nice to share a story with them.”

She is thrilled to see the re­sponse to the book. Shar­ing her hap­pi­ness, she said, “Lots of women re­lated them­selves with my story. It was not some­thing that I only have gone through such ex­pe­ri­ences. Lots of women had sim­i­lar ex­pe­ri­ences and they all got in­spired by the book. I am happy that my book man­aged to cre­ate a dif­fer­ence in their life.”

While writ­ing the book I learnt so many things about the self. I did not re­alise un­til I started writ­ing, she said.

When asked to pick her favourite writ­ers, she said, “Rhonda Byrne and Paulo Coelho are my favourite authors.”

Ka­mal Kas­sim/gulf To­day

She­fali Karani poses with her book in Dubai on Thurs­day af­ter­noon.

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