Why do Indian businesspeople refuse to talk openly?
When I started working on this book many people from the industry told me, “What is not known about Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw that you’d write?”. (Plenty, I’d tell them now.) Others said, “How do you think you’d get the story?” On hearing that I was speaking to many, many people, they said, “Ah, then you’d get close to the story”. (I’d love to hear from them how close to the story did I eventually get.)
Even after 20 years of journalism, while working on this book I discovered a few things about the art of reporting. Here’s some musings I wrote for Scroll:
“So what kind of a biotech book are you writing?” he asked. A busy chief executive of a large Indian pharmaceutical company, he had given me an hour, with the possibility of a few grace minutes, for a “conversation” on the subject. Yes, a “conversation” was what I was seeking with everyone so that they would let their guards down, settle for an informal chat, and not bother about involving their public relations machinery or fret over well-formed quotes.
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