Upendra Namburi is a sales and marketing professional who is on a journey to complete his triumvirate of novels – 31, 60 minutes & 8. His novels cover everything from life in corporate boardrooms, corporate rivalry to love, relationships and the likes. With ’31’ , he had a cracking debut winning the Tata First Book Award. ’60 minutes’ is his second novel. Does it work? Let’s check it out.
The blurb goes like this:
Successful, brash and ferociously ambitious, Agastya is the poster boy for corporate success. As the chief marketing officer of one of the biggest FMCG companies, he is all set for the most important product launch of his career when things spin out of control. 60 minutes is all he has to save his job and his marriage.
Beautiful and intelligent, Maithali has never had much luck in love. When Agastya takes things too far and almost crushes her spirit, Maithali must avenge herself. 60 minutes is all she needs to turn his life upside down.
An unlikely adversary, Sailesh is a mathematical genius and an expert strategist. His academic temperament is unsuited to corporate rivalry and subterfuge but he is forced to retaliate when someone crosses the line. He has 60 minutes to destroy his foe.
High profile jobs, reputations, relationships and marriages are at stake. Stealth, blackmail and secret liasons exposed. Emotions mired in doubt and ambitions entangled in hostility. As the battle for supremacy continues, who will falter, who will persist and who will come out on top?
Published by Westland books, 60 minutes has a pretty good cover page and the overall styling has been done quite well.
Ever heard of so much happening in 60 minutes? Upendra’s experience in the field of sales and marketing comes to the fore when he talks about everything from corporate rivalry to boardroom discussions to corporate politics. Whether its people backbiting against each other or lust and love coming into the fore to get things done, Upendra has captured the drama that goes on in the floors of big corporate houses pretty well.
While half of the story happens in 60 minutes, for the other half, there are a lot of background stories which Upendra delves into one by one. The narrative starts off at a good pace but the need to tell each character’s story within the 60 minutes by moving back and forth between the present and the past acts as an obstacle.
If you are someone who isn’t interested in corporate boardroom politics, stocks, sales and the likes, you may not really like the book too much. Moreover, at certain points, I feel that Upendra goes into the Madhur Bhandarkar school of story telling where things start to get too dark.
Since the story moves from the present to the past many a time throughout the book, the reader may tend to get quite confused. Better editing could have done the job.
The story is based on the corporate rivalry between Sailesh and Agastya who is the CMO of an FMCG company called BCL. While the sequences between them and their characters are captured well, the other characters particularly the woman don’t really have too much to do. And that’s quite sad to be honest as there was a lot of potential.
All in all, this one is not as racy as it sounds. If you are a corporate junkie and in for some boardroom drama, then go for it!
Rating – 2.5/5
PS – I haven’t read Upendra’s ’31’