Thinkers50 in 50 Seconds: Anindya Ghose

Anindya Ghose (@aghose) is an Indian-born professor at New York University’s Stern School of Business.  His work focuses on economic issues and consumer behaviour as it relates to the internet, mobile, digital marketing, big data, and business analytics. In his forthcoming book, TAP: Forces that Shape the Mobile Economy (MIT Press), Ghose discusses the opportunities created by the global prevalence and dependence on smartphones.

What book are you currently reading?

I regularly read articles from major Internet-based technology sites to stay updated.

How do you describe what you do?

I create new knowledge and disseminate it globally in order to have a real world impact on academics, managers, executives, policy makers, students, firms, and institutions.

Who or what is your biggest inspiration?

  • My biggest passion is high altitude mountaineering. So my biggest inspiration comes from mountaineering legends like Ed Viesturs and Steve House.
  • I also draw immense inspiration from military special forces (such as the U.S. Navy Seals) because of their mental fortitude and the limits to which they physically push themselves to achieve their goals.

What does success look like?

Success is very personal. To me it is a combination of satisfaction from professional accomplishments, the depth of relationship with my family and loved ones, the quality of life I can provide for them, the time to pursue my true passions such as mountaineering, when my actions positively uplift the lives of others, when my child makes me proud by who they are and what they do, and if in the final moments of life I realize that I have lived a meaningful (for others) life.

What is your competitive advantage?

  • My ambition, perseverance, diligence and disciplined approach to everything in life. I plan everything to the detail and try to execute it to perfection on a timely basis.
  • I also believe in Steve Jobs’ adage “stay hungry, stay foolish”.

How do you keep your thinking fresh?

  • By taking frequent short vacation breaks to rejuvenate. As a family, we take a short (about a week long) vacation every couple of months or so.
  • Also I enjoy talking to executives and managers in diverse locations globally.

How much time do you spend travelling?

I clock at least half a million miles each year. (Sadly, I am on the highest frequent flyer status in multiple global airline alliances and know by heart, the layout of the first/business class lounges in many airports of the world)

What is the secret of a great presentation?

To know your material inside out, to connect with the audience, and give them something to think about.

What advice would you give to anyone who wants to follow in your footsteps?

  • Raw intelligence in individuals is highly over rated. I firmly believe that in any profession, success is 99% diligence and 1% intelligence.
  • There are no shortcuts to the top. My mantra is perspiration, inspiration, perspiration.

What is your next goal?

My next goal is to climb some of my favorite mountains in the Andes and the Himalayas, which I have been postponing for a while.

Describe yourself in three words.

Adventurous, Motivated, and International

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