The five-day Bangalore Business Literature Festival is back

The Bangalore Business Literature Festival (BBLF) is back to educate us on all things finance. It will be held from September 13 to 17. The first four days (13-16) will be done virtually while the final day will be held at the Bengaluru International Centre.

A brief Information about the Festival: The Bangalore Business Literature Festival, launched in 2015, was born of a need for conversations focused on business books, which the organisers believe occupy a large and dynamic realm in the literature universe. The festival is a means to spotlight the hundreds of books on business, entrepreneurship and management that are released in India annually. The sessions include solo talks, interviews, panel discussions and book launches. BBLF CK Prahalad Best Business Book Award is given out each year for the best Indian business book. Awards have been conferred to Queeristan: LGBTQ Inclusion in the Indian Workplace by Parmesh Shahani (2021), Big Billion Startup: The Untold Flipkart Story by Mihir Dalal (2020), Why I Stopped Wearing My Socks by Alok Kejriwal (2019) and SELL: The Art, the Science, the Witchcraft by Subroto Bagchi (2018). Across its seven editions so far, the Bangalore Business Literature Festival has hosted over 200 speakers from around the world. They include authors, academics, economists, corporate leaders and start-up founders such as Anil K. Gupta, G. Raghuram, Mauro Guillen, Mike Shatzkin, N. R. Narayana Murthy, Padu Padmanabhan, Ramachandra Guha, R. Gopalakrishnan, Rishikesha T. Krishnan and Subroto Bagchi.

The founder of BBLF Mr. Benedict Paramanand, recalls the idea for this festival striking him in 2015 when he realised how business literature doesn’t get enough recognition. “While internationally business books sell a lot, in India, despite many good books coming into the market, the sale isn’t anything to boast about. Even the bestsellers sell around 5,000 copies, maybe 10,000 copies at best,” says Paramanand, who is also a business author.

When the festival started in 2015, the event received a footfall of 150 people. However, the numbers have been increasing. “Since the first rendition of the festival, we have seen a steady increase in numbers. In the second year, we had 300, then 400, and in the fifth year, we saw about 800 people coming in. Then during 2020 and 2021, the event was held strictly online, and we saw about 2,000 attendees. This year, since we have a live event as well as online ones, we hope to see about 10,000 people,” says Paramanand.

This year’s rendition is going to have a lot of literature and interactive sessions on startups and hence, it makes perfect sense to host this event in Bengaluru, India’s startup capital. “Startups are already a big part of the ecosystem of this city. By ecosystem, I don’t mean just having enough business schools but also enough engagement and conversations surrounding startups, which this city has in plenty,” says Paramanand.

To him, the festival is also about the students. “One of the primary objectives of this festival is to introduce these books to students, especially MBA students. These students need to be given access to good literature. We encourage more and more students to come in,” says Paramanand. The live event, which is on September 17, is free for all students. For others, it costs a nominal charge of `100. The virtual events, which are during the first four days, are free for all.

This year’s festival features multiple events in various approaches of business. From discussions with authors about mining real data, to tales about shark tank, and behavioural economics, the event will host book launches as well.

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