The Curious Case of... Vishal Dalal

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curious cases

(All of us are born curious. Some of us actively practice it, irrespective of age. Our Curious Cases series give you a glimpse into the minds of such curious folk. May they rub off you the right way!)

Vishal Dalal - is the founder of the Boat Club Quiz Club. A man with a passion for weird feats of memory, he mugged up the periodic table in his schooldays, just for fun. At IIM Calcutta he memorised his batch roll call one weekend - 15 years later he can still recollect the roll number of each of his 200 + batchmates. Mr Dalal also reinvents himself ever so often. In his career it has meant jumping from technology into banking, from banking to consulting, from India to the UK and onwards to Singapore. It also resulted in the jolly 100 kg "teddy" from COEP morphing into a fearsome quasi-Schwarzenegger. Sadly its also meant that the quiz fanatic of yesteryear rarely attends a quiz nowadays. [Introduction written by Shrirang Raddi, whose own Curious Case is here.]


Name Vishal Dalal

Location Singapore

What I do Management Consultant

On the Curiosity scale, I am... Off The Scale Curious

What I prefer to consume (in descending order of preference): Books --> Movies --> Social Media

Number of books and movies I get through in a year 50 odd books - lots of movies (perks of flying almost 20 hours a week !!)

One book I’d recommend to a friend / colleague:Justice - Michael Sandel - simply written but asks some very difficult questions

My best source for book / movie / website recommendations: Amazon - it doesn't recommend. It just tells what I'd better buy

One movie / show I’ve loved that hardly anyone else has watched A great 1980s coming-of-age movie - Vijeta

I am currently reading:Bobby Fischer teaches Chess

One place on Earth that I am very curious about:Area 51 - want to know what lurks there

Website(s) that I get a lot of useful info from:The Onion

One topic I am super-opinionated about: Urban planning and what makes a city cool

People come to me to find out what I think about these topics: Philosophy, watches

What I prefer to use (in descending order of preference) Linkedin --> Facebook

The strangest food item I have eaten Crocodile meat in Kenya - it tastes like a rubber chappal

If I could spend a day in the mind, body, and shoes of a person, it would be...Claude Shannon - the guy who invented information theory

One interesting / fun fact I recently learnt: Biometrics - apparently even the tongue print is unique in humans. I dread the day when we all have to lick our ATMs to unlock them

I stay up-to-date by doing this... Reading, surfing websites

One interesting/fun fact about myself Spent 20 Bitcoin once to buy a Pizza - regret it to this day

I express my curiosity by doing these things: Reading, learning new things (learning Mandarin now )

The one thing I am very interested in is making enough money to pay for a trip to Mars one day !!

A habit or skill I’d love to acquire: Learn flying

A movie or TV show that taught me something new The Republican Presidential nomination process - learnt a lot about the history of the pyramids from Ben Carson

If there was one mystery I’d like to solve, it would beThe Voynich manuscript

I would love to do this at least once Make enough money to go to one of those decrepit erstwhile Soviet republics and get to take a Sukhoi-30 for a spin - they call it Air-Force tourism I think

People I would like to ask all these same questions to: Sanjeev Chandran, George Thomas

Curiosity is important to my work because... It is the single most important means of survival in consulting. You can stay ahead only by learning something new everyday.

Someone I know who asks a lot of questionsArnab Goswami

My curiosity tip A good sign that you're learning something worthwhile is that you feel stupid all the time

Where you can be found onlineFacebook mostly

More Curious Cases here!