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Verve People
July 07, 2016

Power Trendsetter: Chiki Sarkar

Text by Zaral Shah. Photograph by Manpreet Singh

For being a super innovator and tapping into mobile phone publishing with her new company Juggernaut Books

Someone who probably has most of the country’s best writers on speed dial, Chiki Sarkar has had many a successful innings with Bloomsbury Publishing in London, Random House India and Penguin Random House in the past. Currently publisher and founder of Juggernaut Books, the Oxford graduate is focussed on presenting books in a way where people can have access to it, chapter  by chapter, almost as if they are watching episodes of a TV series.

On work: ‘Being an editorial assistant at Bloomsbury meant making coffees, editing and eventually commissioning. That was my learning ground. It was home. I always kept a toothbrush and toothpaste in the office, because sometimes I’d come in my high heels and my party dress from the night before. Life at Random House was intense. I was involved in everything from sales and marketing, to the flowers at the office reception.’

Idea behind Juggernaut: They want us to consider books ‘not just as one big, one-off serious thing with 200 pages, but in snack-sized portions’. An innovative and promising new venture, Juggernaut is playing with the idea of selling a book in a never-done-before ‘short, digestible’ form — not a mean feat by any standards. “The questions Juggernaut is trying to answer are the questions every publisher should try and answer. If we can get new readers and learn to publish smarter, we will have succeeded.”

Preferred medium of reading: “Anywhere — physical, Kindle, iBooks and phones. I do most of my work reading on the phone as I am always on the go and need to make quick assessments.”

USP for success: “I think like all my contemporaries, I try and be the best publisher I can be — though maybe I ask bolder, bigger questions.”

Read about our next power woman, Satyavati Berera.

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