Former Penguin India editor launches publishing firm Juggernaut

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Published: September 23, 2015 8:16:15 PM

Juggernaut, a new publishing firm launched by former Penguin Random House India publisher Chiki Sarkar with Durga Raghunath, CEO of Firstpost, aims to reimagine books for the mobile and give authors both a digital and a physical platform.

Juggernaut, a new publishing firm launched by former Penguin Random House India publisher Chiki Sarkar with Durga Raghunath, CEO of Firstpost, aims to reimagine books for the mobile and give authors both a digital and a physical platform.

Beginning April 2016, Juggernaut will publish 50 titles each year, to be distributed and warehoused by Hachette India, and will roll out soon its digital programme.

Sarkar has worked with most of major writers in India and published some bestsellers.

Raghunath who began her career in book publishing, went on to head digital operations for Mint and WSJ newspapers in India, founded Firstpost, India’s first exclusively digital newsroom and led Network 18’s digital businesses. She was most recently Senior VP, at restaurant search and discovery platform Zomato.

Juggernaut aims to reimagine books for the mobile u2013 new ways of commissioning and rethinking the reading experience, book distribution and payments.

“We want to create a world-class Indian publishing company that will be recognised internationally and pioneer new ways of publishing and reading,” Sarkar said in a statement.

“My ambition has been to build the strongest, most respected publishing team in the country with the best partners and advisers in every field. In Durga I have the perfect partner to do some amazing publishing. I am excited at the adventures ahead,” she said.

Having started her career in book publishing, Raghunath said she was delighted to “return with a strong digital lens.”

“There are more Indians accessing the Internet, reading, writing and paying online than five years ago. I can’t imagine something more exciting than rethinking the underdeveloped book market and getting Indians to read,” she said.

Juggernaut’s founding team includes Gavin Morris, a senior art director with over a decade experience in the UK and the US with publishers like Transworld, Faber and HarperCollins.

Also included are Jaishree Ram Mohan, the industry’s most senior managing editor, who ran the country’s largest copy-editing team and, Nandini Mehta, an acclaimed editor of non-fiction whose authors include Ramachandra Guha, Katherine Boo, Naseeruddin Shah and B N Goswamy.

R Sivapriya, whose translation list was shortlisted for the London Book Fair’s Industry Excellence Awards and whose authors include Perumal Murugan, Shamsur Rahman Faruqi and Sudhir Kakar is also in the founding team.

The digital and business teams include Saurav Roy (CPO), who has founded two companies, Myriads and Burrn, the first while he was still in IIT Madras; and Neel Karinje (CFO) with over 20 years of industry experience, most recently as director of finance in a Fortune 100 MNC.

Juggernaut’s advisors are William Bissell, MD, FabIndia, Nandan Nilekani, former CEO and co-founder Infosys and Neeraj Aggarwal, MD, Boston Consulting Group, India.

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