Saturday 5 March 2016

Author’s Interview- Tirupathi Kumar Khemka author of 'Dented & Painted '

So, for this month  featuring  author from Indian Literary World  is 

Tirupathi Kumar Khemka author of 'Dented & Painted '

I am the Group Managing Director of NEPC, wherein I established NEPC Micon Limited in collaboration with the World Leader in Wind energy - Micon of Denmark, and created a revolution in wind energy by installing over 500 MW generating capacity in India, with indigenous wind turbines manufactured in the country.

My latest interest is in the field of education and Hence I am also Managing Director of Robot Tutor Solutions Private Limited, spearheading the growth of Robot Tutor in all schools, colleges & Universities across India, and providing leadership to the management team that needs seasoned business inputs on taking it forward. 

Shortly after graduation, at the age of 23 I started a string of companies adding one each year to the NEPC group. The first one was NEPC AGRO FOODS LIMITED, the first Indian Company to have branded the basic consumer products under name "TRUPTHI". Next year I established NEPC TEXTILES LIMITED, which produces Premium Quality hosiery yarn with 30,000 spindles, and now fetches the highest price in Southern India. It undertakes manufacturing with an ISO 9002 quality certification. I then followed it up with NEPC Airlines which subsequently took over Damania Airways and renamed it as SKYLINE NEPC LTD. NEPC Airlines and Skyline NEPC Ltd. covered 33 destinations in the Indian Sky. I pioneered the concept of aircraft chartering apart from personal use in India. This became a catalyst for many companies to promote the concept avidly later.

In 2008, I ventured into natural health and established an Ayurveda Centre in one of NEPC tea gardens in Valparai. The collaboration along with Arya Vaidya Pharmacy in Coimbatore, leaders in ayurvedic medicine has been beneficial to many. In 2009 I built a 59 room budget hotel in the heart of Chennai city in the name and style of NEPC All Seasons hotel.

I am also the co-founder and Chairman of Tinacca Media Pvt Limited that has redefined the way integrated marketing communication can be offered from an agency as a collective offering to various top brands since June 2013.

I am an ardent Numismatic and have a collection of coins from across the world. I also love travelling and during my years of travel, observed different societies, cultures and people as a profound enthusiast of human character.

Questioniare with Tirupathi Kumar Khemka 

 How did you first get involved in with writing, are you an imaginative person?

Writing was a natural corollary to my enthusiasm as a traveller and observing societies and diverse human character. Talking to various individuals made me realize that each of us have a different set of experiences in life, some poignant, a few strange and yet others that provide a thought on the vagaries of life.  The stories I have narrated are true life experiences of a few individuals who were kind enough to share their life experiences with me.

What do you find most challenging about your writing?

The fact that I had to discern each individuals feeling while narrating it from their point of view was a little disconcerting to say the least when I was penning it all down. The other factor was to find the time within my busy schedule as an industrialist to transfer my time and energy to write regularly.

What do you do when you are not writing?

Most of the time I am busy in the day to day activities of running my set of companies, but after meeting different women who were instrumental in me turning out as an author to record their life experiences, I have decided to front-end an NGO name Aaj ki Nari that will work towards empowering women with information that will enable them to stake a claim for parity in a male dominated society such as ours.

Where do you see yourself in the next 6 months, and 5 years down the road?

While I am sure most of my time will be spent in pursuing my business interests, I have also decided to ensure that I will be authoring a book on Cosmic & divine energy which is today one of the most sought after subjects.  I also intend to make Aaj ki Nari an organization that will champion the cause of Indian women on a world wide scale.

How do you keep coming up with material / content for your story?

The trick is to ensure that you train your mind to act as a sponge that will soak in information and adapt it later on. It also helps if you are a good listener and then stop being judgmental about people while understanding their personal issues and problems. The trick there is to be able to empathise with them and then ensure you do justice to their experiences while narrating it as an author. In my first book I took 26 such individuals whose lives imparted a valuable lesson to me.

Any specific tips you have for new writers who want to make it big in the world of published books?

First is to ensure that you write at least one page a day and then ensure that you evaluate your work as your personal critique. Your first draft need not necessarily be the best. One should pursue writing for the love of it and not just to reap monetary benefits. Also one needs to be prepared for the long haul as initially one may face rejection from various publishers. The important thing is to believe in your ability, take guidance where it is necessary and then explore the possibility of working with a book agent who may be able to guide you further on how to get it published.

What’s the best thing a writer can give to his readers?

A write should be able to transport the reader into a realm where he can visualise the characters, feel the pain or joy within and identify with the situation of the protagonist. The author should then provoke the reader to think how he or she may respond to that particular situation and kindle that spark of empathy for the characters in the book.

A lot of people are interested in writing for the money earning potential. What are some tips for people interesting in making money from writing? What are some realistic expectations in regards to what can be made?

It is very rare that one’s first work will become a blockbuster or a best seller. Even so the thought of writing to earn money should be the least of one’s priority. Having said that one needs to spend a considerable amount of time and money in marketing the book as the publisher is unlikely to do that for you. Ensuring that some preview chapters are given out as free hand-out’s at leading book stores can surely help create a keen anticipation for the books arrival.  A new trend has also been to create a video trailer for the book which can then make it’s way to social and digital marketing circles. Self-Publishing is yet another avenue that is now available to circumvent disappointment of rejection from top publishers. You will be lucky if you break even in terms of costs while penning your first book. Even Amish Tripathi had to self-publish his first book – Immortals of Meluha. The success however made him a sought after author who now commands a premium in the market. If you believe in your story and your ability keep knocking at doors till you succeed in getting it published. Chances are that the royalty for your first book will only be around 8 to 10 % of the M.R.P. So you may well have to sell at least 50,000 books to actually make profit from your venture as an author.

What motivates you most in life?

The ability to touch people’s lives in a positive manner and make a change that is for the better. Aaj Ki Nari is one such foundation that is a result of this thought to change and impact lives of Indian women in a positive manner. The goal is to be able to act as a catalyst that will help women achieve 100 % parity with their male counterparts in this country.

The majority of the readers tend to take sides due religion and such other considerations?

It is unfortunate if they do so.  I subscribe to the thought of Nationality first and then religion or cast or creed. Having said that readers are also like you and me entitled to their views and belief systems, it is important that collectively we have a mature outlook in a society that is increasingly getting fragmented by religion and caste.

What is the story behind the name of your book?

Abhijit Mukherjee son of Indian President Pranab Mukherjee made this highly sexist remark that caught my attention.  It was an appropriate title in irony for the way we tend to look at women in the society around us through our coloured glasses of bias.

What are your views on increasing plagiarism?

An Individual who is high on the self-respect quotient would never resort to plagiarism. There is a very thin line between being a fan of ones work and stealing it and presenting it as one’s own.  That line is the one between an honest person and a thief. It is as simple as that. How can one look at oneself appreciatively in the minds mirror and accept the accolades coming ones way when deep within, the individual knows it belongs to someone else.