Cover Story

Building books and business – Through the power of Words

Radhika Panickar Serai, the Founder and CEO of Rumour Books India, embodies a multifaceted persona, seamlessly blending education, philanthropy, business acumen, and advocacy for women and children’s rights. As an esteemed educationist, businesswoman, and arts patron, she shares insights on empowering women entrepreneurs, showcasing her dedication to fostering literary enlightenment.

As CEO of Rumour Books India, what’s the journey and vision behind establishing one of India’s top publishing houses?

It’s been a fulfilling journey so far filled with gratitude. We started with a room full of books and reached the PM’s office one day. The vision was to bring back the joy of reading actual books and also to give a platform to writers as we all know it’s not easy to get published.

What’s it like being the official publisher for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Mann Ki Baat at Rumour Books India?

The experience was surreal. It was over a cup of tea my father; our mentor jokingly asked us to publish the PM’s book. We obviously laughed as we were barely struggling to make a buck or two in business back then, trust me it’s not easy to make books sell. It was after one year of hard work and a lot of confidential details that I’m not allowed to divulge into we finally published PM Modi’s Mann Ki Baat. There is no secret to success, it’s pure hard work!

Balancing roles as a Publisher, Educationist, and Entrepreneur must be challenging. How do you manage these diverse responsibilities, and what drives your passion for each role?

I’m a mother too, which is my most loved responsibility. My day often starts with messy hair, stuffing a slice of bread in my daughter’s mouth, marking mails to my distributor and juggling calls from school, while also deciding the food menu for the day and which bedsheet matches with which cushion cover.

It’s crazy but it’s also rewarding. I wouldn’t want it any other way. I feel I’m blessed to be put in a position where I’m trusted with life changing decisions and abundance of work always. I would rather live a life with purpose than live a dull life filled with nothing but vanity.

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