Lipika Bhushan is a marketing and PR expert with rich experience in areas of brand building, brand communication and conducting successful product launches across categories such as White Goods & Consumer Durable, FMCG, Telecom, Lifestyle and Publishing.
An alumnus of JDBIMS, Mumbai and IIM, Ahmadabad, Lipika is a two times Industry winner of the international award of excellence in use of Multimedia Marketing.
Being an industry expert in marketing of books, Lipika is widely quoted in media and invited as an expert speaker in the field by organizations such as FICCI, NBT and literature festivals. She has been a key contributor in the industry to brand building and innovation and shares her experience and knowledge through a column in a publishing magazine.
Tell us about yourself and your background
A Capricorn and belonging to a bureaucrat’s family I believe I have a natural eye for systems, detailing and perfection. A creative mother has genetically added to my creativity. Having trained in Bharatnatyam has made me disciplined. Being a mother has added the aspect of patience and balance to me.
My father was a 1976 batch Civil Servant for whom Engineering and Medical were the only two career options that a child could have and yet he was the strongest support to every decision I took whether it was to pursue my Graduation and Post Graduation in Business Administration or to making any drastic career moves.
School was always a platform to hone my public speaking skills and sharpen creative bent of mind. Having been born and brought up in Delhi helped in gaining the best education and a tremendous exposure and having lived in Mumbai during my MBA and starting my career in that city I believe, gave me a lifetime edge over many in my professional outlook.
I began a career in marketing and handling a varied portfolio such as White Goods, Telecom and Jewellery was the reason that I could contribute towards a positive change in the marketing of Books. I have held on to publishing the longest because of my love of reading and writing and the opportunity it has given me to interact with stalwarts in the fields of sports, business, politics, entertainment, media etc which has further enriched me as a person and a professional.
Entrepreneurship wasn’t a natural progression but more a dream, that I believe every Business Administration student nurtures, mixed with an opportunity of starting with an idea that had a time and space in the current market.
Tell us about the company you have set up – when did you set it up, what products or services do you provide, what is your target market?
Though I started on projects in April 2013 but MarketMyBook was formally launched in July 2013.
It provides complete marketing support to publishers and writers. From online and social media management to promotional tie ups and events to PR and media management, we provide end to end marketing solution for books. The USP is to be able to provide a publisher or a writer a dedicated marketing and PR professional which in itself helps bringing in new ideas and generating innovative and successful marketing plans.
Why did you set up the company? / What drove you to become an Entrepreneur?
MarketMyBook was more a post maternity experiment that took off immediately. I was on a maternity break and the idea of getting to spend more time with my little one and still not taking a complete knee jerk break from work was the primary reason for MarketMyBook to happen.
On a strategic level, having been a head of marketing of an international publishing house, and a one that read, I always found a few books that had immense potential to do much better than what they eventually did but lacked a dedicated and focused effort which is still not possible for any publishing house to provide to each of its books. There was a gap that needed to be plugged in and that’s where MarketMyBook fit well.
What has been your biggest challenge in achieving your success?
Good Books. MarketMyBook is I believe the only company that believes that one can derive the best results if one is convinced about the product personally. I personally read every manuscript and book before taking on its marketing as only a good product can extract the best in you and your team as a marketer. Unfortunately growingly very few fit the bill. Becoming a writer while always was also about who you knew in publishing but quality of writing was sacrosanct. Slowly the quality of writing has deteriorated not just in language but in narrative.
What has been your greatest achievement so far?
My marketing plans have received some of the best sales results and have received international awards. I have got the opportunity to work closely with some of the biggest and best International and Indian personalities such as Dr. Kalam, Paulo Coelho, Jeffrey Archer, Peter James, David Baldacci, Aravind Adiga, Dr. Sidharth Mukherjee, Raghuram Rajan, Lord Meghnad Desai, Aatish Taseer, Kishwar Desai, Rana Dasgupta, Jaishree Misra, Aroon Shourie, MJ Akbar and many others but I would say my greatest achievement has always been ‘a happy author’.
Who has been your biggest inspiration?
My father. He has taught me to never to be afraid to dream and to make every effort to realise that dream against all odds.
How do you balance your work life and home life?
Women I think are naturally gifted to be able to do that effectively and efficiently. I was a workaholic but with time and added responsibilities I have learnt that to be successful you must learn to set your priorities and manage your time in a way that you not only have time for your enterprise, family and children but also for yourself. It re energises you and stops you from creatively stagnating.
In my case a strong family support especially from my husband has been an added advantage. My daughter right from the time of her birth has been a source of added energy and new ideas.
Enjoying every aspect of my work and home helps me explore my capabilities to the fullest.
What advice do you have for women starting out on their own?
Being a woman makes you a natural multi tasker and more committed so have confidence to explore, take risk and follow your passion. Know your strengths and accordingly invest your time and effort in your idea. Never shy away from seeking advice or taking help from experts, not because you are woman but because every entrepreneur needs it to do well. Build a good team and be empathetic towards those who work for you.
If you could ask for one thing to help propel your business what would it be?
Openness, especially of publishers to invest in innovation.
What does the future hold for you?
Immediate future will see another enterprise that I will be announcing soon. Someday I may write a book on my experiences with the personalities I have worked with and share some wonderful feedback in the process, I have got in my career from these writers. Stars, is the limit.