Early this week I spent a fascinating hour with Ravi Handa – author, trainer, blogger, quiz master and above all an amazing person. I’d like to share that interview with you as an example of a person who is doing everything to help students struggling in competitive examinations. His latest endeavor is an amazing book named ‘Biz World’
About the book:
‘Biz World’ is everything you wanted to know about major Global and Indiancompanies like the history behind their names, the names of their founders and current heads, their taglines, etc. Students, appearing for competitive examinations that test Business Awareness, will find this collection of information extremely valuable.The book aims to satiate the hunger of a curious mind by providing a number of interesting questions and ‘fundas’ from varied sectors right from airlines and automobiles to magazine covers and scams.
About the author:
Ravi Handa has studied Computer Science and Engineering at IIT Kharagpur. After that he has been involved in guiding students to clear competitive examinations and conducting quizzes at various colleges like the IITs, BITS and XLRI.
Excerpts of the interview
Vineet: Hearty congratulations to you for your debut book ‘Biz World’! What is your feeling as a first time author? What or who is your inspiration behind writing?
Ravi: Thanks man! It is definitely a nice feeling to be published but at the same time it is also unnerving in a certain way. There is the fear of not being able to meet the expectation. I have been working in the field of competitive examinations and quizzing for a few years now and hence was nervous about the book not meeting the expectations of my friends and students. However, considering the reviews, sales and ‘thank-you’s that I have received till now, I am happy to report that my fears were unwarranted.
As far as the inspiration part is concerned, it was mainly from my students who kept on asking for a decent book in the ‘Business Awareness’ category. More often than not, I used to point them towards the material that is provided by coaching institutes. I was not very fond of the material because it was unimaginative and for the lack of a better word, ‘boring’. I wanted to change that and ‘Biz World’ came out as a result.
Vineet: Can you tell QuickerMaths.com readers more about your book?
Ravi: I guess it would be best if they can download the synopsis of the book. I also suggest them to download ‘Logo World’, a PDF that I compiled from the information from the book. However, there is one thing that I would like to add. Most books on awareness just consist of questions and answers in an objective format. I have tried to look beyond that and questions / answers form less than 1/3rd of the book. I sincerely believe that questions / answers are not the only way to learn or improve awareness. Although, their importance is undisputed and so I have included around 300 questions in the book. I have also added a few small essays on how to approach an examination / quiz in the book based on my experience in the coaching industry.
Vineet: You have been a teacher. Will you be able to balance your professional life along with your life as an author?
Ravi: I don’t consider myself a teacher. That is a term too noble for someone like me. I like to consider myself as someone who can help / guide students with their preparation. The book is just another medium to do the same. I have been doing the same with my classes and my website (www.handakafunda.com) for quite some time. I honestly don’t believe it is going to make a difference. At least, it hasn’t till now.
Vineet: Do you think the success of a book like ‘Biz World’ in the market depends much on how it is publicized? Have you used social media networks for the publicity of your book?
Ravi: Sales of any object depend on its marketing and ‘Biz World’ is not an exception to that rule. However, since the target audience for the book is not very large any of the old school marketing methods is not going to work in my opinion. Also, neither my publisher nor I have the funds to go in for traditional marketing mediums. I believe that ‘Biz World’ and similar books sell better via word-of-mouth marketing than anything else. I have been marketing the book on Facebook to the best of my ability via my social network. I have also created, an FB page for the book – http://facebook.com/bizworldbook. I am currently looking for someone who can help me develop a facebook app to market the book better. I am also working on an Android app which will be related to business awareness / quizzing.
Vineet: Have you also participated in offline publicity like Organizing events, contests, give-aways?
Ravi: There have been no specific book launches or offline events specifically for the book till now. However, I have conducted a few quizzes in colleges to promote the book. The book is selling well on its own right now and I guess contests / give-aways, if any, will come in 2011 end or 2012 beginning. Also, the authors have very little to do with events / contests and they are primarily driven by the publisher.
In the end, I will like to thank you who generously offered to post this interview here. I will also like to thank QuickerMaths.com for reading through the entire interview. If any of you wish to get in touch, my number is +91-9461493393 and my email id is firstname.lastname@example.org You can get the book on Flipkart, Infibeam or Indiaplaza. You can also place an order by sending an SMS – ‘biz world’ to 9650457457. I have also compiled a list of offline / retail stores at which the book is available.