• Friday, June 14, 2024

Interview with Ankur Mittal, Director at D K Agencies (P) Ltd.

on Aug 10, 2022
Ankur Mittal, Director at D K Agencies

Ankur Mittal joined the family business in 2004 after completing his degree in Business Administration from Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University. He is currently Director of D K Agencies (P) Ltd and LiFi Publications Pvt Ltd. D K Agencies have been supplying books and periodicals to libraries globally since 1968. LiFi Publications was founded in 2012 and published literature and fiction in English. Ankur is an active Rotarian and has been involved in Rotary projects and serving society.

Frontlist: D K Group started LiFi Publications - a new venture to signify Literary fiction. How has LiFi Publications brought a new wave to the fictional world?

Ankur: We are a family-run organization and have been in the book business for more than 5 decades now. LiFi was conceptualized and incorporated in 2012. At LiFi, we pushed the traditional publishing of works not only by veterans but also by debutant authors at a time when self-publishing was almost an unknown feature. It has been a wonderful experience working with new authors, who are generally desperate to have their books in hand. Some of those titles did pretty well in sales, particularly those where authors made efforts to promote their writings.

We have also published a good number of short story collections in the last 10 years, which generally are not preferred by regular publishers. In my opinion, general readers have minimal time available in this fast-paced world, and short stories can be read in a few minutes, whereas novels require hours. 

Frontlist: Why is it significant to consider the Sustainable Development Goals to bloom the publishing ecosystem?

Ankur: Sustainable Development Goals set up by the United Nations in 2015 include Quality Education. Books being one of the essentials in achieving this goal, we expect continued growth in the publishing ecosystem in the years ahead.

Frontlist: The publishing industry influences the quality of education. How’s LiFi Publications bridging the educational gaps as fiction books are the best tool to increase storytelling skills, which is very important for creative growth among children?

Ankur: Storytelling or reading any literature, be it fiction or non-fiction, adds to the vocabulary and comprehension of children, which in turn generates creativity among them. And once the reading habits develop, it is a form of continuing education for all times.

Frontlist: Suppose someone wants to start a career as a Publisher. What key things should they consider to become a publisher?

Ankur: A person willing to enter into publishing must have patience and should be prepared to put in a lot of effort in making sure to bring out quality publications, not only in terms of production but also well-written and edited content to the liking of the audience. One can also go for professional/vocational courses relevant to this field to add skills.

Frontlist: What dynamic changes have you seen in the publishing industry from your joining time till today? Would you like to discuss any specific change that might’ve impacted your career?

Ankur: During these nearly two decades, technology in publishing has completely revamped things that existed earlier. With computers, gadgets, printing systems, and online resources, the publishing process has become a lot easier compared to the past. Similarly, the dynamics of promoting a book, an author, or a list of titles have also completely changed. Social Media also plays an active role in our lives and has an impact on promotional activities. While these changes have been quite favorable for the publishing industry, the misuse of new technologies has also led to unethical publishing, which is quite disturbing.

Frontlist: Young generations have different career choices nowadays. Why would they choose their career in a publishing profession? Share your views based on your personal experience.

Ankur: A devoted publisher has the opportunity to interact with authors and scholars and learn about the content and writing style of each one of the manuscripts, which help them to accomplish professionalism at all levels. As a publisher, we are a part of the Knowledge Industry and an important pillar in managing the author's supply chain of knowledge and experience to the reader.

Frontlist: Do LiFi Publications make themselves paralleled to the digital wave? Are they still grappling with the digital transformation to compete in the technology race?

Ankur: LiFi has been active on Social Media platforms since its inception. It has been a great way to connect with authors and readers. We have also created and marketed eBooks for some of our titles. Digital is constantly evolving, and we are trying to keep up with the updated technology.

Frontlist: Copyright issues have been a part of the Publishing industry, creating many difficulties for Publishers and authors. How can we cater to this problem as we all are driving into the digital phase?

Ankur: There have been copyright issues even in hard copy publishing, particularly with the advent of technologies in the last 3-4 decades. In the digital era, these challenges have increased due to easy access and advanced knowledge of computers and gadgets, even at grassroots levels. The most important step to minimizing copyright issues is to create awareness about it from top to bottom. These days our Government is focusing on the environment by banning single-use plastics and creating awareness about it. Even at the school level, children are being informed about the problems associated with using plastics. Similarly, awareness drives are required so that people start respecting copyright. Moreover, as far as digital is concerned, the platforms and services providers should make their system robust so that nobody can misuse the contents and infringe the copyright.

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