Sanjay Shankar Dongre

Sun Sign


Three things people don’t know about you?

Knowing me is not so complicated, but when I really think about, there is a new thing that I discover about myself every day. Like until yesterday noon, I did not know that I can cook the most delicious tori sabzi, something which I had never done before in the forty eight plus years of my existence on this planet. So if me knowing myself is still a Work in Progress, world knowing about me is, let us put it this way, ALSO, still Work in Progress. So the question really is not the three things that people don’t know about me. The question really is what are the three things that I would want people to know about me. Well to begin with, first and foremost, Sanjay Shankar Dongre is in himself Work in Progress. I simply have no clue about what I can do, what I cant do, or in short What I am? The utter confusion is what defines me best, for every day I work hard, on learning or doing something new. Now its not that every day I cook a new dish, but may be I try to make the same sunny side fried a little differently, or may be use a new angle to shoot the sunset, or may be just think of a criss crossed way to end a particular story. So there different aspects of me that different people know. Some know me as a student of Mathematics or Physics for I was very good, well besides getting some decent marks, I used to confuse my teachers with some stupid questions. Some know me as a student of English literature for that’s what I studied as part of my graduation. Some know me as an Economist, well that’s how I ended up completing my graduation in Hons First Class. Then there are a few who also know me as an MBA from IIM Bangalore. So it happens that some people know me as an expert on mutual funds, both domestic and international. And then some know me as a photographer who debuted with his premier photography exhibition at the Jehangir Art Gallery. Then there are some who think I am wasting my time, and should have made a feature film long time back for they think I am good at film making, having made a short film and a few heritage travel documentaries.

What’s your greatest fear?

Fear is something that I love, it keeps me going. Even the tiniest fear, is as loved as the greatest fear, so whether it is my wife, which is a pretty strong fear, for every time I do something, one of the way I validate it is by her imagined reaction. Or may be what happens if tomorrow I don’t learn anything new. What happens if I end up meeting God, and SHE asks me, “I sent you down there so well equipped and you just wasted your fifty years and all the talents that you were bestowed with.”

What is your greatest achievement?

I think the way Sasha loves me, I would consider that, if a dog can love a human being, then there is something good about him. So Sasha, my golden cocker spaniel, and her love is probably the greatest

High point of your life?

Now this I really believed that the signing amount from Leadstart for my first book, for a long time, was actually a high point.

Low point of your life

There are so many, my failures define me more than my successes. Today I had been to a film, and in the intermission I did not get my coffee. The machine was not working. Could not enjoy the second half.

Which living person do you most admire?

I think that would be Obama

Who is your favorite fictional hero?

I think I am still intrigued by Karna from Mahabharta

Who is your favorite fictional villain?

Who may be considered to be a hero or a villain at varying points of time

Who are your favorite authors?

DH Lawrence still rules for his complicated Victorian age writings

What are your 5 favorite books of all time?

I read Mahabharat quite often, then NNT, Discovery of India, Art of War, and of course Lady Charlottes’ Lover

Is there a book you love to reread?


What are your 5 favorite movies of all time?

DJango, Sholay, Saving Private Ryan, Pretty Woman, Pya

One Superpower you wish you had?

I already have enough, but yes if only I could understand canine language, I can have conversations with Sasha.

Your epitaph would read? /Last line in your biography would be?

, and here lies Sanjay, still a Work in Progress.

If you had a time machine to take you back to any country and any time period, where would you choose to be for your childhood, adolosent , adult life and silver years?

India, exactly the same life I had lived, nothing different.

If you could acquire any talent, what would it be?

Talk to Dogs

Which book you wish you had written ?

The Troubleshooter Part II

When and where do you write ?

I am writing all the time anywhere, but I put that on my laptop in my balcony, which has a view of the Western Ghats,.

Silence or music?

Silence except for the sweet melodious snoring of Sasha.

One phrase that you use most often?

If I cant do it, who else, or for that matter how many people in India can do it?

Do you have a writing ritual / superstition?

No…no time for superstitions

What’s your guilty reading pleasure?

James Hadley Chase, and I have actually read quite a lot of them

Do you have one sentence of advice for new writers?

Keep connecting the dots, and put them in black & white

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Debashis Biswas

With more than 15 years of experience in book sales and distribution, Debashis currently oversees Leadstart’s business activities in eastern India and neighbouring countries. He has previously worked with several leading book publishers and distributors.

Walid Jalal

Walid has 7 years experience in online listing & marketing Working in SEO firm & Publishing sector. He worked in a Restaurant as a Manager in Sharjah for two years. He loves cricket & cooking.

Jayati Sarkar

Jayati has been into literature studies and has pursued her Mphil in Australian Aboriginal Poetry from the University of Calcutta. She is an avid reader and her love for books has brought her to the field of Publishing. For years she has explored the other side of the book as a reader and now she works with Leadstart as the Senior Executive in the Editorial Department. Her work profile includes working closely with Authors, managing the projects from end to end and also working with national and international publishers for management of Secondary Rights.

Ashwini Jadhav

Ashwini has about a decade’s experience in design. She is a Master of Commercial Art, who has worked in the publishing and advertising sectors as a visualiser & designer. She was judged as the third best in the state, when she finished her foundation course in applied art. She is a practicing calligrapher in Modi Lipi (a script in the Marathi language) and is a Rangoli artist who has won several accolades in those domains. During the popular Ganesh Chaturthi festival, several idols of Ganesha in varying sizes get made, one the most important finishing touches to the idol is that of painting the eyes, which Ashwini has practiced to perfection and does it for hundreds of idols every year. In addition to the above, she is also a trained classical dancer, a national level Kabaddi player and loves cooking.

Ananya Subramanian

Graduation in journalism and love for books, led Ananya to take up a career in publishing. With her experience in the field, she has come to believe more and more in the power of stories and the people who tell them. She is a vegan and an animal-lover; and loves to dance, tend to her pet plants and often find solace in solo travelling.

T. Vijay Kumar

Vijay has over a decade’s experience in supply chain management working in India and the Middle East. He heads the production, supply chain and receivables management for Leadstart. Prior to his current role at Leadstart, Vijay worked in inventory management for five years, in Abu Dhabi.

Iftikar Shaikh

Iftikar has a decade & half years of experience across publishing and the banking sectors in the finance domain. He enjoys working on numbers and loves uncovering stories that the numbers tell. A fitness enthusiast, he loves trekking and travelling.

Maneesha Arun

Maneesha has an experience of over two decades in the content industry spanning over publishing, media and secondary rights business domains. She has a deep interest in psychology.

Mahendra Rawat

With more than a decade’s experience in book sales and distribution, Mahendra comes from a family immersed in the book trade. He worked with several book distributors and publishers before his current assignment with Leadstart.


With more than 15 years of experience in book sales and distribution, Debashis currently oversees Leadstart’s business activities in eastern India and neighbouring countries. He has previously worked with several leading book publishers and distributors.

Rajesh Krishnan

Rajesh comes with over 3 decades of experience spread over various business domains. He oversees Leadstart’s business development & sales across southern & western India, Sri Lanka and Middle-East. His hobbies include dancing, trekking and travelling

Pooja Dutt

Pooja has over a decade’s experience in operations, sales and people management in various business domains. She loves to interact with authors and helps them meet their publishing goals. She is fond of travelling & cooking.

Bhavika Bharambe

After completing her MBA in marketing, Bhavika has focused on roles that helped her to become an experienced marketing professional today. She has worked for brands from various industries; Educational, Tourism, Retail, Entertainment, Airlines, Banking and more. She loves to spend her time by reading books and listening to music.

Naina Solanki

Naina leads the project management and author support functions at Leadstart Publishing. She is fond of being abreast of the latest developments in technology and is a keen learner of the six sigma methodology. She loves reading and travelling.

Preeti Chib

Preeti has a decade’s experience in brand and communication management with most influential and innovative media companies. She is passionate about building brands by translating consumer insights into product innovations and campaigns. She is a compulsive reader and considers a day gone without some bit of reading a day wasted. She loves reading stories to her children every night. A lover of visual art, to delve a bit deeper into the same, she took up formal training for design as well.

Malini Nair

Malini is passionate about Literature and Business Management. After her MBA (Marketing) from St. Xavier’s, she took up roles that involved sales, marketing, costing, MIS etc. in multiple sectors like Banking, Insurance, E-broking, and even the Steel industry. Eventually, her passion for languages and books compelled her to re-route her career to literature. This led to a career break and a Masters Degree in English Literature; post which she took up a role at Wordit CDE & Leadstart, enabling her to work towards both her passions.

Chandralekha Maitra

With two decades of experience as a book publishing professional, Chandralekha began her career as a features writer and columnist, working with publications across India, before moving into book publishing full time, with India Book House. She received her training in editorial title management from Book House, London. Over the years she has worked with some of the finest publishing houses in India and overseas, and across genres and markets. She has also worked with Osian’s-Connoisseurs of Art, India’s first auction house, gaining in-depth exposure to research and publishing in the fine arts-antiquities-cultural heritage genres. Additionally she has had a parallel, specialist career in Human Resources, working at Group HR, Tata Group, among others. She continues to write, train and mentor in this domain as her publishing commitments allow.

Raj Supe

Aka Kinkar Vishwashreyananda, Raj Supe is a poet, storyteller and novelist, as well as a seeker and devotee of Sri Sitaramdas Omkarnath. An MBA by education, his career spanned advertising, research and creative consulting, before devoting his time to literature and spirituality. His works include Three No Trumps (novel), Sagarika Anusagarika [Echoes of Nine Rivers] (poetry), Pilgrim of the Sky (spiritual memoir), and translations of religious texts such as Cloudburst of A Thousand Suns and Jai Jai Ram Krishna Hari. He has also worked on film scripts with Ram Gopal Verma and Ashutosh Gowariker, and on plays with Makarand Deshpande.

Dr. Rabindra Kumar Nanda

An alumnus of IIT Kanpur, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research and Stanford University, Dr Nanda is also a National Science Talent Search Scholar. He holds five Patents and is a published author of 50 national and 52 international research papers.

Swarup Nanda

Swarup has over a decade and half’s experience in multiple business domains related to content. Prior to his entrepreneurial ventures, he has worked with a couple of MNCs in the media space. His passion for literature and books is his motivation for building Leadstart.