Shankar S Padmanaban

Mechanical Engineer. Writer. Biriyani lover. Travel Enthusiast. Awful Singer. Humanist. Realist. Maverick.


Sun Sign


Three things people don’t know about you?

1.I have a Black belt in Karate 2. I’ve a very serious OCD for orderliness 3. I’ve a secret journal where I pen down things that touch me. My diary is a place where I talk to myself. It also contains a secret To-Do/Wish list that I strike of as and when I complete.

What’s your greatest fear?

For years now, my greatest fear and love, both have been the same thing. Dogs. I really love dogs for their loyalty and companionship, but only at a distance. I would either gallop to outer space or cling on to the adjacent person’s hips if dogs are nearby. I’m yet to figure out why I’ve this oxymoronic nature.

What is your greatest achievement?

I never believe in achievements. Achievements are always a perspective of people. What appears a great achievement to me can be perceived as nothing by everyone else. For me, it’s always about the journey. I find happiness in most trivial things of life and I ensure that I enjoy whatever I do. If you are happy doing what you do every day, trust me, you are one greater achiever irrespective of your monetary or social status.

Low point of your life

The lowest point in my life was when a best friend of mine passed away. I’ve not got any siblings and I treat him as one. My entire perspective of life changed after that. Our lives are so volatile and none of us can know when our end is. This life we have is just once. So, if you wish to do something, don’t simply wish, JUST DO IT!

Which living person do you most admire?

My Dad. How can I not admire the person who finances me from my birth and has been putting up with all the nonsense I’ve been doing since then? :P

Who is your favorite fictional hero?

Iron Man. Not for his sarcasms, dark humors or charm with girls. When he was held as a captive in an Afghan cave, he engineered his way out. That taught me, no matter how bad the situation is, there’s always a solution.

Who are your favorite authors?

1.Paulo Coelho 2.Ravi Subramaniam 3.Sidney Sheldon 4.John Grisham

What are your 5 favorite books of all time?

1.The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho 2.If tomorrow comes by Sidney Sheldon 3.F?@k knows by Shailendra Singh 4.The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini 5.The Broker by John Grisham

One Superpower you wish you had?

I wish I could read the minds of people. For within every person, there’s a story and I look for stories in life.

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

My Game is over, so will yours. Score as much as you can while you breathe.

Which book you wish you had written ?

For every author, their book is like their child. Good or bad, a book is out there because that person has put in effort and penned down his thoughts. No two people can have the same thought process. I don’t wish I had written others’ books. It’s best the way that particular person has written it.

When and where do you write ?

I don’t have any fixed pattern as such. Whenever a nice thought strikes my mind, I pen it down. I’m more of a night person. Mostly my writing sessions start late in the night and last till early morning. I prefer writing outdoor. A large part of my debut novel, The DEViant, was written in my car. When something good came up, I stopped middle of nowhere and started to write.

Silence or music?

I love both. I always enjoy listening to music that synchronizes with my mood, but silence has been the saviour a lot of times. There are times when I walk to beach all alone, sit for hours doing nothing, staring at the dark blue sea and introspect.

Do you have one sentence of advice for new writers?

Patience and Perseverance are the key. Writing a book is a prolonged process. You might feel given up a lot of times. All you got to do is to keep going. Just keep penning down!

SHANKAR S PADMANABAN was born in Tiruppur, ‘The Knitwear Capital of India’ and now currently resides in Chennai, Tamil Nadu. He is a Mechanical Engineering graduate currently working in an Automotive MNC. He’s an avid reader of Indian fiction novels. In college, apart from the hefty engineering assignments he wrote, he discovered his passion for writing and started writing short stories and articles. He’s also a fond traveller and an adventure freak and loves exploring new places. Apart from writing and travelling, he collects stamps. His collection of stamps dates way back to 1960’s. He also plays chess and is a die-hard foodie.

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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.