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Gita and the Art of Selling : Memoirs of a Sales Yogi


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Kiran Bettadapur is a sales specialist, business strategist and seasoned entrepreneur with over two decades of toil in hustling stuff and signing on dotted lines in markets on either side of the Pacific. Bruised, battered and, on occasion, beaten too, in sales battles galore, he has boot-strapped startups and beefed-up hi-tech companies.A quest for the holy grail of scholastic achievement – driven perhaps more by confusion than clarity – saw him graduate in industrial engineering; major in R&D management and energy management at B-school and then earn a master’s degree in operations research. Those academic adventures (or, misadventures?) had him careen through the portals of elite “institutions of national importance” like IIT, Kharagpur and IISc, Bangalore. His random-walk-like pursuits continued into the professional realm at HCL Limited – veritably India’s Big Blue. Early experiments in executive life had him put his nose to the grindstone in multifarious functions. Eventually, he meandered into a biz-development role with HCL Hewlett-Packard in Mumbai (then Bombay) and metamorphosed from a managerial generalist to a sales specialist. A Utopian quest for executive bliss made him jump jobs and geographies in the mid-90s to head operations in California for Birlasoft Inc., a GE Equity investment company. During his spell with the Birlas (arguably India’s Rockefellers), he forged business ties with several blue-chip corporations and helped those bellwethers gain competitive mileage. At the dawn of this millennium, he found his true calling in the wibbly-wobbly world of entrepreneurship. The blind leap of faith gave him a freewheeling, not necessarily free-falling, chance to flirt with a whole range of emergent technology areas such as Knowledge Management, Handheld Computing and RFID. While not quite hitting an El-Dorado-like jackpot, Kiran did make a pretty penny off his first venture, Kenware Inc. And, in the alluring world of startups, once bitten, always spry! To start all over again! Thus he turned ‘sequent entrepreneur’ – a self-description he prefers to ‘serial entrepreneur,’ – a term that does evoke feelings of being in a peccant profession. So he segued smoothly into the Californian Gold Rush of the Internet kind to co-found Cylive Corp., which is a stealth-mode company in the Web 2.0/3.0, Social Media, P2P Commerce and Enterprise 2.0 spaces.Kiran has chalked out agile processes and astute strategies to address challenges of low-entry barriers, globalisation and cutthroat competition in not only enterprise segments, but also consumer markets. The bust-many-a-gut bustle in his gigs has spanned a gamut of activities – from outbound and telephone sales to alliance and Internet marketing. He rabidly swears brand- and business-building are about casting intimate ties with and conveying value to clients – a surefire recipe for boosting stake-holder wealth. For earning your spurs in sales, he prescribes “MOSS – the mantra-of-smart-sweat,” which revolves around the philosophy of: “The harder and smarter you work, the keener and luckier you get.” He’s championed high standards of personal integrity and professional ethics in an all-heart credo, which he calls “Clean Conscience Selling.” A blazed trail of excellence – steering enterprises responsibly; contracting profitably; scaling operations predictably and sustainably – bears ample testimony to not just salesmanship, but also his leadership traits. An intense and inspirational speaker on sales and marketing, Kiran presents ideas that are insightful; opinions considered. Blending youthful energy with plentiful acumen, he delivers talks that are provocative and entertaining. Footloose and on the move most of his life, Kiran has now set up shop in the Silicon Valley of India, Bangalore. A self-professed dilettante, he likes to dabble all the time with new penchants in arts and sports. He has recently enrolled for a degree in law – the latest in a long list of fads. But, like old wine that gets better with age, he often gets fairly good at his passions, foremost of which are clinching deals and riding roughshod over biz rivals

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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.