Ambi Parameswaran completed his engineering from IIT Madras, MBA from IIM Calcutta, he also completed his PhD from Mumbai University in 2012 and the Advanced Management Program from Harvard Business School in 2014. Most of his life he spent in Marketing, Advertising and Sales career, helping FCB Ulka to achieve great heights. He is currently an entrepreneur and Brand Strategist. He likes to speak at various conferences and Literature Festivals. His passion towards advertising and brand brand building is immense. Let us know more about his writing.
What inspired you to start writing?
I started writing short articles in newspapers and magazines two decades ago. Then I started writing short cases for use in my ad courses. A friend suggested that the cases could become a book and that led to my first book published in 2000. So my writing was spurred by my desire to be a better teacher.
What did you like to read when you were a boy?
I used to read all kinds of books ranging from Enid Blyton to Arthur Conan Doyle to Billy Bunter. Those days all Billy Bunter books were not easily available. So one had to hunt across different libraries for titles.
What is the greatest challenge in writing a book?
The first challenge is to develop a concept and a publisher who will be interested in publishing it. Then comes the tough job of the research and writing. You have to enjoy all the stages and be willing to listen to inputs from all the experts around you, your agent, your publisher, friends and family.
How much research do you do before writing the book?
Quite a lot actually. Some of it involves speaking with domain experts and some of the research is reading books, journals etc. So the rule of thumb, if there is one, can be read 200 words of you want to write one 🙂
What motivated you to write the book “Nawabs, Nudes, Noodles”?
After my last book was published and reasonably well received my friend and agent Anish Chandy wanted me to write the most authentic history of Indian advertising. I demurred but when we got taking the idea of doing an anecdotal look at a changing India through the lens of advertising emerged.
Can you tell us more about your latest book “Nawabs, Nudes, Noodles”?
The book looks at the changing society through the advertising lens, spanning about 50 years. The book is organised into four sections each looking at a specific set of topics.
How did you came up with the idea of writing non fiction/self help genre book?
The idea is to help students and young professionals. So all my books have that core target audience in mind. I think they can benefit the most from lessons from the past. They are also the most difficult target to satisfy and very careful with their money.
Who are your favourite authors?
In non fiction it would be Malcolm Gladwell, Atul Gawande. In fiction Amitava Ghosh definitely.
How much time do you dedicate for writing on a daily basis?
I tend to write on Saturdays and Sundays when I am working on a project. About 6 hours each weekend is minimum. I don’t write on weekdays, at least not books.
What words of wisdom would you like to give to aspiring writers?
Start writing and start sharing. Your style and skill will keep evolving. Go with the flow. And most importantly enjoy the whole process.