DIRECTOR & GENERAL MANAGER, LONELY PLANET INDIA
The Director of Lonely Planet India, Sesh Seshadri is one of the most established names in the publishing industry today. Carving a niche for himself with a career spanning over four decades, he played a vital role in Lonely Planet’s entry into the Indian market with the launch of its series of Travel Guides in 2012. Lonely Planet has till date launched 53 titles. His current role is to create a sustained and successful presence for Lonely Planet in India adding value to their future developments.
Previously associated with Oxford University Press for over 25 years until 1997, Sesh Seshadri was the only employee to be appointed to 3 of OUP’s national strategic committees’ viz. Educational, Academic and Finance & Operations. Sesh Seshadri credits much of his publishing knowledge and capability to Oxford University Press. He has also worked with Dorling Kindersley. India serving as Executive Director and played a key role in the company’s revamp strategy including warehousing, customer service, marketing and publishing systems.
In addition to over four decades of publishing experience, Chennai-born Sesh Seshadri is also a successful consultant and an entrepreneur. Sesh Seshadri established a publishing consulting company O.V.E.R.L.E.A.F. in 1997 which passionately works towards furnishing classrooms with quality learning and providing world class teaching resources. He is also the trustee of Neelbagh Group of schools founded by David Horsburgh. Furthermore, he was the Founder Director at Textech that specializes in providing academic solutions in the form of books and ebooks that enable publishers to create, manage, repurpose, and distribute content. He is currently General Secretary, Association of Publishers in India (API). Sesh Seshadri comes from a family of publishing professionals with a combined experience of more than 100 years. Besides publishing and consulting, Sesh is a crazy cricket fan. If not in the publishing industry, he would surely be a cricket umpire. He enjoys south Indian classical music and is also skilled to speak in several languages.
Director, Zubaan Books
Urvashi Butalia is co-founder of India's first feminist publishing house, Kali for Women and, since 2003 (when Kali was shut down) Director of its imprint, Zubaan Books. She has a long involvement in the women's movement in India and has written and published widely on issues related to gender, history, feminism in India. Among her best known published works is the award-winning oral history of partition, The Other Side of Silence: Voices from the Partition of India (winner of the Oral History Book Association Award 2001 and the Nikkei Asia Award for Culture 2003). She has been awarded the French Government's Chevalier des Artes et des Lettres, the Polish Government's Bene Merito, the German Goethe Medal and the Indian Padmashri.
HEAD, GCD STUDIO
Gopika is an alumnus of the prestigious Faculty of Fine Arts, M. S. University, Baroda. Her career as a creative professional spans over 35 years during which she has earned the reputation of being among the leading graphic designers in the country and has received significant recognition and accolades for her achievements in the industry. After having worked for 10-12 years at leading advertising agencies as an Art Director and then Creative Director, she set up her own design studio to be able to work on the kind of assignments that interested and challenged her most. Seeking a balance between working on projects for large corporates and companies with big marketing budgets and smaller non-profits engaged in the area of social development and the arts, Gopika managed to find her equilibrium and a way to keep her studio creatively profitable. She has played a key role in bulding up brands like SpiceJet and The Oberoi Hotels, as well as working closely with arts organizations like the National School of Drama and the Delhi Photo Festival, just to name a few. She is now the principle partner at GCD Studio, her design practice that took in two of her key designers as partners. The studio is an all woman team and Gopika takes a keen interest in mentoring young designers, specially women, and inculcating in them entrepreneurial skills along with honing their design talent.
Besides being a successful design professional, Gopika has remained engaged with the visual arts, exploring and creating her own as well as collaborative artistic projects. Gopika’s work is significantly informed by her experience in advertising and marketing and her themes draw on the narratives of a post-modern society. Using photography, graphic arts, digital technology, video arts, painting and materials as wide-ranging as stainless steel and embroidery theads, she creates installations and experiences that open dialogues within the context of our contemporary social, political and cultural framework. Her works have been exhibited at a number of shows and festivals around India including at the Serendipity arts Festival, Sensorium Festival, United Art Fair and several group shows.
Gopika currently works between Goa and Delhi.
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