I am Ragavia Ramakrishnan and am working in e-publishing industry.
I am currently working as a Key Account Manager for one of the largest STM publishers in the World. The start of my career was as a Project Management Executive for the same publisher in 2006. I learnt and saw the industry evolve over the past decade and was fortunate enough to learn book and journal publishing from the best in this industry.
Who is an Account Manager in a Publishing Firm?
An Account Manager is the one who owns the account of a particular publisher in an organization. He/she is responsible for everything pertaining to the said account.
What motivated you to choose this area of work?
My grand father did his Masters in English and always loved to read to me. That’s when I started to fall in love with this language. My parents always kept us updated on current affairs across the globe and it always fancied me. However, there were two incidents in my childhood, the murder of Parvathy Shah and the burning of 3 students in a bus. These two incidents urged me to become a journalist, so that I am allowed to express the truth rather than hiding behind the screens.
However, fate and my parents made me to choose Engineering and I completed it merely for my parents..
What is your typical day like?
I start my day looking for updates about the Publisher, the competitors, etc. Followed by meetings with the teams and my boss. Later on updating the sales sites and tracking of the order inflows and OTD (On Time Delivery) for the day.
What steps did you take to land in your present job?
Constant learning and keeping myself updated on the industry and trying to update my profile. I fix a target of 6 months to update a point in my profile. If am unable to do so, then I decide to change course of the pattern. By doing so, I try to learn as much as I can.
What did you learn about the career after you started your job?
Fortunately I started my career in a company where the training is amazing, therefore my zero knowledge helped me learn a lot. However, it would have been great if I learnt the project management techniques and the publishing process.
What things would you do differently in preparing for this career?
I would probably tell the younger crowd to learn and reason. Keep your learning spirit high. That is more than sufficient, and nowadays we need to be the jack of all traits instead of pursuing to be the master of one.
What do you love about your current role?
The flexibility of the profile, the exposure to the world of Publishing and any new update will definitely hit our team first before anyone else here.
What are the challenges you face in your career?
We need to be updated at all times, that is a challenge at times. We need to know the opponent move way ahead and plan our move accordingly.
How your industry will evolve in next 5 years?
AR (Augmented Reality) and VR (Virtual Reality) are at its high now and in the next 5 years there will be major updates in the digital publishing (they are the next step in publishing after print and ebooks).
I am currently experienced in STM, but would love to explore the ELT market.
STM and ELT are the divisions. (Scientific Technology and Medicine, English Language Teaching)
Can you please summarise your career journey?
- +2 – Science group, St. Joseph of Cluny GHSS, Pondicherry
- Engineering-EEE – Dr. Paul’s Engineering College/Anna University
- Project Management Executive for Springer- Integra Software Services
- Sr. Project Management/TL Executive for Springer – SPi Global
- Journal Manager for Journals – Elsevier, Chennai
- Team Lead for Springer Production Editors- Crest (Currently Springer), Pune
- Assistant Manager (Production Editors) – Springer Pune
- Key Account Manager for Springer- Integra Software Services
- To get into other markets of Publishing apart from STM
What sort of experiences helped prepare you most? Did Engineering help you?
Engineering did help me a lot as I found myself handling the project way different than the peers and it was always appreciated.
How do you like to spend your free time?
I love watching movies, writing, trying new nail designs, cooking, and for the past couple of years I have started to explore my passion on travelling.
What are the skills required to be an Account Manager?
Communication and Maths would help a lot. The rest are basics on how to track and a little project management technique would help too.
What are some alternate career options in a publishing firm?
- Project Management
- Product Management
- Desk Editor
- Production Editor
- Account Manager
- Copy editor
- Content writer, etc.
What do you think potential recruiters look for in a fresh graduate in publishing industry?
Communication and analytical skill will get through for the first level. After which there will be training and tests to validate your knowledge from what was taught.
How do I know if a career in Publishing is for me?
People generally assume that they like reading and chose this industry.
Please note that this is an industry that creates the material to read and learn. More than the book, the process itself is interesting. So, I would recommend students to read about publishing industry before joining the publisher. Of course degree completion is must.
Any final thoughts?
If you find passion in your job then it is the best part of your life…. Enjoy your work and be ready to learn and evolve….
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