Meet Gibson Vedamani, he is an author of “Retail Beyond Detail – The Great Indian Retailing Business” and apart from this book he has published two more books and many articles.
I have published three books and many articles. The awards I have received are: Dewang Mehta Award for Best Teacher in Retail Management, FICCI’s Retailers’ Retailer Award and IBS Award for Best Contribution to the Retail Sector in India., says Gibson.
We got an opportunity to catch up with him and know his journey as a writer. Gibson has an inspiring journey, read his full story to know more about him.
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I am Dr. Gibson Vedamani, a retail professional and enthusiast. I run my own retail advisory, Retail Solutions and Learning Technologies LLP, in Mumbai. I played a key role in establishing Retailers Association of India (RAI) in Mumbai, being its former founding CEO. I served for over 30 years in the retail sector in significant positions. I am an author and a prolific writer on Retailing. I have published three books and many articles. The awards I have received are: Dewang Mehta Award for Best Teacher in Retail Management, FICCI’s Retailers’ Retailer Award and IBS Award for Best Contribution to the Retail Sector in India.
Our readers will like to know more about this book. What is it all about?
My book, “Retail Beyond Detail – The Great Indian Retailing Business” celebrates the success strategies of traditional retailers who genuinely serve customers. It underscores the ethos of the Indian retail business and unfurls factors responsible for its growth. The book provides functional, time-tested inputs for the success of retailing in India by outlining the traditional and modern traits of the business. It also reveals the 10 secrets of retailing, explained with examples and cases.
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
When I was in College around the year 1979, I tried my hand in writing articles and getting them published in the college annual magazine. I used to feel immensely happy seeing my own creative writing in print. I wrote poems and articles of social relevance those days.
How long does it take you to write a book?
It takes about a year to write a book. That is the time it takes, just to write. If one has to include the conceptualization stage it may be about one and a half years in all. Post thinking up the concept and plan of the book, I write a series of articles around the theme in preparation and then consolidate the manuscript as required for publishing the book.
What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?
I continue with my routine consulting work in the retail sector. I write whenever I have the time. Since I take care of my daily routine, travelling for work within India and abroad, I make use of every available opportunity and time to write. When it comes to self imposed deadlines, I do burn the mid-night oil often to complete the work!
What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I love to write whenever I am on a flight. That’s when I don’t have any other thing to do, except to think, funnel ideas and pen them. Also I keep a pad and pen by my bedside! Often I wake up with some thought that hits my mind and I instantly jot it down!
Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?
Experiences – of others and mine. I write from my own experiences. In addition, I gather thoughts by speaking to many peers and colleagues in the retail sector. My habit is to speak to relevant people, ask people about their experiences, share ideas besides reading related areas of interest, and ruminate about them in a detailed analysis.
When did you write your first book and how old were you?
I wrote my first book in 2003. I was 43 years old then. But I got my first article published in the college magazine in 1978, when I was 18 years old.
What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
I travel far and wide by road, driving the car myself!
What does your family think of your writing?
My family supports me earnestly in my writing. Each member of my family encourages me to write. The members of my family cope with me in the odd hours of my writing. My daughter is my best critique. She often voices her opinion frankly as she makes me think of different perspectives.
What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?
I was surprised to see that my style of writing changed with every book I wrote, moving away from the typicality of any style that would be attributed as mine! This made me realize that each book has to be presented I to have its unique flavor!
How many books have you written? Which is your favourite?
I have written three books. The one I like the most is “Retail Beyond Detail – The Great Indian Retailing Business”. This book reflects the true intentions and the genuineness of traditional retailers of India, from whom everyone has a lot to learn in life!
Do you have any suggestions to help me become a better writer? If so, what are they?
Follow your passion. Keep ‘chasing’ your thoughts until you give expression to them in the form of writing! Your expressions ought to follow your own style and keep tweaking it until you are happy with it. Use your own immediate family and friends as bouncing boards. When you come by your ideas, note them down before you may forget them.
Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?
Yes. I do hear from my readers. Readers who are known to me in the industry write to me sometimes to often discuss thoughts and add to my thoughts as well. People call me, pointing to the areas of the book they liked. In addition, I get reviews of the book on social media. Often I get instant ‘likes’ and ‘reactions’ in response to my posts on the book! I haven’t yet received any brickbats!
What do you think makes a good story?
A story becomes a good story only when majority of the readers likes it. A good writer must thoroughly know the ‘pulse’ of the reader!
As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?
As a child I wanted to follow the footsteps of my father. I wanted to be a Professor of English, like him. I pursued my passion and developed the habit of reading quite a lot. I would first read the English newspaper everyday. Then I tried to write simple sentences. I mastered the art of constructing sentences right. This paved the way for my writing, though I did not become a Professor by profession!
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