These startups are redefining the norms of literature and art
If sage Valmiki were to revisit the 21st century, he would perhaps be pleased with his namesake, Valmeeki Books, the virtual publishing house. While the former is celebrated as the harbinger-poet of Sanskrit literature, the latter is virtually redefining the vernacular publishing space. Valmeeki Books is an app that helps unknown and lesser-known vernacular (and English) authors in getting their works published.
“The idea came about as a result of our huge appetite for reading and observing the shifting habits among the present generation to read content on the go,” says Kuruvilla Chacko, co-founder and managing director of the publishing house.
Valmeeki started as a social venture in 2015 to promote new talent, and provide readers with raw, authentic vernacular content. But in this age of millenials where patience levels are fizzier than soda, the team behind Valmeeki Books exercises extreme discretion in selecting work for publishing. “Content is scouted keeping in mind modern mobile reading preferences. Our mobile app acts as the primary distribution channel,” says Chacko. Since the launch, Valmeeki has vaulted from representing a handful of Malayalam writers to 400 writers from Kannada, Hindi, Tamil and Malayalam.
The company was initially incubated at Kitco Techno Lab in Kochi for three months and then the team moved to NUMA Bengaluru. “This city is the place for people who want to create a legacy as much as we do. It’s multi-cultural and therefore it allowed us for better product testing, additionally, there are a good number of mentors, investors and well wishers who want to be part of a startup’s journey,” says Chacko, who worked on this idea with his core team of founders — Suhair Zain, director, R&D, Vishnu GP, director, technical and Vishnu M Unnithan, director, operations.Today, with a user base of 10,000 and NASSCOM’s Startup of the Year Award-IT-2015-16 to their credit, the team says there’s more to come.