Entrepreneur, Author of Books on Accountancy Anurag Singhal ep40

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Anurag Singhal is a Chartered Accountant and an alumnus of the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad. He is the author of two books: Auditing Mantras and Accounting for People Who Think They Hate Accounting. Anurag worked for 10 years in Corporate Finance across companies like Hindustan Unilever, Deloitte, ITC, Tata Steel and Aditya Birla Group. He was awarded CA Young Achiever-Manufacturing Sector at 6th ICAI Awards in the year 2013 Anuarag Singhal was also a part of Committee for Members in Industry (CMII) of EIRC-ICAI for the year 2013-14. He is the co-founder of cajobportal.com, which is India’s first recruitment website exclusively for Chartered Accountants. Anurag has mentored 2500+ young CAs at ICAI’s General Management & Communication Skills (GMCS) program.

Anurag lives in Kolkata with his family. He also runs two websites MyCAstory.com and MyMBAStory.com and is also a follower of Art of Living.

Book publishing is an area where you have to lose your egos. Keep it at the side and approach people.

Discussion Points with Anurag Singhal

  • Anurag loves to write, however, he believes that writing doesn’t pay enough for a living unless you are someone like a Chetan Bhagat.
  • Anurag conducted professional coaching for students for his first book Auditing Mantras. The students loved his content and teaching so much, that he thought of writing the book for the benefit of a larger audience.
  • Anurag initiated 3 ventures once out of Business school, the first one was cajobportal.com was more of an emotional connect for him. During his interaction with fresh chartered Accountants on Sundays at CA institute, he realized that the people who were not very communication savvy struggled for jobs. His first venture aims to help aspirants who are looking for CA jobs. Gradually he worked on the revenue model and got some renowned names on its advisory board. (including V N Saroja, Co-founder of Naukri.com, Professor Arvind Sahay from IIM Ahmedabad).
  • His other two ventures mymbastory.com and mycastory.com aim to help professionals in their career enhancement choices. Anurag’s intention is to share authentic stories from people who have been there, done that to help CA and MBA graduates who are struggling to make place for themselves in the corporate world. Note: Amar has also been interviewed on MyMBAStory.com, link to Amar’s interview
  • Anurag recalls going to different publishers for his book Auditing Mantras and being rejected as he was not a famous author then. However, Big Book publications agreed to publish his book and the book gained far and wide reach with appreciation coming in from various places in India. His motive is to impact different lives and bring about a change through his book and hence he personally walks an extra mile for some readers where the e-commerce sites fail to deliver the books. Anurag also calls his book smart and tweaked with learning solutions for generation – Y.
  • His recommends catering to niche marketing. The authors who are specialists in their field would have more refined and thorough knowledge compared to a generalist. He also says that reaching the targeted audience through social media has been of utter most advantage to him.
  • He advises that people who wish to turn their passion into writing should first do test run and promote their work using channels like facebook pages, google groups and twitter to gain acceptability.
  • Anurag doesn’t shy away from saying that he is not a Pankaj Garg or Surbhi Bansal of his field and hence gaining credibility as an author was his biggest challenge.
  • His views on ebooks are that they have not gained acceptability for academic texts because people in India are more open to reading a print book. Around the world, people are more inclined and attuned to read the kindle version. Authors must understand the segment they wish to reach to know whether ebooks will be acceptable in that segment or not.
  • Anurag believes that the authors should attempt to be different and create a compelling value proposition for their readers. His latest book Accounting for People Who Think They Hate Accounting caters more to B2B market as the pricing is stiff for individual buyers. Anurag says to have actually lost count of the number of publishers he tried to reach before finally Business Expert press positively replied to his 5 liner proposal.
  • His second book aims to reach libraries of Universities in the US and UK. Anurag mentions that Business Expert Press is ideal for authors who wish to get their book into 2000 digital libraries across the world and not cater to masses.
  • His book recommendations are The Alchemist, which teaches about life philosophy, and The Fountainhead. These books have been drivers of his life achievements. Anurag also recommends reading Mainak Dhar’s writings (Mainak calls himself Managing Director at General Mills by day and bestselling author by night.)
  • Anurag’s advice to authors who are looking to get their book published is to call up publishers rather than just writing emails, as the recall value is higher when you talk to people. And there should be a readymade pitch about how your book is different to many others in the same segment.
  • Anurag mentions that writing for most people will be a part of Maslow’s hierarchy that takes care of self-actualization and social esteem. Authors should realize that main source of income should be something different before looking at income from writing.
  • He admits that he wanted to become the next Chetan Bhagat and also desires to write a book for the masses, a book which is available on every railway station.
  • His first book Auditing Mantras was sold for 200 Rupees (less than 3 US Dollars)while his latest book Accounting for People Who Think They Hate Accounting is launched for 60 Dollars which in Indian terms is about 4000 rupees.

Resources and References

Anurag Singhal’s Books

Anurag’s Book Recommendations

Ways to Contact Anurag Singhal

Email: x14anurag at iimahd dot ernet dot in