One of the best regarded names in Indian publishing, V.K. Karthika, Publisher and Chief Editor of HarperCollins Publishers India (HCI), has resigned from her position after a decade-long stint with the company. Ananth Padmanabhan, CEO of HCI, confirmed the news to The Huffington Post.
Karthika's decision to move on comes on the heels of other major changes at HCI over the last several months. In August 2015, P.M. Sukumar, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), left the company, making way for Padmanabhan, who, after spending nearly 20 years at Penguin Books India, took over the role in October that year.
Karthika, who had also started her career with Penguin Books India in 1996, moved to HarperCollins in 2006 to head the publishing programme in India. During her time there she published some of the biggest names in literary writing in India, including Booker Prize winner Aravind Adiga, Manu Joseph, Anita Nair and Rana Dasgupta. She also worked with writers like S. Hussain Zaidi and Anuja Chauhan, who were huge commercial successes. In 2014, after the global acquisition of Harlequin by News Corp, which also owns HarperCollins, Karthika oversaw the publishing programme of its Indian wing as well.
Apart from running a vibrant literary fiction list under the Fourth Estate imprint, Karthika was a rare champion of poetry and graphic fiction among mainstream publishers in India. Under her, HarperCollins India published acclaimed poets like Karthika Nair and graphic novelists like Amruta Patil, adding new names to both these lists each year. She also contributed to non-fiction publishing with books on politics, wildlife, environment and lifestyle.
In her time at HCI, Karthika also launched an imprint dedicated exclusively to sport, the first and probably still one of its kind in India, publishing biographies of stars like Sania Mirza, Abhinav Bindra and Shoaib Akhtar, besides books of general interest for sports enthusiasts. As part of this list, HarperCollins is going to publish cricketer Shahid Afridi's autobiography next year.
Under Karthika, translations, Hindi publishing and the cinema list grew substantially at HCI as well. Bollywood actor Rishi Kapoor and superstar Rajinikanth's daughter, Aishwarya Dhanush, are two of the celebrity names forthcoming in the latter.
"As publisher, Karthika has built invaluable relationships between HarperCollins and its authors, agents and publishers, not just in India but around the world as well," Padmanabhan said in an email to HuffPost India. "She leaves a passionate and talented team at HarperCollins, who, I know, will take our publishing from strength to strength within the framework of our thriving and growing HarperCollins business here in India. She has been a dear friend and colleague and will be missed," he added.
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