Advisory Board

Milee Ashwarya 


Milee Ashwarya is the Editor in Chief for Commercial and Business books at Penguin Radom House India. She graduated in English Literature from Hindu College and completed her Masters in English from Delhi University. In her decade long career in publishing, she has been responsible for establishing and spearheading the local publishing list first at Random House India and now at Penguin Random House India, setting new trends and exploring new genres. Her focus has been on promoting the best Indian voices while publishing a range of bestsellers across segments during her career. Her authors include Piyush Pandey, Hussain S. Zaidi, Shobhaa De, Karan Johar, Ravi Subramaniam, Twinkle Khanna, Navi Radjou, Shilpa Shetty, Suhel Seth, Emraan Hashmi, L K Advani, Preeti Shenoy, Sonali Bendre, Sudeep Nagarkar, and Payal Gidwani Tiwari to name a few.

Sumant Batra


A lawyer of international repute, social commentator, thought leader and creative innovator, Sumant is a multi-faceted person with accomplishments in diverse spheres. A cultural champion, museum owner, collector and writer, Sumant Batra is the founder and architect of a number of innovative creative projects to promote Indian heritage, culture, art and literature. Some prominent initiatives include, Kumaon Literary Festival, Taj Colloquium and Dalit Literature Festival amongst other. The initiatives started by him are rapidly developing into a robust cultural voice of the country because of their unique approach and contribution to the development of the soft infrastructure and power of the country.

A corporate and policy lawyer of global eminence by training, Sumant has held leadership positions in prestigious multi-lateral, global and national organisations. As senior international consultant to the IMF, World Bank Group, OECD and other development institutions, he has worked extensively on policy matters in Africa, Eastern Europe, Middle East and South Asia. Rated as India’s No. 1 insolvency lawyer by Legal 500, his contributions to reforms in Indian insolvency system are well recognised.

He is a frequent speaker at various international and domestic conferences. An avid collector, he is probably the largest collector of Indian cinema memorabilia, has set up Chitrashala, a private museum of Indian vintage graphic art and has built a boutique hotel in the Himalayas out of his collection. He is the author of the bestselling coffee table book – The Indians. Foreworded by Cherie Blair, the book was released by Dr. Karan Singh.

Dr. Debotri Dhar 


Dr. Debotri Dhar is an academic, writer, columnist, and world traveler. She teaches at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, USA. She was educated in India, UK and USA, earning a Master’s in Women’s Studies, with distinction, from the University of Oxford (UK) and a Ph.D. from Rutgers University (USA). She has authored numerous academic publications, and given papers and lectures at Harvard, Yale, U-Penn, Michigan, Delhi, Boston, Princeton and elsewhere. Debotri’s fiction has appeared in literary journals and anthologies worldwide, including USA, UK,  India, Singapore, Canada and New Zealand. Her recent novel The Courtesans of Karim Street received acclaim in The Pioneer, The Telegraph, The Sunday Guardian, The Statesman, The Book Review and elsewhere; and was nominated for the ‘Muse India Young Writers Award’ at the Hyderabad Literature Festival 2016. The New York Journal of Books wrote of Debotri’s work: “The women we encounter in her work seize the trajectory of the road and navigate it on their own terms. Elegantly written, with poise and control, they examine what it means for a 21st century woman to travel.”  She writes a monthly column called ‘An Indian Abroad.’ Her other interests include classical music, cooking, art, cinema, mountain trips, and walking.

Rahman Abbas 


Rahman Abbas is author of six books including four novels- Nakhalistan Ki Talash [The Search of an Oasis-2004], Ek Mamnua Muhabbat Ki Kahani [A Forbidden Love Story-2009], Khuda Ke Saaye Mein Ankh Micholi [Hide and Seek in the Shadow of God-2011], Rohzin [The Melancholy of Soul-2011]. He had received State Sahitya Academy Award on his third novel ‘Hide and Seek in the Shadow of God, which he returned when Indian writers protested against ‘intolerance’ in 2015. Moreover, Rahman bagged ‘National Award’ for his second novel ‘A forbidden Love Story’ by UCPR (Universal Center for Peace & Research, Aurangabad). His novels deal with themes of forbidden politics and love. Eminent Urdu critic and former President of Sahitya Academy Prof Gopichand Narang have claimed that Rahman’s lastest novel ‘Rohzin’ was an important turning point in the history of Urdu novel. Rahman lives in Mumbai and works as Research officer at a think tank ‘Strategic Foresight Group’.

Ziya Us Salam


Ziya Us Salam is Senior Deputy Editor, The Hindu — Frontline. A noted film and literary critic, his book “Delhi 4 Shows”, published by Om Books International, was released last year. He has contributed to anthologies, “Being Young in the Worlds of Islam” “Past Tense” Living on the Edge”. He edited the book, “Housefull: The Golden Age of Hindi Cinema”, published by Om Books International. His book “Strands of Commonality: Postcard of Islam in the subcontinent” is due to be released shortly. He has served on the juries of International Film Festival of India, Best Writing in Cinema and Vatavaran etc.

He now writes on minorities and literature.