Juggernaut: the new way to read books


By Ridham Gambhir

Technology has raced at such high pace that from getting a book to chane ki daal has become a matter of few clicks now. The world is moving online. Now it is within the ambit of these clicks that Chiki Sarkar and Durga Raghunath have launched ‘Juggernaut’, a venture that will focus on digital publishing.

The enterprise founded by Chiki Sarkar, former publisher and editor-in-chief of Penguin Random House India, and Durga Raghunath, former Vice President (Growth) at restaurant search service Zomato, is set to bring the world of words on your mobile screens without much hassle.

The start-up has received investments from multinationals and family-owned businesses. Nandan Nilkeni, co-founder of Infosys and the former Chairman of the Unique Identification Authority of India; William Bissell, Managing Director of Fab India; and Neeraj Aggarwal, MD of Boston Consulting Group, India, have invested in Juggernaut so far.

Durga Raghunath,  CEO and Co-founder, comes from Network18, where she founded Firstpost.com and went on to become CEO of Web18, via Zomato. The start-up has already gathered ₹15 crore from the first round of investments.

“With William I knew that he was investing in startups, and he cared about books and ideas; so does Nandan and he also gets digital, so for him this was a bit of a winning idea. Neeraj again used to head BCG’s digital strategy: all of them saw the promise in it and I think that’s why they have come in,” Sarkar was quoted as saying to a website.

With a growing number of smartphone users, the start-up aims to maximize its output by selling the paperbacks in a digital version. A boosting industry such as this is being put to advantage by these two women as they wish to replace the paper technology with the mobile version of it. Not to say that they want to oust the former, it is more about the introduction of the latter.

“For us, the mobile is the new hardback,” says Durga Raghunath.

While the ideology of this enterprise appears to be anachronistic, Sakar says “there’s the paper book, the e-book, but along with that, there’s life on the phone.”

So smart-phone people, get ready to explore a new world of books where Juggernaut will recommend which books or chapters to read at midnight along with several other innovative options that weren’t hitherto a part of online book world.