Eshan Sharma’s Special Interview Series: Amit B. Joshi
Books: Freelance Training - How to crack the freelance training business in India
Publisher: Indus Source Books
Favourite AUTHORS: Fritjoff Capra, Malcolm Gladwell, Robert Kiyosaki, Ram Sharan
Favourite books: Outliers, Hidden connections, Rich dad poor dad
Q1. Please tell us something about yourself?
I am a Corporate trainer for Behavioral and Leadership skills. Have trained over 3000 participants from more than 35 leading MNCs and the author of the book - Freelance training- How to crack the Freelance Training business in India. I am also a trained trainer from The British Council and Instructional design from TISS
Q2. Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
The main challenge lies in coming up with an idea for a topic which will be appealing to the audience. Once that is decided, writing comes easy.
Q3. How long have you been writing?
For about 6 -7 years, however, started writing seriously when I started writing my book 2 years ago.
Q4. How long does it take you to write a book?
3 - 4 months
Q5. What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
Can't think of anything particular :)
Q6. How did you begin writing? Did you intend to become an author, or do you have a specific reason or reasons for writing each book?
I used to write right from school days and when I started my career, I had a very faint vision of becoming a writer someday, however, I got caught up in the grind in my career and that vision started fading. Later on, when I became an independent professional, the flame reignited, I got the idea for my first book, wrote it and also got published.
Q7. What inspired you to write your first book?
When I first made a switch from a full-time job to freelance training, back in 2013, there was no visibility in the market on how one can navigate in the arena of Freelance training. I had to make my way through trial and error. Later on, when I got reasonably established as a Trainer, I thought of sharing my learning with aspiring trainers and that's when I thought of writing my book.
Q8. Please tell us something more about your book?
Before I give information about my book, I would like to set some context. There is an immense scope for Training in India because of the skill gap between the Industry requirements and the skills provided by our educational institutes. There is also an immense need for training the existing workforce to meet the challenges faced by modern-day organisations. A lot of companies are now realising this and have increased their focus on Learning and development. The training industry is quite nascent in the country and needs to evolve at a rapid pace to meet this challenge. Companies either have a dedicated training team to up-skill their workforce or tie up with Training partners to achieve this. Thus there is a growing need for trainers specialising in a wide array of subject areas and skills to keep up with the requirements. This need is being addressed either by full-time training professionals or through Contract/Freelance Trainers.
Although there is a huge number of Freelance trainers who are either established or aspiring, there is very less visibility in terms of how one navigates his or her way in the Indian Freelance Training business.
About the book:
My book “How to crack the Freelance Training Market in India” aims to address this very challenge. It is the definitive guide for people wanting to make freelance training their career with the knowledge, skills and tips to tap into and sustain in the market. The books contain –
· A step by step guide to help trainers in their journey in the Freelance Training market
· Practical tips and insights based on the first-hand experience
· Tools to help them implement and carry on the learning from the book
· Guidance from the Top trainers in India
· Ways to get an edge over your competitors in the Training arena
· Leverage the ideas to add an additional income source along with their regular job
Q10. What do you consider to be your best accomplishment?
In terms of writing, I feel that writing my book and getting it selected and published by a publishing house is the best accomplishment so far. However, I look forward to a lot more.
Q11. What do you think about the future of Freelancing? And share your first experience of freelancing.
Freelancing in India is pretty nascent in India whereas in all the developed countries it is a lot more common. I think it will only grow from here and you will find ample opportunities to work independently in a field of your choice in the future.
My first experience was rather a difficult one but taught me a lot. I secured the assignment with great difficulty and was quite nervous when I executed it. But because of the learning received from that, I could deliver the other assignments a lot more smoothly.
Q12. Can you share with us the best way to reach you and where to learn more about your books?
One can connect with me on social media -
Indus Source website:
Q13. What was the hardest part of writing this book?
Since the book is based on my own experience, I just had to pen it down and it came about quite smoothly without any challenges. The difficult part came later though when I had to find a publisher for my book and then to promote and market my book.
Q14. What do you think is the future of reading/writing?
Given the amount of information overload and fast-changing times we live in, there's no doubt that reading will have to increase. Also, with so many platforms available for writing, i.e. blogs, social media etc. even writing will increase in the future. The problem though is about credibility and authenticity. Readers will have to be extremely cautious about ascertaining the quality and authenticity of the information consumed and so should the writers need to ensure that they write thoroughly researched stuff or stuff that can add genuine value to the readers.
Q15. If you had to do something differently as a child or teenager to become a better writer as an adult, what would you do?
I would have probably got some formal training in writing.
Q16. Let me now ask something about myself, something you want to say about me?
What is your long-term vision as a writer i.e. what genres, kind of books would you like to write?
Q17. What do you like to do when you're not writing?
I run a training company so am busy with training assignments on Behavioral and Leadership programs.
Q18. If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
A couple of them - Malcolm Gladwell, Ramsharan
Q19. Can you share a little of your current work with us?
Here is an excerpt from my book -
Most of the readers might be already convinced by the idea of Freelancing over taking up a full-time job. However, for others who are still contemplating on whether they should take up Freelancing, it will help if we refresh some of the advantages of Freelancing over a full-time job. Some of the reasons are mentioned below:
You are your own boss: This is the single biggest advantage of a Freelancing career. When I was first contemplating of starting a business, I discussed the idea with some of my friends who were already running their own businesses. One of my friends at that time gave me a very valuable advice. He said that if you are contemplating about starting a business, don’t do it for the Money but do it for a Lifestyle.Although I already was attracted to the idea of having freedom while working, this advice further reiterated the point. I can also admit that this is the real motivation especially during the initial stages of your Freelancing career when the money is hard to come by. So what does it mean to be your own boss?
ü You are answerable to you and you only
ü You have the freedom to make mistakes and learn from them
ü You can decide what to focus your energies on and what tasks to avoid
ü You can work as per your timings
ü You can take a leave whenever you want and for whatever duration you desire.
Although all of these advantages come with their own caveats, they are worthwhile motivators from a holistic perspective about your career.
Although working independently has several benefits, people avoid it due to the notion of security that a job provides. A general belief is that a job provides more security than a business. Though this is true for the short term, over the long term it is, in fact, less secure. Working as an employee makes you dependant on one single company for your earnings which is quite risky should something happen to the company or to you while working. On the contrary, working as a Freelance Trainer helps you align to multiple clients thus giving the advantage of diversification.
Also, being able to work with various companies enriches you multi-fold as a professional in your own field.
Besides, the Indian market is now opening up to take up Freelance professionals. In the future, there will be many more opportunities for independent professionals to select a career of their choice.
Q20. What is the biggest surprise that you experienced after becoming a writer?
I guess it's yet to come...
Q21. Is there anything else you would like to add that I haven’t included?
Q22. Do you have any advice for other aspiring writers?
Write something which can create value for the users and what is needed for our country at this point.
Q23. Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Provide your feedback, lots and lots of it...so that I can write better.