Ray McLennanOwner & Managing Director
Since his first visit to India in 1975, Ray has been involved with Books from or about Indian Philosophy, culture, history, wildlife, geography, etc etc.
“Whether as a student, seller, publisher, or currently as a wholesale distributor to the worlds book trade, I am deeply interested in knowledge India has to offer the world, and particularly through It’s rich literary heritages and as an educational centre for the past thousands of years. No other country on planet Earth has such an old and varied tradition of the written word, which still sits as the foundation of its culture till the present day.”
Ray had travelled to India around 70 times when he stopped counting, trading in a wide cross section of products before settling on Books being the most satisfying product. Publishing combines perfectly with his passion for wildlife photography, and exploring India’s jungles and national parks, in search of the endless variety of flora and fauna in remote areas all over the sub continent of modern day India.
Today, his overview of all the companies activities are focused on developing the ongoing selection of publishers, titles, authors, and subjects to offer to customers worldwide. “We are pushing new developments all the time. Adding new titles to our selection is a priority. We are currently adding over 500 new titles to the world’s book trade records, every month, every year.”
As the owner of 100% of the company, it is totally down to him to keep the company as efficient as possible, control the expenses, and maximise the sales. We want to sell as many of each title as possible, and as a specialised wholesale distributor of Indian publishing, we estimate that around 75-80% of all Indian publishing sold in the UK, is sold by Motilal (UK) Books of India. Born in New Zealand. Ray has been settled in the UK since 1975, and “can survive in 5-6 languages.”
Ken Reilly (KC)Amazon Supply Manager
KC has to prepare each order to Amazon and label each box with its contents. We send them two orders a week and deal with returns from time to time.
Currently he services around 25,000 titles we supply to Amazon UK. Sales each month vary from 2000 books to over 4000 in the peak times. Each title is classified as either academic or trade and we have a constant need for up to date information on availability.
In many ways, knowing if a book is out of stock is as valuable as receiving the book. That is the only way we can avoid customer disappointment. We generally add 3-4000 titles a year to what we offer on Amazon from Indian publishers. “We work very closely with them on a daily basis, and I have to manage the fine line between under stocking and over stocking each and every title. In general each title should have no more than 3 months worth of stock, and no less than 1 months supply.”
Nancy WillinghamOrder Administrator
Nancy delivers all incoming stock in to our computer system each every week. She separates the orders between Amazon uk, Amazon usa, and non Amazon. After each delivery is matched to the waiting orders or allocated to stock, she then raises invoices for the Amazon outlets, and when time permits her then analyses how long it takes for the average order to be supplied and what percentage of all orders made are completed.
Most customers cancel all unfilled orders after two months. “We recommend allowing for three months as there are sometimes books coming from small or inefficient publishers, in the far corners of India for example. Ashrams and government departments are notoriously slow, but even the big Delhi publishers take at least 1-3 weeks to deliver to our office in Delhi. There we have around 25 employees to shrink wrap, pack and invoice all our orders. They arrange at least 2 shipments a week to us, with other shipments to Amazon usa, and the many other customers we have all around the world. 3-4 times a year we have a large sea shipment of titles we sell in large quantities. My primary target is to maximise the percentage of orders supplied to our customers, both big and small. Nancy grew up in near by Radlett, and lives locally.
Vishva MaurierNew Title Promotion
Vishva lists every title from the 650 Indian publishers we represent, with the worlds book trade. These records are used by all the worlds’ bookshops, Academic libraries, public and government libraries, websites, and accessed by all search engines.
The key elements are all needed for any book to have sale success. Other information would be helpful to make it sell better, but those items are vital for sales success.
“We use publishers catalogues, advance information sheets, web sites, and excel spread sheet lists to collate all the information needed for each title,” explains Vishva. The better the quality of the listing, the more professional is the impression of the title and the publisher. This information, particularly the description, are vital to each book being found by persons using the search engines to find each book. My job is to make each book easy to find, and easy to order. An average of 5000 new titles are released every week in the UK, so our titles have a lot of competition. Born in Switzerland, Vishva lived in India for 25 years and speaks Hindi as well as French and English.
Barbara DoffmanCustomer Services Manager
Barbara is the first point of contact for all orders, quotation requests, availability requests, and communicating all that with our Office in Delhi. Barbara picks up orders all day, from e-mail, post, telephone, fax, EDI, and the sophisticated tele-ordering link we have with all the book shops and libraries in the UK.
Each day we pick from our stock whatever we hold, and then place an order with our Delhi office for everything else. We find that around 20-25% of orders can be supplied from the 6000 titles we keep in stock.
We track each order until it arrives and is despatched, or we have to report it as out of print permanently or temporarily. With the 90,000 books sold in 2011, there is a lot of co-ordination needed, and particularly with our biggest growth area, international academic book supplies. At the end of each day we send an order to Delhi and we send our latest stock record to trade buyers who order from it. Barbara was born and raised in North London and is Ray’s partner.
Richard NeilWholesale Customer Services
Richard takes each invoice for Non Amazon orders, and delivers that stock into our computer system to allocate as much of it as possible to waiting orders. Once the weekly shipment arrives to him all the wholesalers, and major academic library suppliers will have been invoiced, and Richard then opens each box and allocates each book accordingly. Usually in one day for it all to be ready to leave! He packs up each order and despatches them by the end of the week. An order currently takes between 2-6 weeks from start to finish, depending on the publisher, availability, etc. Through our key accounts, Richard reaches every retail outlet for English books throughout the UK, Europe, and even Worldwide. We supply over 1200 internet booksellers, and 12,000 retailers. Of course, we have to get the orders first, and that comes to us because these key accounts use Motilal Books as their sole or preferred supplier. Understandably, they don’t want to deal with 500 different publishers separately. We provide a one stop shop for this particular niche of the UK book trade. Richard grew up locally and first spent many years in the London music trade, before switching to books. He has been with Motilal for 11 years.Contact Richard: 01727 761 677 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Ann MoisterAccounts Manager
Ann keeps the company accounts and produces regular reports for the MD, not only of what payments are due, but for budgeting future development plans. Motilal Books has grown every year since its purchase in 1998, and even in the current recessionary climate we continue to find ways to build on opportunities for book sales. From sending monthly statements to customers worldwide, paying publishers and other suppliers on time and looking for new trends in book buying to take advantage of, finance is a non stop calendar of priorities to keep the company efficient. Ann also takes care of all the companies’ tax, and legal obligations, as well as working with our bank and accountant relationships. Ann lives in nearby Borehamwood, and has been with the company for 17 years.Contact Ann: 01727 761 677 or email@example.com
Arcana SmithIndependent and Chain retailers, UK and Export
Arcana deals with a lot of small orders, usually special requests from individuals who walk into a book shop or library and asks for one copy of something. We have occasional private buyers, but no more than 1-2 a month. Around half of Arcana’s time is taken up with specialist academic book buyers from Africa or the Middle East, wanting a quantity of just a few titles for university level study. “India is exceptional for top titles on medicine, computer science, engineering, and philosophy, and are much cheaper than the equivalent subject from a UK or American source.” She also looks after filing of the stock and specialist web sites that require stock daily, to fill their orders. They buy only from what we have in stock, and don’t want to wait at all. Arcana also liaises with the post office and the 3 courier companies we use regularly, according to the cost of each delivery and destination. Arcana, was born in the Philippines and now lives in the local area where her son attends secondary school.Contact Arcana: 01727 761 677 or firstname.lastname@example.org