Interview | ANAR ANAND - Managing Editor, Pen Men At Work - The Fast Growing Startup Delivering Content with Substance Worldwide


Click on play to listen to Anar Anand talk to Marian Chakraborty

Germantown, Maryland, Dec 15, 2010 (Washington Bangla Radio) “If language is not correct, then what is said is not what is meant; if what is said is not what is meant, then what must be done remains undone; if this remains undone, morals and art will deteriorate; if justice goes astray, the people will stand about in helpless confusion. Hence there must be no arbitrariness in what is said. This matters above everything.” - Confucius

Anar Anand, Managing Editor, Pen Men At WorkMarian Chakraborty caught up with Anar Anand in New York in this informal audio chit-chat in December of 2010. Anar is Managing Editor of Pen Men At Work, a fast-growing content writing and outsourcing organization with offices in New York, Mumbai and Kolkata (erstwhile Calcutta). In this informal chit-chat with Marian Chakraborty, Anar talks about a wide range of subjects including the electronic age of information especially in the context of print versus  Internet media, the unique opportunities and challenges offered by the global access to digital information at the speed of the net, her own background, experience and aspirations and the eclectic variety of subjects and capabilities offered by writers of her organization. She also touches upon the increasing importance of search-engine optimization but not at the expense of engaging quality, and the unique challenges of delivering to her clients content that is relevant in a world where audience attention spans seemingly change as fast as the speed of the net itself.

Founded in early 2010 by Anar and a close friend Sampurn Anand, both with considerable experience as television writers, Pen Men at Work provides content writing services to websites, portals, organizations towards corporate communications and reports and so on - in short for anyone who needs content.

Anar and Sampurn started off as fiction writers primarily in the television entertainment industry. Soon they realized that there is a lot of demand for quality content and sensed a vacuum in the supply of content versus burgeoning demand - an idea that eventually led to Pen Men At Work.

Anar grew up in a cross-cultural environment, partly in Mumbai, India, and partly in New York. She discovered her love and talent for writing early on. Her parents encouraged her to “learn something new every day” - a theme that is a cornerstone of Anar’s personality. With fabulous support for her innate talent in creative writing from her parents, she grew up to successfully turn her number-one hobby - reading and writing - into her profession. A graduate of the hallowed Tisch School of the Arts at New York University where she studied Film and Television, Anar expresses her appreciation for her teachers who helped her develop her interests, laying the foundation for her success as a screen-writer.

Talking about the implications of SEO, keywords and search phrases and their importance for web-sites and portals, Anar observes that it is important to publish not just good stories, but the right stories, delivering relevant information on subjects that the audience is looking for. “If everyone is talking about Miley Cyrus, I don’t want to be writing about Tom Cruise”, says Anar citing an example. The tricks of the trade for generating traffic works to some extent, but, “ultimately, we believe content has to have the substance to bring someone back the second time”, observes Anar.

Taking up assignments from across the world as well as diverse fields offers Anar and her team unique challenges every day. Being a writer herself, Anar relishes writing pieces on subjects that make her learn new things and do research before delivering a well-informed authoritative and engaging articles. Catering to a wide variety of readers, including some who probably know a lot more about the subject and are thus capable of spotting mistakes, is not easy, as Anar explains. “One has to be really careful and check their facts and write the truth.”

About the future, Anar feels the sky is the limit for her kind of organization - a much broader platform where they see their work including books and films, having groups of writers across the world, and perhaps even have a great big party with all writers finally getting to meet each other are all very much in the list of possibilities !

The quote at the top of this post is, in many ways, a guiding philosophy of Anar Anand and Pen Men At Work. We at Washington Bangla Radio are so impressed with Anar and her team that we decided to go out and record this audio interview and make this post (this article is in no way a paid advertisement of Pen Men At Work on WBRi !) and we heartily wish Anar and Pen Men At Work a spectacular future, and hope they remember a little Bengali Internet radio station and smile back on this post when they are in the race for their own Pulitzers.

Anar Anand and Pen Men At Work can be reached at www.penmenatwork.com.