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Home > Business > PTI > Report

India, a hotspot for foreign publishers

Arvinder Kaur in New Delhi | January 29, 2007 15:37 IST

The Indian publishing industry is being seen as the next frontier for outsourcing. But there is much more to it.
Many American and European publishers are looking to India for selling their titles, which are being printed, priced, packaged and marketed locally.

"India is one of the fastest growing English language markets and a world class economic dynamo with a highly literate populace. It shows the relevance of India in the eyes of all international publishers," says Jack Romanos, president & CEO of Simon & Schuster.

"Suddenly the rest of the publishing world has discovered India and having a shiny new Indian operation has become the latest corporate requirement it is much more than just a piece of opportunist marketing," says Stephan Barr, managing director of Sage London. With Indian authors winning Booker and Noble prizes, Indian publishing is looked upon with respect. For foreign publishers India has dual potential i.e. outsourcing as well as good market for their product, says Romanos.

All the publishers that are outsourcing to India are also selling to India too so it is two-way exchange. Technology outsourcing is also gathering pace with companies like S&S outsourcing their technology support office to India, he says.

Simon & Schuster has been selling to India for many years but they are now looking at titles that are printed locally, and priced, packaged and marketed specifically for the Indian marketplace, notes Romanos.

For its Indian publishing programme, Simon & Schuster will select a number of titles from its US and UK operations to publish in English language, the Indian editions. All titles published by them in India will be printed locally, and priced, packaged and marketed specifically for the Indian marketplace, says Romanos.

"Indian publishing scene is nicely poised and has great potential, just the way Indian economy and other Indian businesses are doing. In publishing, India is way ahead of China because of huge English speaking population (29 per cent of India's population speak English, that's 350 million people) as compared to China where English is still a second language," he says.

The Indian publishing industry is definitely growing, both in terms of the number of titles being published each year and readership. With more retail space opening up, it is possible forĀ  publishers to reach more readers now than before, says Renuka Chatterjee, chief editor, Roli Books.

However, she says the foreign publishers are interested in India mainly because they see this as a growing market for selling their books. Outsourcing is just a part of it, she says.

"But a major one," notes Lokesh Thani of Sports Publications. He says "low cost of paper, printing, and other material is the major reason why these are looking at India. Also the market is very huge. They are looking at selling their titles, be it educational books or technology."

Also, by setting up a base here, they can cover the whole of Asia, notes Thani, adding "exports of books and other publishing material from India is very huge."

Blaise Simqu, US based CEO of Sage Publications says "over the last two years, we have moved some of our global publishing operations to India. The majority of Sage's typesetting and an increasing portion of other tasks including production editing, copy editing and production management is carried out either by Sage India or by other Indian companies."

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