Monica Malhotra Kandhari Gives an Outlook of Publishing Sector in India and What it Holds For Future Times
The publishing industry has been evolving with the changing trends and bringing the innovative solutions for education to the forefront and continue helping in strengthening the education system.
Nielsen estimates the publishing sector is worth $6.76 billion. Led by educational books, the sector is set to grow at an average growth rate of 19.3 percent until 2020. That compares to compounded growth of less than 2 percent for global book publishing over the next five years, according to PwC. India has more than 9,000 publishers to serve its nearly 1.3 billion people but also imports a lot of books. There’s so much growth to go around that even newspapers are doing well.
Here is the excerpt from the interaction with Monica Malhotra Kandhari, Managing Director, MBD Group about the growth of the publishing sector and what it holds in the times to come.
Monica states, “The publishing industry in India is counted among the top seven publishing nations in the world. With an estimated market of INR 10,000 crores, India ranks third after the US and UK in English language publishing. With the coming of the Digital age, the nature of the industry has changed. The advancement in technology and Indian’s skilled manpower resource makes the country a major outsourcing hub for print and pre-publishing services in the world be it print, design or editorial. The sector has tremendous potential, both in the domestic as well as the export markets.”
Tackling with the online competition
MBD has spread its roots in every medium and strongly that it does not have to worry about changing time because it believes in updating self with time is the only way to succeed in every dimension.
Monica says, “Today, both print and digital channels co-exist and supplement each other, though consumption remains diverse from region to region. We, at MBD, also offer a wide range of services covering offline as well as online multimedia-based learning solution (E-academy Classrooms, SD Cards, Online Learning etc.,). Our online content is complimentary and supplementary to our books. We have touched based 70,000 schools with 7 million children. All the children reading our books are also availing our online content. There are companies who may be doing online solely but for us, medium is the books. It also helps to increase our readership.
We have also launched a portal www.mbdbooks.in wherein customers across the country can purchase physical books, Educational Tablets, SD Card packaged with content etc.”
To keep up the pace with changing demands and changing mediums
She adds, “We, at MBD, are abreast with all the demands and changing mediums because there was a time when the teacher used to decide how the content has to be disseminated. But now, it is student-centric; they decide how the whole ecosystem is going to work. We see that they have more inclination towards the digital education and they are more receptive towards animations, VR/AR and any kind of videos. Hence, it is because of them that the whole ecosystem has changed and we have come up with more technology-driven products. It’s important for us to understand the psyche of the child, how they are going to understand each concept/subject, we have used that medium. There are a lot of vehicles to reach that medium.
Digital has various ways; similarly print has various ways like reference books, workbooks, activity books, textbooks. We have a plethora of mediums, depending upon what is suited best to the child. The most important thing that we have kept in mind while designing/developing any particular medium is pocket friendliness – all the technology has been designed in such a way so that it does not hit the pocket of the parent. And last but not the least, whichever state we go, we have aligned with the environment, demographics of that specific state and changed a little bit according to the syllabi of that state.”
Future goals and long term vision
Monica explains her future goals and long term vision as: “To meld with Prime Minister Narendra Modi's skills development and Make in India programmes, MBD launched its MBD Skills programme to bridge the gap between demand and supply of skilled manpower in the field of Education, Hospitality and Entrepreneurship. We are currently involved with several government projects including hunar se rozgar programme of the Union tourism ministry, the UDAAN – NSDC skills development for Jammu & Kashmir and the MEPMA (Mission for Elimination of Poverty in Municipal Areas) programmes in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, etc. Our target is to provide skills training to 1 million people by 2022. But our heart is in education and we want to provide affordable books and learning services in more languages to a school affiliated with the 34 examination boards countrywide.
We are already present in Srilanka, South Africa and the Middle East – at present, our focus is to increase our user base in these countries.”