Industry stalwarts honoured at 60th AGM of FPBAI


SC Sethi, president, FPBAI was unanimously re-elected as the president of the federation.

The Federation of Publishers’ and Booksellers’ Associations in India (FPBAI) recently organised their 60th Annual General Meeting in New Delhi, where industry stalwarts were honoured, issues of concern discussed and new body formed. Excerpts. The Federation of Publishers’ and Booksellers’ Associations in India (FPBAI) enjoys the tradition of honouring its leading and distinguished members as token of appreciation for the commendable work done by them for the Indian book industry. “We have already been honouring the members who have to their credit an illuminating experience in the industry for over 50 years. Now, we have decided to honour such companies, whose standing as of today goes beyond 75 years,” told Sethi. As such, the Federation honoured the following stalwarts: Sunil Sachdev of Allied Publishers (P) Ltd, Himanshu Gupta of S. Chand & Co Ltd and Ranjan Kaul of Oxford University Press.

In addition to the above, the Federation also honoured the following members with lifetime award, who have tirelessly extended their cooperation and rendered outstanding services for the cause of industry. These included Vinod Vasishtha of Viva Books Pvt Ltd and Vijay Ahuja of Delhi Book Store. Special award was given to BD Arya of Aryas’ Publishers & Distributors Ltd.

Prior to honouring the stalwart, SC Sethi welcomed all members and guests to the AGM. “I have been providing my humble services for the apex body of book trade in the capacities of honorary secretary and president, FPBAI, and have always tried during this span of time to provide the best of contribution that I could do for the members of the fraternity through the medium of Federation, at times at the cost of my own business. However change is the natural process of life and as such I would like to request the pushing and dashing members of trade especially the youngsters to come forward, identify and resolve the lurking challenges faced by the industry.”

He further said that in today‘s time compared to the bygone era, the challenges faced by the industry are not only multiple in numbers but serious and damaging too, which may even cause extinction to the book industry. “Say for example, the menace of online discount and proliferating e-readership. To counter such deadly challenges we do require an in-born leadership,” he added.

Events and seminars by FPBAI

Sethi also outlined the nine meetings of executive committee during the year. “Out of these nine meetings, two were held outside Delhi, viz at Srinagar and Lucknow to promote proximity and personal juxtaposition with the state associations and local members. In addition to the above a special meeting of the general body of Good Offices Committee (GOC) was also held at Federation House, New Delhi,” he shared.

Besides, a successful seminar was organised by FPBAI at Kathmandu (Nepal) on January 25, 2014 in collaboration with National Booksellers’ and Publishers’ Association of Nepal (NBPAN). The topic of seminar was ‘Publishing & Piracy’ and the speakers who deliberated included SC Sethi, president, FPBAI; Basanta Thapa, president, NBPAN; Joseph Mathai; NN Sarkar; SK Ghai; Ameet Dutta and Navin Joshi. During FPBAI delegates’ stay at Kathmandu, certain participants of Nepal complained that they are not able to sell their books in India, whereas Indian books are largely sold in India and Nepal as well. SC Sethi advised them to come to India and promote their sale. He also assured them entire corporation and assistance in India for the promotion of their trade. Encouraged with the success of the seminar at foreign land, FPBAI is now planning to go to other SAARC countries.

Online redressal efforts by FPBAI

The online retail has of late become a nightmare for the book trade. The booksellers across the country are facing tough time in the age of online culture. Online retailers are selling books below cost price, besides engaging themselves in numerous other malpractices, as a result of which the book trade is threatened. Keeping this into consideration, the Federation sent representations to the office of Prime Minister of India, Ministry of Commerce & Trade, The Competition Commission of India, Finance Minister and Minister of HRD. The federation has sent a written request to all the members of Parliament to pursue their representation at their respective levels. In addition to the above, in the result of sustained efforts made by Federation, the media has taken-up this issue.

Other initiatives

The members of the Federation quite often face legal problems for which the Federation has engaged the services of a lawyer, Vaibhav Arora on retainership basis. While, the Federation’s newsletter is the mouth piece of all its activities. A new directory of all members is also on the cards to be compiled and distributed.

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