GenX in publishing!
Innovative ideas…new perspective…fresh energy…a second generation professional joins the family business with a novel approach. Backed with precious experience from their elders, they are more dynamic and eager to take their companies to newer heights. ABP met two such second-generation professionals in book publishing industry, who have carved a mark for themselves. Manoj Mendiratta,
Manoj Mendirattamanaging director, Jiwan Publishing House (P) Ltd Jiwan Publishing House (P) Ltd, is a generation old company that has strongly established itself as publishers, printers, distributors and exporters. The company has pioneered in developing and publishing quality educational material, strictly based on prescribed educational guidelines. UR Mendiratta started wholesale stationery shop by establishing Mediratta Book Depot in Ramesh Nagar, which later led to the development of “Jiwan Publishing House” under the name of his mother-Jiwan Devi, to immortalise her name. Jiwan Publishing House, a four-decade-old company, caters to the needs of the student community at all levels, for all streams. Today, as one of the leading publishers of the country they own a big press in sprawling building, at NOIDA, fully equipped with ultra-modern machines.
“Our main aim and objective is to grow, grow, and grow. We believe in participating in both national and international platforms to increase awareness of our products and finally bring about the much needed growth we are seeking,” tells Manoj.
“I joined work, when I was all of 19 and it was almost 25 years back, while I was still studying. It was around 1991. My main focus was to learn and improve the company in different ways. I was instrumental in bringing new topics and new titles to our publishing house,” he shares.
Talking of the competition then and now, Manoj says, “When I joined the business, there was not so much competition but now the competition has become very tough in the publishing domain.” “Our main challenge has been to speedy adopt the changing course of CBSE board. We make it our endeavour to do the same with speed, efficiency and timely production of books,” he adds. “We have also ventured into the ebooks and Online version- and we do have a road ahead there.”
Briefing about their future plans, he tells, “We are looking to expand our business by keeping our base strong, by taking care of our production requirements and meeting the requirements of our customers with quality and timely delivery. My son Mehul, who is 20 years old, has joined the family business and we both are working towards the dream of making our company into a Public Limited company soon.”
Prateek AhujaDelhi Book Store Delhi Book Store is one of the leading book store of medical and non-medical books in India. It has a wealth of books with considerable strengths in the Medical, Science & Technology, Humanities, Social Sciences and General. The saga of DBS started in 1947, when Jeewan Kumar Ahuja started selling books, first on bicycle and then opened a book shop. Today, their third generation Prateek Ahuja is lending a helping hand at the company. “Delhi Book Store was started by my grandfather, who always thought that young students should get the new and better books at affordable prices,” shares Prateek. “Since 2005, I have been on and off at work but I seriously joined the family business in 2009 and it took me around two years to understand what the entire business is as it is a vast market and we are catering to a lot of sectors. And the biggest challenge when I joined the company was coming of ebooks and the grants of universities libraries going down,” he shares. Interestingly, Prateek was never fond of reading but today he loves and respects books, even though reading is still not his favourite pastime.
Talking about the internal challenges, Prateek shares that with every decade, there is a change in industry. “So, when I joined, I wanted everything to be automated, which my father was already working on. Since I knew the technology better, I took up the task to modernize the processes,” he said.
“I am still trying to establish and find a place for myself, even though our business is pretty much established. I am currently focusing on publishing, getting new publishers in the market. We already have more than 12 STM publishers with 13000-15000 titles, exclusively with Delhi Book Store. We are also looking at the distribution channel,” he says.
Briefing about the current market scenario, Prateek shares, “The market is moving towards online selling, which in turn, is a good platform as you don’t need a big infrastructure for that. The margins are not high but they are good enough. The decrease in offline sales can be easily offset with the online sales. But, there is a limitation. People do not get to browse through different books, thus, they end up buying only what they know. Thus, the platform of business is changing. We are working on both offline and online channels.”
Talking about ebooks, Prateek shares that ebooks do have a fixed percentage of market; it will remain stagnant for some time. “A common man might not go for an ebook in India, it is a privileged few who can afford a tablet and know how to use an ebook. A book lover would never want to keep a book he loves on a tablet, he would like to flaunt it, which is only possible with printed book,” he concludes.