Indian demographics: boon for the industry

There’s huge opportunity in India’s demographics for the publishing industry. Asia’s third-largest economy is home to over 520 million people aged between five and 24. There are over 1.5 millions schools, of which 83,000 are private English-medium schools and the number is ever-growing. Of these, around 18,000 schools are affiliated to the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) or the Indian Council for Secondary Education (ICSE). Rest of the 1.4 million schools belong to the state boards.

Good quality books are the prime requisites for these schools to shape the future citizens of India. Indian publishing industry has been catering to this segment for a long time. The old black-and-white rote learning books have given way to well-designed well-illustrated colourful textbooks. However, there has been confusion for the past three months surrounding implementation of NCERT books in all CBSE affiliated schools. Even though CBSE has not made it compulsory, their notification has been wrongly interpreted. The schools and the parents of the children understand the hard work publishers do to bring out quality textbooks for the children. We hope that this confusion ends soon as this is in the interest of not just the publishing industry but our education system at large.

Another news worth mentioning is that S Chand has become the second Indian publisher to get listed at National Stock Exchange (NSE) and Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE). Their Rs 728.5 crore IPO was oversubscribed 60 times. This clearly shows the positive sentiments about the industry and will give a new dimension to our industry.

The industry is consolidating and this is a step towards bring an organised industry. Globally, India is a focus market for many industries, including printing and publishing as this is one of the few countries where print still rules the digital medium.

Happy publishing!

Sonal Khurana

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