“Piracy out of bounds for MPR publications”

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informed Ashish Rajoria, director, Aadarsh Pvt Ltd, the creators of MPR pen which enables simultaneous hearing of contents of already printed books. Aadarsh Pvt Ltd conferred with the Milagrow Trailbrazers Award Aadarsh Private Limited was recently in the news for being recognized by the Milagrow Trailblazers Awards 2010 for their contribution in the education and skill building industry for introducing Multimedia Print Reading (MPR) technology in India, which enables simultaneous hearing of contents of already printed books. Here’s more on the MPR technology.

AABP: In your opinion, what is the application of technology in children education?

Ashish: Looking at today’s environment, children are born within the technology and it is all around them even before they start taking their first step. The techno savvy environment has opened an era of tools and equipments that help a child to become a better learner. We believe technology like ours can bring in the change and revolutionize the education environment. If we accept the technology with open minds, we can help create a better tomorrow for all the little ones.

AABP: MPR pen was launched last year; how has been the journey so far?

Ashish: After an year of the product launch, we have crossed many hurdles and created a perfect educational technology product for the Indian education programme. We did not hit the market immediately after we launched but a series of careful study and research happened to make sure not only this will be another innovative educational tool but a serious technology that caters to the different segment of the society. The educationist and industry has awarded MPR as the “Brand Innovator for the Year 2010 under the Education and Skills Development Category”. Now with over 250 titles introduced and another 300 slotted to launch this year, we can safely boast being the largest MPR talking books publisher in the globe. The beginning of this year also brought different publishers to partner with us and convert their existing titles in this technology. Also, governments from different states have adopted the technology and pilot projects are already on in over 5 states. We are proud that we are associated with such technology and able to fill the gap by bringing any reader much more closer to the books thus not only making reading essential but making reading fun and informative. This is also the first time the language barrier has been broken and a book printed/published in one language can be read or listened in over 18 languages including 6 international languages.

AABP: What was the response of the masses in general?

Ashish: There has been an overwhelming response for the product from different segments: Kids love it and parents always wanted to have a tool which can bring their children closer to the books. Not only this, the kids using this technology become independent and so, the concept of self-study has increased which was a tedious job for a young one to do. On the other hand, elders who wanted to read religious books but could not do so because of the tiredness and low vision can now listen to their favorite sacred books at their choice and at their will. Educationists have found this product as a great study and this product without any doubt is the front runner in Inclusive Education programmes. This product has been critically acclaimed as the best reading technology introduced in last decade sans any frills of installation and maintenance. A Mumbai firm has taken up this product to teach the farmers about the insecticides, pesticides and best farming techniques. While an organization in South has taken this product to reach out millions of its members by incorporating this technology to their publication.

AABP: What is your distribution channel and what are the popular series in this segment?

Ashish: MPR is distributed through two channels only: corporate sales and direct sales through our website www.addmart.biz. The popular series in this segment are CBSE books from Grade I to V and Barbie Story Books.

AABP: Tell us something about the pricing of this product?

Ashish: Cost was never a challenge with this product initially launched at Rs 7,000. However the market response was great and with more demand we were able to subsidize the cost quite substantially and we believe going at this pace we will be able to reduce it further for our end users. The cost of the product is now at Rs 5,000.

AABP: What are the challenges and opportunities of this particular segment?

Ashish: We believe there are no challenges in technologies like this. MPR has been appreciated from day one and people have joined hands to support us with this project. However, there is a lingering threat within the traditional publishers to lose their share of business when such technology is introduced in the market. We feel there is a huge opportunity for all the Indian publishers to be future ready with this technology, anyone can join us by for converting their conventional books into talking books and our team will be happy to support the cause by helping all the way and further all their future publications can be planned in a manner that they are published as Talking books with MPR technology. The biggest opportunity for all of our fellow publishers is that we can together ‘stop piracy’ if we start converting our books with this technology. The MPR publication cannot be pirated once published in this format.

AABP: How do you foresee the growth of this particular segment in the next five years?

Ashish: We are very bullish upon this and we believe a 100 percent growth every year will be an easy mark to achieve for us. Our plan is to launch around 5,000 books with this technology from our own publication and partner with over 50 publishers to join hands with us in the next five years.

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