“Together let’s tackle the challenges in the Indian publishing industry”

says Ramesh Mittal, Chairman for Books, Publications and Printing Panel of CAPEXIL and President, FIP. He shares his views on the state of industry and how CAPEXIL and FIP are working towards the betterment of the industry, in an exclusive interview with AABP.

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Ramesh K Mittal, Director, DK Agencies Pvt Ltd, has been declared elected as Chairman for Books, Publications and Printing Panel of CAPEXIL in terms of the Bye-Laws & Rules for the election of Panel Representatives in the CoA of CAPEXIL for the year 2017-18.He is also holding the post of Chairman, Northern Region, CAPEXIL, besides being the President of Federation of Indian Publishers (FIP). Here, he shares more about Indian publishing industry and his responsibilities towards the same.

Challenges faced by the publishing industry…

Ramesh Mittal, Chairman for Books, Publications and Printing Panel, CAPEXIL and President, FIP.
Ramesh Mittal, Chairman for Books, Publications and
Printing Panel, CAPEXIL and President, FIP.

“India at the moment is in a difficult state as it is facing a lot of challenges like sale of books going down. There is uncertainty surrounding K-12 publishers in view of the directives by some of the state governments to use NCERT books in schools. Besides, since libraries funding has come down significantly, sale of academic/reference books has come down drastically. As far as trade books are concerned, individual readers are slowly going down as interest of younger generation is more towards electronic media rather than reading books,” shares Mittal.

Efforts to boost the industry…

To tackle all these problems, several initiatives are being taken. “For example, K-12 publishers are regularly discussing their problems and working on different solutions, particularly trying to provide exclusive content which will benefit students and also withstand competition,” shares Mittal.

“In academic and reference books segment, not only FIP but also regional associations have been communicating with the central and state governments, requesting for better grants for the libraries,” he adds.

Talking about steps to promote readership, Mittal shares that in order to boost readership, publishers are heading towards ebooks. “A couple of publishers have also come up with audio books keeping the interest of the readers in mind,” he adds.

Indian participation at international events

Another important point which Mittal mentions is lesser number of sanctions to CAPEXIL for participation in international events. “This year, we expect that we will get sanctions for 3-4 international events,” he adds.

On Delhi Book Fair…

Talking about the initiatives taken at FIP, Mittal shares that they have proposed a few changes in the Delhi Book Fair, which is being organised by FIP in association with India Trade Promotion Organisation (ITPO). These include reduction of number of days to five, smaller stall sizes of 4m from 6m and 9 m in order to accommodate smaller publishers at less cost, and introduction of theme at each Delhi Book Fair. “This year, we have decided on the theme of North East India, to showcase the books, culture and food of the seven states of North East India,” he adds.

Handling FIP and CAPEXIL…

Since, Mittal is presiding over both FIP and CAPEXIL, the industry is expecting better results. “It is a good platform to organise certain events in a more effective manner. When publishers and exporters will work together, perhaps new publishers will venture into exports. Moreover, we will try to spread across Indian language publishing sector to venture into export of their publications in languages to Indian diaspora living across continents. There is a good market for books in Indian languages among the Indian population living abroad,” he shares.

On a concluding note…

“Problems are there in every industry but publishers should come forward with details of the problems and offer different possible solutions as well so that these can be discussed thoroughly and some proper ways found to address those issues,” signs off Mittal.

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