“Books should be syllabus-compliant and remain affordable”
tells Deepak N Patel of Bhavik Publication in conversation with AABP editor SK Khurana.
Which is the first letter that a child speaks? It’s Ma, then why is it that our alphabet books start with A or Ka (in Hindi)? But, not in books from Bhavik Publications where alphabets start from M or Ma (in Hindi). What’s more? The pictures in these books are those which a child sees every day at home.
Ahmedabad based Bhavik Publication Pvt Ltd is the leading educational books publishing unit, with highest quality of materials, affordable price and high standard services. “We started our operations in 1998 with two titles but established our publication unit in 2001. We started off with a letterpress unit with a loan of Rs 50,000 in 1981. I was a child at that time and for me, seeing a sheet of paper bigger than a notebook for the first time in my life was a great surprise. Our first publishing job was of homework diaries for neighbourhood schools. We got good orders for these diaries and our establishment kicked off,” recalled Deepak N Patel, director, Bhavik Publication.
“Those days, my father had observed that there were no textbooks of KG class. He studied books from competitive publishing houses like Aadhar and Navneet, etc and then brought out excellent books in this category,” told Deepak. “But once I started working, we realised that we have different opinions and so he retired from printing business and started farming. He is 80 years old now but still remains active, added Deepak.”
In the year 2003, they made a major investment, with the purchase of 80 acre land for new premises, with 22,000 sq m covered area. They also house an online Muller Martini perfect binding machine, besides other web offset printing equipment. The press runs 24 hours everyday from February to June, while 10-12 hours during rest of the year. They consume 30 tonnes of paper per day while in peak season, it goes up to 60 tonnes a day. The company now employs 400 people, but the staffs are like a family for Deepak and his partner Govind N Patel. He is also supported by his brother Dharmender N Patel and his sons Harsad G Patel and Mehul G Patel. Deepak’s son Gaurang D Patel, who has just completed his intermediate, is also helping him run the business.
Though Deepak has only completed his matriculation, he is a content-oriented person to his core and on proofreading and finding a single mistake spotted even after the printing, does not deter him from scrapping the entire lot and printing a fresh error-free lot. He is very particular about the content and books are revised as per the ongoing syllabus, which at times, is very frequent. “Since there is a semester system in schools, the shelf life of books is also less. Another major bottleneck is the defective paper supply, which results in frequent press stoppage due to web break or other problems,” he informed.
Books they publish…
Bhavik Publication offers educational books for K-12 segment in Gujarati language while their sister concern OGNAJ Publication Pvt Ltd offers books in both English and Hindi. In terms of volumes, Bhavik accounts for 70 percent of the total turnover while OGNAJ accounts for 30 percent. “All the books are self-developed through 100 authors and 20 illustrators. These books are printed in 1-colour, 2-colour or 4-colour depending upon the title and most of them are centre-pinned. We ensure that the books are in sync with the prescribed syllabus and are affordable for parents, besides enhancing the teaching skills of the teachers,” told Deepak.
Soon, we shall be using metallic foils for title covers, giving the books an innovative feel,” told Deepak.
Technology has made strides in every sphere and even publishing houses are using it for their benefit. As many as 64 titles have already been converted into e-books, and more are on the cards. “We have installed 64 CCTV cameras working live round the clock all over our unit so that we are aware of any glitches,” he told.
Walking an extra mile…
Deepak is committed to their work with passion and they offer doorstep delivery to individual buyers at no extra charge. “We have a helpline number and interestingly if a person orders after 8 pm for a book, he gets it free,” he adds.
Inspite of being in the business for so many years, Deepak is not active in any printing association and has never participated in any Book Expo or Print Expo. On asking about their success mantra, Deepak replied that he works fully with his heart and very little with mind.