The Federation of Indian Publishers celebrates Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav
As per Nielsen Book Data, the Indian Publishing industry today is ranked as the sixth largest in the world, and the second largest in terms of publishing English language books. The Indian publishing industry is worth Rs. 73,900 crores, i.e., USD 9.5 billion and it continues to grow. There are more than 20,000 publishers and, 1.46,000 books were published in 2021 alone in various Indian languages. In this backdrop, the Federation of Indian Publishers (FIP) is all set to release a commemorative volume on 75 Years of Book Publishing in India (1947-2022).
Here, Pranav Gupta, Joint Secretary of the Federation of Indian Publishers & Executive Committee Member of the International Publishers Association, gives a glimpse into this Granth of Indian Publishing.
AABP: Tell us about the idea behind the book ‘ 75 Years of Book Publishing in India.’ How does it resonate with the Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav?
Pranav: As the country is all set to celebrate the 75 Years of Independence – Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav and the celebrations came into existence at the beginning of this year … the FIP also decided to dive into this commemoration with ’75 Years of Book Publishing in India’ and continue the legacy of such important and momentous occasions. Earlier in 1997, FIP published 50 Years of Book Publishing in India, followed by 60 Years of Book Publishing in India in 2007.
As publishers, it is our responsibility to talk not only about our strengths to deliver high-value content but also imparting value-based education to the student fraternity, besides our ability to generate enormous job opportunities. Our visibility will enable us to bring in more advancements in the publishing industry, and the way people perceive us, globally.
Apart from being parallel to the celebrations of 75 Years of Independence, this book marks the significant evolution that our industry witnessed post-independence. In fact, the Indian publishing industry has been at the forefront even before India became independent through the power of the pen, sparking the thought of an independent India amongst Indians during the British era. Pundit Jugal Kishore Shukla founded India’s first Hindi-language newspaper/magazine, Udant Martanda, in 1826.
Besides, our PM Mr. Narendra Modi reiterates his commitment to growth via Atmanirbhar Bharat, and Indian publishing is well aligned with this thought. We successfully manufacture and operate as an industry with a self-reliant approach, in sync with the ‘Make in India’ ethos.
AABP: Who are the main people behind this voluminous book?
Pranav: Shri Asoke K. Ghosh is the editor and Project leader for this book, was primarily assisted by Shri Ramesh Mittal, Dr. Ashok Gupta, Shri Naveen Gupta, and myself.
Asoke K. Ghosh, the Father of Indian Publishing and this publication’s architect, is the first Indian and the sole Asian to be named Vice President of the International Publishers Association (IPA). He introduced the IPA Congress to Indian geography by bringing it to New Delhi for the first time in 1992, and then again in 2018, transforming the narrative of the Indian publication domain on the global front.
In my case, Mr. Ghosh has been a guiding light who has backed all my publishing endeavours and introduced me to the functioning of the IPA. Under his mentorship, I successfully organised the IPA Congress in India in 2018 and paved my way towards becoming an EC member in 2021. My heartfelt gratitude to Mr. Ghosh for being a pioneer in this sphere!
The cover of the book has been aesthetically designed by Frontlist Media. Special mention goes to Repro India for excellent production of this book. I would also like to extend special gratitude to Mr. Sanjeev (Romi) Vohra, Managing Director, Repro India, for producing this commemorative volume, gratis!
AABP: How have you contributed to this special project?
Pranav: I have successfully contributed three important articles on different topics like Journals and Periodicals Publishing in India, International Publishers Association, and the Indian Reprographic Rights Organization. I was also instrumental in bringing in articles by dignitaries such as Dr. Rajkumar Ranjan Singh, Dr. Vinay Sahasrabuddhe, Sunil Deodhar, Amish Tripathi, Thomas Abraham, Ananth Padmanabhan, Preeti Vyas, Karine Pansa and more….I was also obliged to receive a valuable message for the book by the IPA President – Bodour Al Qasimi.
AABP: The book has articles/views from more than 50 publishers/authors/industry personnel. What have been the challenges in the process of developing this book?
Pranav: Any new project has a set of challenges but it is more of a learning curve. Initially, the first challenge was to find someone who has the knowledge and expertise to lead it, but when Mr. Asoke K Ghosh agreed to lead us, the battle was half won. Another challenge was to find the right people who are stalwarts in their respective fields. It was a mammoth task but I can surely say that this hard work has paid off and we are immensely proud of holding this Indian Publishing Legacy in our hand.
It has been a wonderful experience, with so much to learn. This book is sure to become the ‘ Granth’ of the publishing industry, offering plethora of knowledge, information, outlook, views and ideas.
AABP: What are the key takeaways from this book?
Pranav: Each article distinctly speaks about the developments that have taken place in a particular area of publishing or an associated field, historically and up to now. Articles on as many as 19 languages in which regular publishing takes place have been included in this volume. Besides this, it comprises well-researched and thoughtful writings on the Socio-Cultural Aspects of Publishing, Diverse Areas in Publishing, and Technical, Business & Organisational Aspects of Publishing. In short, this monumental compilation puts before the reader an overall sketch of the Indian Publishing Industry, which happens to be ranked sixth globally and second largest in the English language publishing in the world.
AABP: When is the book being launched?
Pranav: We are truly elated for its launch in India and internationally. For the launch, we have requested Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi to do the honours. FIP is also planning to do an international launch at the Frankfurt Book Fair 2022 during the month of October.
AABP: How is the book being promoted and what has been the response so far?
Pranav: We have some pre-orders already in hand, both from national and International boundaries. On the other hand, media and publishing entities are all geared up to witness its launch and read the evolution in the Indian Publishing industry since 1947.
AABP: As Joint Secretary of the Federation of Indian Publishers & Executive Committee Member of the Indian Publishers Association, share your views on the Indian publishing industry.
Pranav: India is the largest consumer base as the market is versatile and we have the largest, young population. Improved infrastructure in education has resulted in higher literacy rate, and the government aims to achieve 100% literacy by 2030. The Publishing Industry is a catalyst in this growth plan while also tapping on SDG 4 Quality Education, which aims to “ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.”
Globally, our books/content are competitively-priced and Indian authors, books, and publishers are well-accepted globally. Right from Pre-press to Post-press services, Indian publishing industry and its allied services are at the forefront. If we look at the statistics, our exports are more than the imports, therefore the Indian publishing industry significantly contributes to the GDP of the country.
AABP: What message would you like to give to fellow publishers?
Pranav: Indian publishing industry has a bright future. People in this profession of publishing, or aspiring to be in publishing, should feel proud of our dignified and noble role in society. We are the keepers of the nation’s conscience. It is we who play a critical part in shaping and molding the future of our country. We are the people who uphold the tradition, culture, freedom of our country, and freedom to express, and freedom to publish.
Hence, as publishers of this phenomenal multi-cultural and large nation, we must build on our strengths immediately and collectively ensure that at least few of us rise to the pinnacle of world’s top publishing companies within the next ten years.
Pranav Gupta is Joint Secretary of the Federation of Indian Publishers &
Executive Committee Member of the Indian Publishers Association.
He is also the Managing Director of Prints Publications Private Limited.