E-books provide opportunity to diversify industry: Publishers

New Delhi: With major publishing giants making available books and content online, industry stalwarts say they do not see E-books as a threat but as an opportunity to diversify the traditional publishing industry.

"E-books are not a threat but an opportunity for publishers to tap the growing market which is more tech-savvy and has grown up reading digital books," Rohit Kumar, Chairman, Read Elsevier India said today.

He was speaking at the second edition of "CEO Speak - a Forum for Publishing", hosted by NBT in association with the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry.

National Book Trust, which is the latest to join the electronic bandwagon, sees digital and traditional channels of publishing complementing each other.

"E-book should be considered a challenge and not a threat to traditional publishing. The two delivery channels have to co-exist and complement each other in an emerging India which is technology-driven. No industry can remain static," A Sethumadhavan, NBT Chairman said.
As per the findings of an Industry Pulse survey conducted by FICCI, digital publishing is not yet a resounding success in India with only five per cent share of E-book apps, paving the way for print, which hogs the main stake.

The CEO Speak roundtable aimed to address challenges faced by the publishing industry in India and assess the emerging trends in book publishing.

The event witnessed big names from the publishing industry exchanging ideas about digital publishing and the need to accord industry status to the publishing industry for providing working capital for more content creation.

Author and Member of Planning Commission, Narendra Jadhav in his keynote address said the Indian publishing industry has grown at a spectacular rate and has a tremendous potential to grow even further.

"The growth of the Indian publishing industry is consistent with the growth of India as a knowledge country. Youth literacy has improved with an incremental addition in higher education enrolment," he said.

Underlining the need for the publishing industry to actively collaborate with institutions of higher education, he said, "Research and innovation in the field of publishing is important to create new readership.