Shobit Arya, the founder and publisher of Wisdom Tree on what we can expect from the Indian publishing next year.
Technology is like an object in your rear-view mirror. It is always closer than you think it is. In fact, for us in Indian publishing, it may actually just be ready to jump out of the mirror.
Let me first put this in perspective. Last year around the same time, I was asked by a business magazine to comment on the Indian publishing trends for 2011. I had said then that lack of efficiency in chain stores is bound to diminish gains in medium to long term. The sentiment was not without basis. Over the last year itself, we have seen three of the five biggies getting into extremely choppy waters. Most of them seem to have been caught in the trap of going after margins on paper, running the show mostly from an accountant's perspective.
Books, interestingly, are not like any other FMCG commodity, where data mining could be singularly relied on. This, coupled with the blind race of scaling up, can be a sure recipe for disaster. Hopefully, towards the latter part of 2012, some of these chain stores would have begun to find their feet again....more
12:13 PM, Dec 23, 2011