• Friday, June 14, 2024

Interview With Mr. Prashant Jain, Director at Indica Publishers & Distributors P. Ltd.

on Aug 04, 2022
Mr. Prashant Jain, Director at Indica Publishers & Distributors P. Ltd.

Mr. Prashant Jain, Director at Indica Publishers & Distributors P. Ltd. (IPDPL)

Prashant Jain, Director at Indica Publishers & Distributors P. Ltd. (IPDPL).

IPDPL is a leading library supplier, distributor and publication house that is being run by Prashant Jain and his younger brother, Mohit Jain. 

The Indica group of companies includes…

  1. Indica Publishers & Distributors P. Ltd. – It is into Print Books business.
  2. Indica Technologies and Services Pvt. Ltd. – It is into the business of E-resources.
  3. Shree Publishers & Distributors – It is into Academic Books and Reference Book Publications
  4. University Publication – It is into Academic Books and Reference Book Publications
  5. Kitabwale – It is into publication of General Books, Cultural Books, and Fiction/Non-Fiction books.

Frontlist: How did you start your publishing career? What has changed since you initially entered the publishing industry?

Prashant: Well, this is my family business. My grandfather started this publication house in 1962. I joined the company immediately after schooling in 1996 and pursued graduation and post-graduation together. A lot has changed since I entered the business in these 26 years. The Indian Publishing industry registered considerable growth during this time. Now I see Indian publications are giving tough competition to their foreign counterparts. It is a proud moment as an Indian. Also, in the last few years, I have seen an increase in the number of Indian authors, which I consider another milestone in the Indian publishing industry because many of them are quite popular today for their contribution.

Frontlist: IPDPL is the leading Library Supplier of Indian and Foreign Texts, Reference Books, and General Works. How has the pandemic influenced the book distribution process? Could you please share some of the challenges that Indica Publishers & Distributors P Ltd faced during this period?

Prashant: Yeah, the pandemic was brutal on us as well as on the entire book industry. The print business was shut down as there was no demand due to the closing of all the educational institutes. Luckily, the e-resources business kept the trading sailing. During the pandemic, the institutes are more focused on e-resources to provide the reading material to their faculties and students at home.

Frontlist: The publishing industry plays a crucial role in enhancing the quality of education. What would you like to say in this context?

Prashant: Undoubtedly, it does. There is no substitution for books when we talk about education, and the publishing industry plays the primary role in enhancing the quality of education. Contrary to popular opinion, I believe that the internet can never replace books regarding education, and also, the internet cannot match the authenticity of the information. 

Frontlist: What significant learnings have you grasped throughout your publishing industry career?

Prashant: I have learned the importance of strong trade relations. Also, you must be vigilant and keep yourself updated with the latest technologies and developments in the market. 

Frontlist: Can we look upon young generations to envision their career in the Publishing Industry? Do you have any advice that will be advantageous to them? 

Prashant: There are two categories of young generations venturing into the publishing business – the ones who are inheriting the business and the ones who'll be starting thing business on their own. For people joining their family business, I suggest observing their seniors and trying to grasp the trade's insights. For people with no background in this business and who are thinking of starting their publishing, I would recommend first taking experience with a publishing house. After gaining industry experience, they should consider investing money and establishing a publishing house. It would be a difficult journey to set up this business in this competitive environment. There are many challenges in publishing, such as distribution, substandard content, cost of production, pricing a book at an affordable rate, and many others. But, of course, piracy and re-export are few among the other enduring challenges in India. However, we are trying to fight this evil. Since it is a herculean task that, more than money, involves time, it is difficult to have a complete check on piracy. 

Frontlist: With the advent of the new technology era, things have been revolutionized for the publishing industry. How has it brought new avenues for Indica Publishers & Distributors P Ltd (IPDPL)?

Prashant: I think technology has a high impact and has affected every sphere of publishing, including production and marketing. The main drivers of this change are the internet, print-on-demand, digital publishing, and e-books. The print-on-demand trend saves a lot of paper and warehousing issues.

Frontlist: IPDPL's participation is commendable across the World Book Fair/National Book Fairs/Conferences/Seminars and Book Exhibitions. How has IPDPL been adding value to the publishing ecosystem? 

Prashant: IPDPL is generating a lot of employment both directly and indirectly. It is supporting many new publishing houses by distributing their publications. Also, we publish books by new authors, which boosts their morale, and they can start their career as writers. We are giving business to many paper suppliers, printers, binders, cardboard box manufacturers, transporters, etc. In that way, we are contributing to the publishing ecosystem. A lot of students are studying the books that we publish and distribute. Education enables them to bring laurels by being productive in the country as well as abroad.

So, the book trade directly or indirectly contributes to the country's development.

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