• Friday, June 14, 2024

Interview with Prashant Jain, CEO, Oswaal Books and Learning Private Limited.

on Aug 09, 2022
Prashant Jain, CEO, Oswaal Books and Learning Private Limited.

A literary aficionado, visionary scholar, and compassionate leader, Mr. Prashant Jain holds a Master's degree in Publishing from the University of Arts, London, and has done his BBA from Amity University, Noida. Having the experience of 3 years in the land of 'Bard of Avon,' with some esteemed publishing firms, including John Blake Publishing, London. He has also worked with Procter & Gamble, the UK as an Account Manager for two years. He returned to India in 2006 to share his experience and skills for the betterment of Indian students.

Apart from his exuberant marketing and leadership skills, he's considered to be the Noah's Ark in a time of crisis. With a knack for constantly learning and working on self-enhancement, his vision is to create a centralized educational platform where students of every board, every language, and every country could accentuate their learning capabilities and ambitions.

His hobbies include reading books, participating in car rallies, and traveling. He also enjoys listening to music in his free time.

Frontlist: The array of content consumption has become readily available due to the prevalence of new-age technology. How have Oswaal books changed to parallel the digital-driven publishing industry, and how does it take a toll on book sales?

Prashant: Technology advancements have increased book sales and reading market growth. Yes, everyone experiences ups and downs in sales, but Oswaal Books will always have a place in the market regardless of how high the competition rises. We deal with the best books without sacrificing quality, from informational to reading content. Our content is also published in E-books, websites, etc., and the digital era doesn't affect our organization's sales in any manner.

Oswaal Books initially adopted a policy of going with the flow and avoided getting drawn in by the shifting trends. Digitization seems to always result in positive results for us. People still love to read hardcover work. So, our organization's sales did equally well in soft copies and hard copies of the books. In short, the digital era doesn't affect us. We firmly feel that the adjectives "innovation" and "creativity" are superior. We always abide by these principles as we advance and concentrate on our objectives. And yes, we have transformed into a digital-driven society.

Moreover, modern technologies provide an increment in the success of our organization. We have already started an Ed-Tech platform, "OSWAAL-360," which aims to provide online assessment tests to help students improve their skills and abilities. Thanks to the most recent support trend and innovation, Oswaal Books transformed to match the digital-driven publishing market, giving us the chance to shift the mark to digitalization.

Frontlist: How far do you come along to accomplish the vision you set for establishing Oswaal books as the leader across the education spectrum of India?

Prashant: Every child in India learns from an early age that books are the most incredible friends, and I, with the help of my team, make this proverb a reality by enabling students to have a thorough understanding of educational series merely from one book rather than becoming accustomed to hundreds of books. In the educational sector, we have tailored our books for each grade to give students a comprehensive understanding. It is a promising undertaking to see the education sector battling alongside the developments in the other businesses. Oswaal actively supports these reforms and is attempting to contribute to this revolution. As a result, this sets our digitalization strategies apart from the competition: we didn't just dive headfirst into the idea of technology integration because it was a hot topic. And certainly, we are making Oswaal Books the industry leader in India's education.

Frontlist: Do you believe that a Publishing career is much brighter for upcoming generations? Could you please share any advice for young entrepreneurs seeking employment in this field?

Prashant: In a word, yes! Our unaided eyes show that the publishing industry is growing every day and will leave a lasting impact. One of the most sought-after jobs in the world is publishing, which is pursued by people passionate about reading, editing, and creating books in a way that inspires readers to pick them up off the shelf and spend time with them. There are a variety of career paths open to those who desire to work in publishing, including production, design, marketing, editorial, and sales. As the demand for eBooks grows, so does the publishing industry's need for digital marketing and growth. Any experience in publishing is a positive experience because it shows that a person is willing to dedicate themselves to a field to gain credibility and expertise.

Frontlist: The publishing industry has experienced a tumultuous shift in business values and innovations after the Pandemic. What's your take on this?

Prashant: The Covid-19 Pandemic plunged the world into innumerable crises in all walks of life. It can be unequivocally said that the education sector metamorphosed the greatest to combat these changing world dynamics. The demands for digital education began augmenting at an unhesitating speed and have not waned out even now. Being a part of the publishing industry, we know that most publishing houses were shut down during the Pandemic and could not open up again due to the loss suffered by companies during the Pandemic. During a pandemic, the publishing industry has undergone a turbulent change in business values. The Pandemic has not affected us; our revenue increased significantly during the Pandemic. People love to enjoy hardcopy and digital books. At the time of the Pandemic, when all the other companies started to publish e-content, we were already dealing in e-books and e-content prior that's why we were able to generate handsome revenue via e-books at the time of the Pandemic.

We also launched our EdTech platform 'OSWAAL-360," which aims to provide an online assessment test to the students. That's why our business gains profit because of these e-books and digitalization. Oswaal Books initially adopted a policy of going with the flow and avoided getting caught in the shifting trends. I kept a close eye on these events with the help of my knowledgeable team and sought to plan a way out. As a result, I started working on creating the highest degree of digital functioning and integrating it with educational issues. As the world has become more digitized, we have also changed.

Frontlist: The Pandemic has significantly influenced the quality of education. How can we promote sustainable growth while addressing the educational gaps?

Prashant: We are all aware of how devastatingly the pandemic affected everyone. The epidemic significantly influences every aspect of life, with the education system bearing the brunt of this burden. To stop the spread of the virus and lessen its effects, this emergency in the sphere of education has resulted in the widespread shutdown of face-to-face activities of educational institutions in more than 190 nations. The suspension of face-to-face classes at all levels has led to the adoption of several measures in the area of education that the region's countries have taken in response to the crisis. When educational institutions have stayed closed, and millions of young people have been persuaded to stay at home with their families, online education seems to be the only option to ensure that these students continue their education. For many students in our schools, colleges, and institutions with little to no access to computers and internet connectivity at home, conventional online education is still out of their grasp. The number of students who have access to broadband internet, 4G cell phones, tablets, laptops, or desktop computers, as well as other essential devices for online courses, is yet unknown.

Ways to promote sustainable growth while addressing the educational gaps:

●Be interdisciplinary and comprehensively integrated into the curriculum to enable a whole-institution approach to policy making.

●Discuss the values and guiding concepts of sustainable development.

●Encourage critical thinking, problem-solving, and action, which all help people feel more confident while facing the difficulties of sustainable development.

●Use a range of teaching techniques to highlight the processes, such as theatre, debate, literature, and the arts.

●Permit students to weigh in on decisions affecting the structure and content of educational programs.

●Avoid using jargon-filled language and words, and talk about both local and global issues.

Frontlist: Where does the Indian Publishing Industry stand with the Global Publishing Industry?

Prashant: India's publishing sector is ranked among the top seven publishing countries in the world. Following the US and the UK in English language publishing, India comes in third with an estimated market share of INR 10,000 crores. Undoubtedly, the Indian publishing sector is now competitive with the global sector. Globally speaking, the e-publishing industry is booming. Even while e-book sales may have decreased at times, this has no bearing on the expansion of the e-publishing industry or the number of companies offering digital publishing services. The demand for digitalization among technologically advanced readers leaves the market for India's e-publishing sector open. As the Indian economy expands and thrives, the Indian market will also expand in the years to come. India's publishing industry is diverse and depends on educational attainment and regional dialects. Therefore, I can see that the Indian publishing industry is at a rapid pace of development.

Frontlist: The education spectrum has seen dynamic growth because of Artificial Intelligence. How will it change the education level in India?

Prashant: The concept of artificial intelligence is no longer the stuff of science fiction; it now permeates every aspect of our daily life. Education is one of several industries that will be affected by AI as it develops into a powerful modern technology that deals with massive amounts of data. As a result, if more students are aware of artificial intelligence (AI) technology, there is a chance that many young minds will contribute to significant advancements in AI technology in the future. According to projections, the country's population is over 50% of people under 25. These techniques must be used wisely to give better instruction and learning as digital data collection technologies grow.

Revolutionary changes that AI can bring to the education system:

●There are currently some artificial intelligence-based tutoring tools that can guide students through fundamental math, writing, and other topics.

●By accounting for all the drawbacks of fixed-format tests, including varying weighting and the difficulty of the curriculum, AI can develop fairer, more objective methods of evaluating candidates. Our compass can be adjusted straight by AI, allowing us to finally move in the right direction.

●The application of AI can decrease time and resource waste during the grading process since it gives each student access to real-time feedback on their performance from the perspectives of proficiency and expertise.

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