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Revolutionary reforms required in education system

The Indian education system needs a major revamp
and publishers need to take up their responsibilities as educationists,
conveys Ved Chawla, MD/CEO of Dreamland Publications.

India, with more than 15.5 lakh schools and 30 crores of students below 16 years, stands at 177th position in literacy and education.

The education system woes…

Ved Chawla, MD/CEO, Dreamland Publications has been collecting various newspaper clippings about the flaws in the education system for the past 23 years. Scanned and neatly produced in the form of a booklet, one can easily ascertain the status of the Indian education system as reported from time to time in various media vehicles. “It is very important to know the present scenario of education and schools in India,” he says. “Some of the books used in schools are below quality – not just in terms of production but also the content is not suitable for the age group they mention on their books. Infact, appropriate textbooks for students at early age are missing and as such they are forced to take costly tuitions and help books. Even after that they remain frustrated and feel helpless for their education. Teachers too, at times, are unable to understand the contents of unskilled authors and they too depend on low quality help books available in the market. This is a major challenge and it needs to be looked into,” he says. Perhaps the educational material has not changed with the times. “In this fast age, when games, videos, apps, etc are updated so often, there is not much change in the study material for children. A revolution in education is the need of the day,” says the visionary educationist, popularly known in the industry as Vedji. Though there are books from international publishers available in the Indian market, he feels that most of them do not contain Indian flavour, characters, figures, etc. “Hence, students cannot associate themselves directly with them,” he adds.

Talking about the employment scenario after higher education, Ved feels that students get placed because of their skills and not just for the course that they have passed.

Looking beyond…

Talking about the Chinese education system, Ved informed that China recently allocated a budget of 250 billion dollars every year for education. China has some 1,80,000 printing plants, employing 3,400 million workers. Besides, 65-70 percent world’s printing is done in China. “India is a vast country too and has the capability to deliver quality printing job as well. But, unfortunately has not caught the attention of the top big-wigs in the country,” Ved conveys with a sorry figure.

The solution…

But, Ved has charted out a solution. “The Indian education market is huge. Indian entrepreneurs need to come forward and quality study material can be created right here in India. I have an innovative idea dedicated to ill effects of education system of India. It is a multi billion rupees project, which if taken up by a corporate, can change the education system in India, apart from creating huge revenues for the promoters. The facility would have all processes of printing, publishing and distribution as a one-stop process like Random House, Dia Nippon, Amazon thereby giving employment to plenty,” he says.

Ved wants to offer his expertise and experience to corporates that can visualize and feel the need for this project. He himself has 40 years of experience in optimum utilization of machinery for each and every hour. “I think every printing machine is a currency printing machine if utilized properly,” he chuckles. This state-of-the-art facility would not be a mere printing and publishing venture but would be a main spring and uplifter for the Indian publishing industry as well as the entire educational process on most modern lines. “This project would be dedicated to school-going children and book lovers of all ages,” he adds.

This project will definitely abolish the undue donation system for admission from nursery schools to any professional educational institute. “Besides, it will yield huge returns by supplying world-class books and stationery to government literacy programmes where as at present inferior quality meaningless books are being supplied by unhealthy practices,” he shares.

A regular participant at various international book fairs for the last 23 years, Ved has grasped a lot of knowledge from these fairs, which he now wants to apply in India. “I wish to take up 35,000 different titles in this project. It will be a big brand of knowledge and literary,” Ved concludes. Ved Chawla can be contacted at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Key challenges in book production

When we pick up a book at a bookstore, we often judge it by its cover. The production quality of the books speaks for itself. Here, Print & Publishing talked to a cross-section of production personnel at few production houses to know their criteria for printers selection and their expectations.

Book production is an art – every time a new title is produced, it is a blend of many a creative minds – right from the author to the designer to the printer and last but not the least – the binder. Amongst all this, production personnel of a publishing house play an important role. It is he/she who decides the overall production aspects, finds the best printer and binder to suit his/her requirements and sometimes even supervises the whole production process.

We, at P&P, met a cross-section of top production personnel is some of the reputed publishing houses to know more about them and how they manage to achieve a masterpiece every time. Excerpts.

The diminishing print runs…

The industry is facing the problem of short-runs. Digital printing, which was once considered an unviable option for book printing, is making deep inroads in the industry. “As the world is getting flat, the competition is increasing. Technology took the front seat and becoming game changer. Pressure on cost has increased multi-fold hence the need to improve efficacy,” told Subhasis of Pearsons.

“The biggest change I have found is that people are gradually less interested in reading books due to their busy lives. But, if we think of education books, the demand has not decreased. But for the big publishers, the print runs are reducing because smaller publishers offer books at very low prices, which fulfill the students’ requirements. Bigger publishers cannot offer books at low prices because their administrative expenses are high,” told Sumit of Jaico Publishing House. While, Surendra of Pratham feels that the current print runs have become very low due to development of electronic media.

But, Manish of Sage sees this as an opportunity. “Publishing business is very exciting in current times. Exposure to a global marketplace and accessibility of content from multiple platforms is probably the biggest opportunity for Indian publishers. In the past, the content was offered only via one single platform i.e. print. Today, a publisher can market the content across multiple platforms, in various formats, and with a global reach. Therefore, the print run units may seem diminishing, but the publisher’s revenue line is not suffering, as the business operates on a multiple market / format. Publishers today do not want to stock their warehouses, and technologies viz. Print on Demand have facilitated this requirement. Costs should not go rising while all these methods are implemented,” he shared.

The printers’ selection…

All the publishers, it seems, opt for a printer with one-stop solution and ofcourse the timely delivery. As Subhasis puts it, “There is a robust process to choose our vendors. We believe in consolidation and long term relationship. We would like to treat our vendors as our partners. It is a continuous process and we invest heavily on relationship management. So, both need to be honest and serious about this relationship. Our printing needs are 15 percent Hardbound and 85 percent Paperbacks in Trade. However, in Education sector, majority is in Paper backs. Since binding is an integral part of that process, we entrust end to end process to the printer.” Similar views were shared by Sumit of Jaico Publishing House, “Since timely supply of books is very important in our trade after we procure an order, our printing needs are always urgent, i.e. we need book on a short turnaround time. So, we always opt for a printer with good infrastructure and new technology, who can supply the books as per our requirement. Also, we look for a printer with in-house binding section. We have almost 7-8 printers on our panel.”

While, Manish of Sage told, “The most important factor while selecting a print vendor depends on his capability to deliver in the shortest TAT. This implies that the print vendor should possess the offset mechanisation and POD technology, together. The print vendor should be able to supply the publisher with small print runs in real time and also be able to be cost-effective in large print runs. I prefer to work with 4-5 middle level printers, as that suits my current workload.” He further added that printers who do not have a complete binding setup in-house are a strict no-no for me.” However, I would definitely prefer to go to a independent binder in case of a special requirement, where the print vendor may not be able to have the specialisation / mechanisation which limits his capability to translate our design values into manufacturing,” he added.

“There are mainly three things we look for in a printer - quality, cost & timely delivery. We are working with top printers like EIH, Rave India, Nutech, Excel, Vinayak, Sandeep & J.K. Offset,” shared Surendra.

Challenges faced…

As per Sumit, “The challenges we are facing include competition in the trade, availability of required paper, quality of work and the availability of modern and up-to-date printing machines, besides the labour availability which sometimes become a major issue. To overcome all these challenges, we plan well in advance for our schedule of productions.”

While, Manish feels that the biggest challenge for a publisher is inventory management. “Almost all the publishers in India, still primarily operate in the print business, and the decisions of what to print, how much and when, are the ones that always need to be dealt with. Effective supply chain management and ability to cut down on TAT, is the only solution to this problem. This again emphasizes the need for print vendors with capability to deliver on both, offset and POD modules,” he asserted.

Surendra of Pratham feels that the quality of paper, printing, binding & finishing are the challenges in this field. “The above problem can be overcome before the actual printing process starts. For example; we have to check paper quality before printing,” he added.

While, Subhasis feels that the main challenge is communication. “People do not recognize the strength of pro-active and good communication. A lot of problem could be resolved, if we work with transparency, take pride to our work and communicate in time. We also would like our partners to synchronize their workflow with ours. This could avoid quite a lot of uncertainty,” he added.

Quality at par with international standards…

It is a debatable issue that quality of Indian publication is at par with international standards or not. While, we can find very good quality books published in India, we can also find very poorly produced books as well. Quality comes at a price…and it can be maintained only if books are priced accordingly, But, the cut-throat competition in books sometimes brings the quality down.

“The quality of Indian publications cannot be compared with international standards because India is a price-sensitive market. We, at Jaico Publications, always try to maintain good quality of books at low prices,” told Sumit of Jaico Publications.

But, Subhasis has a different perspective. “It is all in mind. We have the same equipment as rest of the world. We use same substrate and same quality of raw materials. Then why can’t we produce the job in same quality and in same efficiency with the rest of the world? The time has come to ask this questions ourselves, have faith on our ability. We need to adopt the change management and start working with transparency and passion. We need to admit the usefulness of workflow and need to adopt it. We must communicate clearly and pro-actively,” he shared.

Surendra also feels that if we are careful about the material & printing quality, then we can very well match the international standards. “The Indian market is highly price sensitive and that often has made the quality of our product suffer. Internationally, a lot of manufacturing inputs are environment friendly, and effective policies are laid down to incentivise or subsidise the cost of production. Today, most of the international publishers work with Indian printers just because Indian print vendors are able to give the international publishers high quality products at a very low price. There is no dearth of high quality materials in India, but Indian publishers are still not using these as the consumer is not looking to pay up the higher price this would result in. It’s the Indian consumer who has to be sensitised towards these factors, we are getting there slowly,” added Manish.

On a concluding note…

“We all face challenges every day. It could be challenging to reproduce a colour properly, or an innovative binding or a near impossible date line. But, the main challenge lies with our ability to change. We all are changing and it is very important to change ourselves with the time. Change Management could be today’s most challenging part of our job, concluded Subhasis of Pearsons.

(With inputs from Manoj Hatwal.)
–Varsha Verma The personal profiles…

Subhasis Ganguli, vice president, production & content management, Pearsons, joined it in 2001. Prior to that, he worked with Oxford University Press for 13 years (five years in Kolkata and eight years in Delhi). In the beginning of his career, he worked in a leading printing press in Kolkata, after that in coordination, supply chain, sourcing and sales in various companies before joining OUP.

Manish Pahuja, senior production manager, SAGE Publications India Pvt Ltd, completed his Masters in Computer Applications, and started working for Norwegian Embassy in 1996. His tryst with publishing began completely by chance after receiving a call from a head-hunter for a job at OUP in 1998 as a production co-ordinator. After working at OUP for 11 years, he moved on to LexisNexis to head their print production for three years, before joining SAGE.

Sumit Chowdhury, production manager of Jaico Publishing House is a graduate in Printing Technology from Pusa Institute. After running his own printing business for four years, he joined Jaico Publishing House in 1995 and has a rich experience of 18 years.

While, Surendra Kumar of Pratham Books is a diploma holder from NRIPT Allahabad and he has worked in Ajanta Offset, IPP, India Today & is currently working at Pratham for the last three years.

“We wish to give a seamless experience on the font/language publishers want to work on”

says Umang Bedi, managing director, sales & marketing for South Asia region at Adobe Systems, in conversation with Varsha Verma.

Umang BediThe Indic font industry is directly related to the regional language publishing industry in India. As per the latest Indian Readership Survey, nine out of the top ten publications in the country are regional language publications including publications in Hindi, Malayalam, Tamil and Marathi. According to a FICCI-KPMG Indian Media and Entertainment Industry Report 2013, the Hindi print market grew by 9.8 percent from INR 62 billion in 2011 to INR 68 billion in 2012 and vernacular from INR 63 billion 2011 to INR 69 billion in 2012 respectively. This is indicative of the size and potential of the Indic fonts industry.

Hence, software companies are now offering solutions which are making regional language publishing easy. Here, Umang Bedi, tells more about the extent of regional language publishing in India and the solutions they offer.

Varsha: Can you give us some insight into the contemporary Indian type scene as of now?

Umang: The current Indian type scenario across the industry is of a varied kind, there are some who are using type developed in-house, there are some who go in for one man design houses or there are some who utilise the well known font manufacturers. This is basically due to the legacy issues of type not being supported through the layout applications they are using and hence the integrator to type in the Indian language they needed. This is slowly shifting to an Adobe owned and Adobe served scenario where users get Indic language support from Adobe and they can just utilise the font that fits their style and start typing in their favourite tools (InDesign, Illustrator and Photoshop).

Varsha: Multiple scripts and languages exist in India. How are companies like Adobe gearing up for this mutli-lingual market?

Umang: The Indian print industry is expected to gradually gain momentum from mid-2014 and will be worth 340 billion by 2017 registering CAGR of 8.7 percent. As per FICCI-KPMG, the industry’s future performance will be a factor of the macroeconomic environment stabilising and print players achieving greater operational efficiencies and connecting with readers through delivery of high-quality content. In such an environment, the ability to deliver content in multiple languages will prove to be a much needed advantage. With our latest offering, the Adobe Creative cloud, we provide inbuilt support for ten Indian languages in InDesign CC, Photoshop CC and Illustrator CC - Hindi, Marathi, Gujarati, Tamil, Punjabi, Bengali, Telugu, Oriya, Malayalam and Kannada. We are excited about the tremendous market opportunities it will open up, especially in Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities. It has always been our endeavour to democratise the publishing industry.

Publishers will now be able to seamlessly work in these regional languages without the need of additional plug-ins. This will have a significant impact on India’s booming regional print publishing industry that is growing by leaps and bounds.

Varsha: What is the strategy while designing a particular font solution?

Umang: At Adobe, we develop high-quality fonts for both print and on-screen usage to support the ten Indian languages, as mentioned above. The strategy behind developing Indic font support in our applications is to give the user a seamless experience on the font/language they want to work with. The vast print and publishing industry in India becomes more expansive with the number of languages involved and this was a requisite for a long time to give users the ability to type and create in the major Indian languages. Our endeavour to make this happen in Indesign surely took time, we brought it out in InDesign CS6, but was worth the effort with least hassles for the user.

Varsha: Who are your major clients?

Umang: Most major publishing houses are our clients. For example, Indian media house Malayala Manorama has implemented a complete end-to-end Adobe technology solution that allows fast and flexible delivery of content across any platform, including mobile and social networks. Manorama Online uses Adobe technology to create and author content. Additionally, leading media houses like Dainik Bhaskar, Dainik Jagran and Rajasthan Patrika are also using our products.

China Print 2013 concludes devising a driving force actuating the industry to grow

Witnessing book binding machinery and solutions in plenty, the postpress products dominated segment wise display, followed by the prepress (CtP solutions), digital and packaging solutions

With participation of 1,326 exhibitors from 28 countries or regions, the eighth Beijing International Printing Technology Exhibition (China Print 2013), held during May 14-18 at New China International Exhibition Center in Beijing, concluded devising a driving force actuating the graphic art industry to grow significantly. Witnessing book binding machinery and CtP solutions in plenty along with innovative technologies and products from other segments of the graphic art industry, the five-day event also featured 60+ forums, conferences & seminars, including China Print Summit (CPS 2013), Functional Printing China, Global PRINT, ASIA PRINT, India Day (May 16), etc, making visit to the show rewarding inclusively. A brief.

Held in eight halls of New China International Exhibition Center (NCIEC) and eleven temporary halls covering 1,60,000 sq m total show area, marking sixty percent increase from the previous event (China Print 2009), China Print 2013 has again firmly established itself as Asia’s biggest event for the print industry. In this show, 1,326 exhibitors from 28 countries or regions participated, which also depicts around four percent increase in exhibitor number from China Print 09 (CP09). With the concept of ‘Grow Beyond Limited’, this edition of China Print succeeded in attracting 183,809 visitors indicating thirteen percent increase in visitor entries from CP09. Delegates of print shops came not only from countries in Asia, such as India, Taiwan, and the Philippines, but also from Central and South America and Russia. Organising on the sidelines of the show, sixty plus forums, conferences & seminars, including the third FORUMPI, the G7 Printing Standard Forum, China Print Summit (CPS 2013), Functional Printing China, Global PRINT, ASIA PRINT, India Day (May 16), China Print Awards, etc made China Print 2013 more fruitful for all attendees. At the same time, the organizers also hold a series of activities covering digital printing, green, standard, packaging, label, and inkjet segments. With such features, China Print became not only a stage for printing machinery manufacturers, but also a grand gathering of the printing industry, sponsored by Printing and Printing Equipments Industries Association of China (PEIAC) and China International Exhibition Center Group Corporation, and organized by China Print Show Company (CPSC).

Presenting a number of innovations and advancements in the printing industry, under the theme ‘Green, Efficient, Digital and Intelligent’, China Print 2013 significantly proved successful in all perspective, giving the participants quite reasons to smile. The participation of conventional printing press manufacturers such as Heidelberg, KBA, Komori and manroland; digital printing press manufacturers such as HP, Kodak, Canon, Ricoh, Fuji, Konica Minolta; and major manufacturers from China as Shanghai Electric Printing and Packaging Machinery Group, Beiren Group, Hans- Gronhi, Masterwork, Founder, etc made the show comprehensive in terms of range of exhibits. However, witnessing book binding machinery and solutions in plenty, the postpress products dominated segment wise display, forming almost thirty percent of the total display at the show. The next major segment of exhibits was prepress (CtP solutions)/digital solutions accounting for almost nineteen percent share and leaving offset printing segment at about sixteen percent.

Group Publications


Neeraj Dargan to lead
Manroland Sheetfed subsidiary in India

-With offices in Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai

Manroland Sheetfed GmbH has established an own subsidiary in India. Manroland Sheetfed India Pvt Ltd will be based in New Delhi with local offices in Mumbai and Chennai. Neeraj Dargan heads up the new Manroland Sheetfed operations as managing director. Dargan brings a wealth of experience, having spent more than 30 years in the fields of sales & marketing, technical, operations and commercial, in capital goods and consumables for the print and graphic arts sector.

“I am delighted to be heading the new Manroland Sheetfed subsidiary to expand the company’s APAC operations. My local-market experience will enable to better serve the group's existing client base and with year-on-year growth in India’s printing industry, I am looking forward to the challenges," said Neeraj.

Coming Events

K-Print Week
August 27 - 30, 2014
KINTEX, Goyang, Korea

Label Expo India 2014
Oct 29 - Nov. 01, 2014
Pragati Maidan,
New Delhi, India.

All in Print China 2014
November 11 - 13, 2014
Shanghai, China

Print China 2015
April 07 - 12, 2015
Dongguan, China

12th Printpack India 2015
February 11-15, 2015
India Expo Centre,
Greater Noida, NCR Delhi

Gulf Print & Pack 2015
April 13 - 16, 2015
Dubai, UAE

Pack Print International 2015
August 26 - 29, 2015
BITEC, Bangkok, Thailand

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