Bringing government and the publishing sector closer

Bringing government and the publishing sector closer
The ‘Scrapbook – Children’s Publishing Conclave’ was aimed at providing quality and innovative content for children

FICCI’s Publishing Committee is organizing a program ‘Scrapbook – Children’s Publishing Conclave’ on 19 August at FICCI, New Delhi to support the mandate in K-12 publishing space.

The Publishing Committee looks after various policy- and trade-related issues like educational publishing, creation of book reading culture, copyright awareness, trade promotion through international book fairs and more.

The initiative has been taken to address the policy concerns and to bring forward the soft advocacy between government and the publishing sector (print and digital) to work in tandem for providing quality and innovative content for children. Under the Right to Education policy, the government’s focus is to provide quality content and teaching methodology to the children to enhance the learning outcome. The program will bring together stakeholders from the K-12 publishing sector including government, state education boards, publishers, content creators, digital disruptors, animators, illustrators, schools, and teachers, to ideate, debate and explore cooperation between policy makers, schools and industry.

There are two different tracks in the program one for the industry, which relates to business and policy issues, and the other for children (3rd – 7th grades).

2023 promises an interesting ride for print in India

Indian Printer and Publisher founded in 1979 is the oldest B2B trade publication in the multi-platform and multi-channel IPPGroup. While the print and packaging industries have been resilient in the past 33 months since the pandemic lockdown of 25 March 2020, the commercial printing and newspaper industries have yet to recover their pre-Covid trajectory.

The fragmented commercial printing industry faces substantial challenges as does the newspaper industry. While digital short-run printing and the signage industry seem to be recovering a bit faster, ultimately their growth will also be moderated by the progress of the overall economy. On the other hand book printing exports are doing well but they too face several supply-chain and logistics challenges.

The price of publication papers including newsprint has been high in the past year while availability is diminished by several mills shutting down their publication paper and newsprint machines in the past four years. Indian paper mills are also exporting many types of paper and have raised prices for Indian printers. To some extent, this has helped in the recovery of the digital printing industry with its on-demand short-run and low-wastage paradigm.

Ultimately digital print and other digital channels will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future. For instance, there is no alternative to a rise in textbook consumption but this segment will only reach normality in the next financial year beginning on 1 April 2023.

Thus while the new normal is a moving target and many commercial printers look to diversification, we believe that our target audiences may shift and change. Like them, we will also have to adapt with agility to keep up with their business and technical information needs.

Our 2023 media kit is ready, and it is the right time to take stock and reconnect with your potential markets and customers. Print is the glue for the growth of liberal education, new industry, and an emerging economy. We seek your participation in what promises to be an interesting ride.

– Naresh Khanna

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