Jaypee Brothers dominates in UG medical books publishing

Jaypee Brothers
Chetna Malhotra Vohra

Jaypee Brothers Medical Publishers is a leading name in the undergraduate medical books market in India. Founded in 1969 by Late Sohan Lal Vij, the company is now chaired by his son, Jitender Pal Vij, with core focus on medical publishing. Over the past five decades, the company has published more than 4,000 titles, across different genres of medical science studies not just in India but also globally. Indian Printer & Publisher met Chetna Malhotra Vohra, associate director of content strategy, for a discussion on the medical book publishing industry in India and where Jaypee Brothers fits the niche segment.

Vohra was candid about the medical publishing industry doing quite well, especially the undergraduate segment, with the government formulating plans to open new medical colleges across the country. There is optimism among publishers as the number of All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) as well as other medical colleges is set to increase substantially in the next few years. Vohra asserted that in the undergraduate medical books segment, which happens to be the biggest segment of the market in India, Jaypee Brothers is way ahead of competition, accounting for over half the market share.

Jaypee Brothers publishes postgraduate, ward round handbooks as well as professional and reference books for medical practitioners. The company regularly brings out works of eminent key opinion leaders and academicians from different parts of the world and engages scores of other experts and specialists to keep up-to-date with the latest, authoritative and dependable information, knowledge and techniques. Although Jaypee Brothers outsources all its printing work, the entire prepress part is done in-house, at their Delhi office.

The genres of books published by Jaypee Brothers comprise under-graduate books, exam preparatory books, post graduate books, books for professional reference and many others. Bringing out newer editions or titles follows close observation of, and feedback from, the market about the need for updates on such books.

The process of content creation at Jaypee depends on two criteria—steady requirement raised by the organization based on demand indicators and voluntary contributions by subject matter experts. The authors are not just academicians but practitioners as well, who want to share their extensive experience with readers across the globe. The in-house editorial panel comprises doctors, many of whom have been associated with Jaypee for years. They are usually compensated with honorariums, which is a one-time payment for a particular assignment.

Jaypee 2

According to Vohra, Jaypee Brothers publishes around 50 medical journals including many for overseas markets, like the Duke Orthopedic Journal, which is affiliated to the Duke University in Durham, UK. Other published works include the Pan-American Journal of Trauma, Critical Care & Emergency Surgery, Donald School Journal of Ultrasound in Obesterics and Gynecology, and The Journal of Indian Orthodontic Society. The company also acquired The Journal of Contemporary Dental Practice, which was previously owned by Colgate Palmolive. Of the 50 medical journals published by Jaypee Brothers worldwide, around 35 are published in India.

The publishing giant has co-publishing arrangements with the Federation of Obstetric & Gynaecological Societies of India (FOGSI), the Indian Orthopaedic Society, as well as institutes like Shankar Netralaya, Maulana Azad Medical College and others. The company has 22 branches in India and others in Nepal, Bangladesh, UK and Panama, where it acquired Highlights of Opthalmology, a company that specializes in books on ophthalmology. This acquisition has placed the company among the leading publishers of books on ophthalmology worldwide and has also allowed it to service the Latin American market since they have a fairly large number of titles in Spanish, as a result of their acquisition of the Panama-based Highlights of Ophthalmology, now known as Jaypee Highlights Medical Publishers, Inc.

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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