Narosa Publishing aims to publish 100 STM titles in a year

Narosa Publishing aims to publish 100 STM titles in a year
NK Mehra

Narosa Publishing House was founded by the current managing director, Narendra Kumar Mehra in 1977. He is also the current president of FIP (Federation of Indian Publishers). Today, the company has grown into a dedicated publisher of books in the science technology and medical (STM) segment—its primary area of focus. Indian Printer & Publisher met Subir Lahiri, production manager, Narosa for a discussion on the company’s journey so far as well as its future plans.

Global reach
Lahiri shared how Narosa Publishing has emerged as a leading publisher of STM books with an enviable international footprint. The company has achieved steady growth over the years beginning with publishing student editions of internationally accepted textbooks during its formative years to aiming at publishing 80-100 new titles in a year now. This includes state-of-the-art monographs, college and university text books and preceding volumes that are published each year in the areas of physics, chemistry, mathematics, engineering, medicine, life sciences, computer science, earth science, environmental science, statistics and management.

The company has tie-ups with leading institutions and research organizations that have helped it publish quality text books across several disciplines. Narosa has partnered STM publishers worldwide to co-publish and distribute published works and offer Narosa’s books for translation in international languages as well as grant reprint rights to international publishers. According to Lahiri, Narosa delivers books in different parts of the world within three weeks of publication through its network of book stores. The company’s agents and representatives located across Europe, North and South America, Africa, Australia, and Asia actively promote its titles in both institutions as well as among the book retailers.

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Subir Lahiri, manager production, Narosa Publishing House

Narosa publishes two bi-annual journals—JUET (Jaypee University of Engineering & Technology) Research Journal of Science and Technology and Journal of Ocean and Ship Technology. JUET is a peer reviewed and refereed journal, which publishes research and review papers covering a broad spectrum of topics from engineering, science, mathematics, and technology divisions. The journal is an independent publication, offering both online and print versions to the scientific, engineering and technological communities with a forum for scholarly expression and reflection. It provides information on the latest trends and developments in research.

The Journal of Ocean and Ship Technology is published on behalf of the Department of Ocean Engineering & Naval Architecture, Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur. The institute has been imparting quality technical education over the past five decades and has made significant contributions to the development of the shipbuilding industry, naval infrastructure and assets and allied enterprises like offshore oil and gas exploration, marine research, mining and other oceanographic research. In the years ahead, it plans to contribute in enhancing capacity in offshore renewable energy initiatives like solar and wind power.

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The future
Many STM publishing setups across the world are increasingly turning their focus on web-based publishing. Lahiri explained that in some subject areas, the number of new books published is declining. For instance, if a new title required around 4,000 copies to be printed some years ago, today half that number would suffice. The fall in demand for printed copies has been complimented by a rise in demand for ebooks, which is now the trend.

Interestingly, there are also contradictory signs from certain developed markets that suggest some renewed interest in printed books among a certain section of youth. That is a good indication since printed books have their own value for the reader. Either way, Narosa is well prepared to meet the demand, be it for printed copies or ebooks. In accordance with the demand for STM books, Narosa will continue to work with its panel of authors to publish and distribute titles globally.

The Covid-19 pandemic led to the country-wide lockdown on 25 March 2020. It will be two years tomorrow as I write this. What have we learned in this time? Maybe the meaning of resilience since small companies like us have had to rely on our resources and the forbearance of our employees as we have struggled to produce our trade platforms.

The print and packaging industries have been fortunate, although the commercial printing industry is still to recover. We have learned more about the digital transformation that affects commercial printing and packaging. Ultimately digital 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.

Web analytics show that we now have readership in North America and Europe amongst the 90 countries where our five platforms reach. Our traffic which more than doubled in 2020, has at times gone up by another 50% in 2021. And advertising which had fallen to pieces in 2020 and 2021, has started its return since January 2022.

As the economy approaches real growth with unevenness and shortages a given, we are looking forward to the PrintPack India exhibition in Greater Noida. We are again appointed to produce the Show Daily on all five days of the show from 26 to 30 May 2022.

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