Narosa Publishing aims to publish 100 STM titles in a year

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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

Journals
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.

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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