The German Stall at NDWBF

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New Delhi World Book Fair

German Book Office in New Delhi represented Germany at the European Union Guest of Honour Pavilion at the New Delhi World Book Fair 2018. The German stand saw a large number of visitors which included both German-reading and non-German reading audience. The Wall of Translations was a special attraction; it consisted of translations published by Indian and German publishers. Many said that it was a wonderful opportunity for them to be introduced to German literature. A large number of German-language speakers and learners explored the Contemporary German Book Collection to find the latest books from Germany under crime fiction, children’s literature, nature writing, writings on and by Karl Marx, and design books collection among various other genres.

The Globalocal Talk took place on 9 January 2018, between 12:00 to 1:30 PM at the Rights Table, on the 1st floor of Hall 7 A at Pragati Maidan. The Talk comprised of a panel discussion and a special session on Frankfurt Book Fair, and was followed by a networking lunch.

A team of panelists from Germany, France and India discussed about business and socio-economic responsibilities of publishers. Annemarie Blumenhagen, director of rights, Ullstein Buchverlage, Germany, Fabrice Piault, editor-in-chief of Livres Hebdo, France, Minakshi Thakur, commissioning editor of Westland, Manas Saika, managing director of Speaking Tiger Publishing Pvt. Ltd.and Shobhit Arya, the founder of Wisdom Tree were a part of the panel at the event. At the discussion, there was a unanimous agreement among the panellists about the fact that the publishers hold the freedom of expression and the freedom to publish.

The session from the Frankfurt book fair comprised of a discussion wherein Claudia Kaiser, vice president of business development was involved in a conversation with Judith Becqueriaux, president of the International Commission of the French Publishers Association and Judith Oriol of the Foreign Rights Department, Editions Gallimard, France.

The Frankfurt Book Fair was the first to start the concept of guest of honour at book fairs back in 1976 and the European Union was the guest of honour at the NDWBF 2017. The discussion revolved around the heavy participation that the French Union witnessed at the Frankfurt Book Fair after being adjudged as the guest of honour at the Frankfurt Book Fair in 2017. The discussion also focussed on new geographies that they had discovered and new partnerships forged through their participation, setting an example for other publishers.

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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– Naresh Khanna

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