Founded in 2007 by Purushottam Agarwal and his son Piyush Agarwal, Indore-based Learn By Fun Publications Pvt. Ltd. (LBF) is a renowned publisher of academic books. Apart from book publishing, Purushottam Agarwal is associated with many other business initiatives, such as coal mining, transportation, shipping and warehousing. He is a manufacturer of cement bags as well. The company publishes text books based on the National Curriculum Framework 2005 (NCF-2005), a framework that is applicable commonly for all the national and state boards across India.
In a bid to make education more interesting for children, LBF recently introduced an online learning platform which includes books crafted using Augmented Reality (AR) technology. The AR books offer a 3D view of the content. This approach was adopted observing the increase in children’s screen time. This new method, aimed at directing children’s attention towards education rather than internet or gaming, was implemented to adopt a multi-sensory approach in education. The company further plans to launch an online learning app with multiple themes for easy understanding.
LBF is a well-known publisher in Indore and its surrounding towns and cities and a major chunk of schools in and around the city have adopted the course and curriculum provided by the publisher. The company prints all its books through various printers located in and around the city. The company entered the publishing market in 2007 with around 143 titles and has more than 250 titles in its list.
“Among these 250 titles, most of them are different versions of the same book. We keep introducing changes with every version. We change the quality of paper and sometimes introduce bright and attractive colors in our books to make them visually more appealing. With newer technology, it has now become easy for us. With the single pass technology in most of the printers, color printing has now become easy and the printing speeds have gone up. The physical appearance of the books has also undergone massive transformation over the years,” says Piyush Agarwal, chairman and managing director of LBF.
LBF outsources all its work and has tie-ups with around 50 local printers. Recently, LBF has even started outsourcing its print work to Mumbai. Books published by LBF are supplied majorly to schools in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chattisgarh. It is trying to improve its penetration in Maharashtra, Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh.
“The publishing industry is going through a transition. We’re seeing mergers and acquisitions by major publishing houses in the country. In 2016, we heard that S Chand had acquired Madhuban, Vikas and Saraswati Book House while Laxmi Publications acquired Macmillan Higher Education. As far as the figures, they show an upward trend and the forecast predicts significant growth by 2020. I think the industry will grow as the literacy rate of our country improves,” Piyush Agarwal concludes.