LBF Publishers introduces AR books

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Augmented Reality introduced by LBF Publications
Augmented Reality introduced by LBF Publications

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.

Piyush Agarwal, chairman and managing director of LBF Publications
Piyush Agarwal, chairman and managing director of LBF Publications

“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.

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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