Penguin Random House expands in Southeast Asia

Penguin Random House opens new branch in Singapore

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Penguin Random House, the world’s largest trade-book publisher, will launch PRH South East Asia in 2019. The announcement was made on  the eve of the 2018 Frankfurt Book Fair. The new publisher will be based in Singapore with a mandate to discover and publish local and international voices across English-language adult and children’s fiction and non-fiction formats for Singapore and Malaysia, as well as from Thailand, the Philippines, Indonesia, Vietnam, Brunei, and Myanmar. It will start with a list of about 50 titles a year. According to PRH, the establishment of PRH South East Asia marks the extension and expansion of its commitment to local publishing in Asia, which is currently represented by its Penguin Random House North Asia and Penguin Random House India companies.

Markus Dohle, Penguin Random House’s worldwide CEO said, “We are pleased to announce the launch of our Singapore-based Penguin Random House South East publishing operation, which joins our thriving imprints in India and China and our growing English-language publishing programs worldwide.”

Gaurav Shrinagesh, chief executive officer, Penguin Random House India and South East Asia, will oversee PRH South East Asia’s company, which currently is named Penguin Books Singapore. Shrinagesh said, “These are exciting times for book lovers, as publishing transcends geographies and languages to open access to literature from all over the world. PRH’s expansion into South East will broaden our audience reach and local consumer insights to create publishing opportunities to further develop our editorial portfolio by supporting local authors in emerging markets and building their audiences.” As its first hire, Shrinagesh announced the appointment of Nora Nazerene Abu Bakar as executive editor, effective November 2018, reporting to him. She will be responsible for building the local publishing list, managing acquisitions, and author relationships, with close retailer and marketing support initially from PRH India. The publishing house said that “her network of relationships and keen knowledge of the region will be key in establishing a publishing presence for Penguin Random House in Southeast Asia.”

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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