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Updated: September 29, 2012 19:54 IST

India calling

SWATI DAFTUAR
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Bloomsbury India MD Rajiv Beri at the launch. Photo: Special Arrangement
The Hindu
Bloomsbury India MD Rajiv Beri at the launch. Photo: Special Arrangement

The publishing house that made Harry Potter a phenomenon is now bringing its magic to India. Founded in 1986, on the principle of publishing books of the highest quality, Bloomsbury Publishing Plc has launched its India division on the same traditions. Continuing its penchant for fiction, non-fiction, academic, business and education with both Indian and international authors, Bloomsbury India will distribute both U.K. and U.S. imprints, including the critically acclaimed and popular Arden Shakespeare.

At the launch of Bloomsbury India, Nigel Newton, Bloomsbury Publishing Plc’s Founder and Chief Executive said, “India represents an enticing place for an international publisher with its huge and highly educated population of English readers; probably more of the book buying demographic than that of the U.K., the U.S. and Canada combined.”

“We have three equally important reasons for launching in India,” says Richard Charkin, Executive Director and MD, Bloomsbury Adult. “The first is to find the very best Indian writers of quality fiction and non-fiction and publish them brilliantly in English throughout the world. The second is to build a first-class academic and professional publishing business for Indian students, researchers and institutions in all subjects and at all levels and to export these titles from India to the rest of the world. And third, but by no means least, to ensure that all the books, journals, databases and e-books from all parts of the Bloomsbury Group are marketed and sold throughout India to the very highest standards including our fiction, non-fiction, children’s, specialist and academic books.”

Throwing light on the current publishing scene in both countries, Charkin added that the U.K. High Street booksellers are suffering from market erosion by Internet retailers and e-books. The U.K. is also suffering from a very static size of the middle class. On the contrary, the Indian bricks-and-mortar book retailing sector is vibrant and growing in line with the growth of a book-hungry emerging middle class and a deep commitment in India to education, culture and self-improvement.

With a long, impressive list of forthcoming titles, the Indian team working for Bloomsbury India has already started working on the publishing house’s first title, Wisden India Cricketers’ Almanack, set to be launched in November.

“With this launch, the whole of Bloomsbury (even the Americans) will have to learn to love the sport of India!’ says Richard Charkin. “Having our own Indian team has raised the awareness of India’s importance throughout our businesses in the U.S., the U.K. and Australia and has encouraged a new lens with which to view our markets worldwide as well as in India.”

Bottomline: India represents an enticing place for an international publisher

Bloomsbury India team

MD: Rajiv Beri

CFO: Mahendra Lodha

Publisher, Trade: Diya Kar Hazra

Publisher, Academic & Professional: Amit Bhatia 

Publisher, Special Projects: Suresh Gopal 

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