A Book is a gift you can open again and again – books are indeed the best possession one can have. The India of today is full of aspirations – aspiration to be well read and well educated is common among the middle class – in urban, semi urban and even rural areas.
Books, no doubt make life better – indulging in reading makes one an evolved person. For one of the leading companies into Books and Music, Landmark – in books lies the future.
The books and publishing business continues to grow on the back of greater literacy levels and rapidly growing middle class and higher middle class population. Also, with a greater number of people turning into English-speaking middle-class population the books segment is witnessing an impressive growth in India.
India's books market, except the educational books, is valued at Rs 1,600 crore and is part of an estimated Rs 3,500-crore books-music-stationery industry.
The Print Book Market in India has a size of INR 260.6 Billion which is double the size of the Indian film industry (Rs 125.3 billion) and six times the size of Music, Radio and Gaming industries. India ranks 6th globally in Print Book Publishing and is 2nd largest English language Publishers in the World. Indian Print Book Market comprises over 9000 publishers and 21,000 retailers. The Indian Print Book market has contributed significantly to the Indian economy by creating direct and indirect employment – the industry has created more than 40,000 direct employment with about 1.5 lakhs people working in other associated industries. Outsourcing of high-value publishing services and e-learning tools has created indirect employment opportunities.
While India today finds itself in a situation where books might not be the most sought as in the past, plans of some key players suggest that the book industry isn't likely to die out soon.
For example, Crossword Bookstores hopes to add eight to 10 stores in the near future to its existing 84 stores. Smaller cities such as Lucknow, Bareilly, Surat, Patna, Kohima and Guwahati offer great growth potential. Large book chains such as Landmark, On Books, Crossword etc are not oblivious of the trend of e-books. They have in fact, partnered with firms which facilitate the download of e-books. Crossword, for example, has partnered with Kobo for its readers to download books and is also actively promoting it.
Kobo is one of the leading global providers of book e-reading services. Dedicated book publishers and distributors venturing into book retailing are optimistic. Om Books International has witnessed a tremendous response at its bookstore recently launched in Bangalore, and is planning another store in Chennai.
Industry observers point to the success of business model used by dedicated book stores such as Crossword and Om Books. According to them, it’s their specialist knowledge that gives them a competitive edge. Significantly, new format chains such as Crossword, Landmark, Oxford, and now, Odyssey, are located conveniently, and offer an ambience which is conducive to browsing and book buying. These factors are propelling the growth of the segment.