India remains a cost effective offshoring destination for content despite a stronger rupee that has appreciated more than 10 per cent against the US dollar in the past year.
“The hourly wages of workers in the US are still about eight times higher than that it is in India, even when the rupee is getting stronger,” Michael Kern, President of the New England Typographic Service (NETS) said. NETS provides school textbook content development services to publishers such as Mc Graw Hill and Pearson and has entered into a joint venture with Noida-based company EON PreMedia. EON PreMedia is a two-year-old venture capitalist funded company that offers content transformation and graphic production services to companies overseas.
“Overall, the cost advantage ratio is as good as 5:1 for outsourcing content development to India vis-à-vis doing it in the US,” Kern said.
The new company NETS EON India Private Limited has about 50 people at present and plans to double the number in the next six months.
The company will cater to publishers who are in the school textbook space. Apart from developing textbook content for publishers, the NETS EON will also help them format the same content for the web and mobile phones.
“Unlike digitisation where content is simply put into a web or a phone template, we work on how the same content may appear different across different digital media,” Suveen Sahib, EON PreMedia said. The company is betting big on the phenomenon of digital classrooms where web based content is more relevant than printed content.
Chennai-based TexTech and New Delhi’s Aptara are other players who develop content for school course books for global publishers.
The content offshoring market is estimated at about $1.5 billion or Rs 6,000 crore by 2010. Offshoring of content for school books is estimated to be worth $300 million (about Rs 1,200 crore) in the next two years. India constitutes about 90 per cent of the offshoring market, Sahib said.