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Publishing gets into BPO space

Industry experts claim that the publishing BPO market in India is worth $250 mn and is clocking an annual growth of 30%.

india Updated: Apr 14, 2006 12:41 IST

Business Process Outsourcing has been India’s biggest success story in recent times recording a growth rate of 48 per cent and is estimated to touch $6.3 billion by the year end. Within this space, publishing outsourcing is poised to take off to greater heights.

That’s one reason Infomedia India recently announced its plans to acquire Noida-based International Typesetting and Composition (ITC) for $12 million. With its front-end in in the US, ITC is in the business of providing services to book publishers around the world.

Says Prakash Iyer, managing director, “We had identified publishing services and e-publishing as a growth area and feel Infomedia is ideally placed to exploit opportunities in this high-growth segment.” Most international research firms, top publishing houses and media conglomerate like MacMillan and Oxford University Press are already outsourcing various kinds of work and processes to India.

Farokh T Balsara, partner and India’s Industry Leader for the Media & Entertainment, Ernst & Young says: “Like every other industry, India’s is being looked upon as an outsourcing destination for its cost arbitrage advantage.”

Now portals such as Amazon and ebooks.com are selling digital books. Several international publishers are looking to convert their old manuscripts and books into digital formats. Out of print books can be made available without the huge cost of printing. Archived magazines and newspapers can be converted and posted on the web. Books can be converted and sold as downloads on the web.

Industry experts claim that the publishing BPO market in India is worth $250 million and is clocking an annual growth of 30 per cent, with profit margins varying between 30-40 per cent.

India, with trained professionals, proficiency in English, and lower costs is expected to emerge as one of the main outsourcing centers.

The business of outsourced publishing services from India is currently more than Rs 1,000 crore annually. Publishing outsourcing services include typesetting, pagemaking, digitalisation of content and warehousing, specialised editorial services, and printing services.

Sridhar Balan, publishing consultant and ex-director of the Oxford University Press says the export value of print jobs totalled Rs 94.2 crore in 20002001. This is up from Rs 19.3 crore recorded in 1991-1992.

First Published: Apr 14, 2006 12:41 IST