Monica Malhotra Kandhari, managing director, MBD Group, talks to Sangeeta Yadav about the latest initiatives by the group and how one can make a successful career in the publishing industry
- Tell us about the present scenario of publishing industry in India?
A career in publishing industry has a lot of scope in today’s time, especially in the education sector. We have a lot of publishers in India in a niche segment as well as service provider sector. Foreign companies are collaborating with Indian publishing houses for the printing and distribution of their books, novels, etc.
- Do you also conduct workshops on how to publish your own book, start a publishing house and make a career in publishing industry?
We did that abroad. In July, we are going to conduct various workshops for training and skill development with the nodal agency of Malaysia. Unfortunately, in India, such forums do not exist under the Government’s nodal agencies. I have seen some new training come up. We do training for the election commission employees. Government has to take more initiative. We can only do it in a small way through the Federation of Indian Publishers which gives us candidates to train free of cost.
- How are start-ups doing in the publishing industry?
There are many start-up companies that have been launched in the past 10 years. We would like to boost some promising start-up firms in this industry through collaboration and investment — start-ups which are promoting digitisation in the publishing industry, softwares etc. I’m looking for more path breaking ideas on online platform.
- How is the waste management industry working to recycle the papers ?
We have a large unit for recycling paper or book sized stationary, but the industry wants white wood paper. With recycled paper, there is issue of colour differences and raw material being expensive. Children don’t want to write on paper which is dull. Education industry doesn’t recycle as much as it should. There are a few units in India that are producing recycled materials. However, India is not inclined towards it right now.
- Tell us about the educational services provided by MBD Group?
From textbooks for all grades, all subjects, all major boards in India and for all major languages in India, activity books, workbooks to teaching manuals, teachers’ and students’ resources, reference books and State board syllabus, we offer a wide range of services covering every platform. Adding to that basket is E-learning (online and offline), M-learning, language education apps, assessment engine, Enterprise Resource Planning for schools, English language learning, Science and Mathematics educational kits for the laboratories.
We have partnered with Intel and Microsoft for providing content. Netra, our augmented reality free app, is gaining popularity. We sell copyright and export books. We have also started theatre in education to make teaching and learning more interesting. We have launched our e-commerce site for purchasing books.
- How has been the response of MBD Disha for teacher’s training?
We have done that in collaboration with Imagine Education (UK). The way they do teacher training is different from India and thus we are adopting new modules for training teachers in various fields. We have been teaching teachers for a long time and but never thought it will become such a huge industry and Government will take up such initiatives. So far we have trained around 30,000-42,000 teachers.
- You are also providing skill development and vocational courses…
It offers residential training and non-residential training courses and books in the field of printing, web designing, editorial services to IT, ITES and Hospitality, with the aim of bridging the gap between the supply and demand of skilled manpower. We are working on various Government projects across India like Udaan to train and provide jobs to 5,000 students in J&K. The endeavour is to train about a million by 2020. There have been talks to incorporate vocational courses at school level in a big way.
- What else is there in the pipeline?
We’ll be doing e-learning wherever required and adapt and make it available worldwide. We are going to launch version three of E’cademy, an e-learning platform for schools, whose contents will be refreshed for nine more States.
(The article also got published in The Pioneer Newspaper – http://www.dailypioneer.com/avenues/a-lot-is-happening-in-the-publishing-industry.html_