Monday, April 1, 2013

Exporting Children's Books Produced in India

Children's publishing in India - one of the most lucrative segments in the industry - is looking out of its domestic fold for a bigger footprint in the export market of South Asia and in the developing world, even as business peaks on the domestic front.

A growing number of leading children's publishers in India are exporting activity, story and education books to countries like Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Middle-Eastern nations, Spain, South Africa, Nigeria and to Southeast Asian countries.

The market for children's books has expanded since 1999-2000, when Indian designers and publishers began to visit international book fairs, and western markets diverted their offshore children's deals to India, which had an edge in terms of quality, knowledge of English and visuals, said Sandeep Kaushik, CEO of Macaw Books, one of the biggest exporters of children's books in the country.

India has the advantage of "low currency exchange rates and low labour costs", making prices of children's books viable in the international market", Rajiv Ahuja of Evergreen Books said. "The labour cost per capita is around US$200 compared to euro2,200 (nearly $2965.38) per head in Europe," Ahuja said.

His company exports education books to 120 CBSE schools in the Gulf and children's books in Hindi to The Netherlands, where non-profit groups are promoting Hindi among youngsters as a "foreign language", he said. The "people of Indian origin markets in the Carribbean and in Africa" are the emerging export hubs for India, Ahuja said.

The National Book Trust, the apex body of publishing in the country that publishes in 30 languages, exports books - mostly education and children's books - to more than 100 countries, NBT director M.A. Sikandar said.

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