The corporate learning business is poised to grow rapidly in India, says Ray Carvey, Executive Vice-President of Corporate Leadership and International at Harvard Business Publishing (HBP), in an interview with BusinessLine.
How has HBP grown in India?
About eight years ago we decided our first international subsidiary was going to be in India. So we created HBP in India. Since then we have had great success in creating a version of our publishing company in India. We have a local version of Harvard Business Review in India and a crew of 25 people for HBP India in Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru and Chennai. We have developed relationships with all the major business schools in India because of the different aspects of our organisation. HBP is made up of three different groups — Harvard Business Review ; Higher Education, from where we sell to B-schools cases and other products developed by this division; and Corporate Learning, where we work with companies in executive education and leadership development.
We also work closely with our colleagues at Harvard Business School, who have their entities here as well.
From which segment is most of the growth coming?
Most of the growth we are hoping to see in India will come from our Corporate Learning business. We really have just scratched the surface when it comes to the number of companies that we can and should be working with. I think our relationship with key business schools will foster our Higher Education business, which we are trying to increase, though it will take time. I think the market for the Harvard Business Review magazine is more circumspect than the opportunity on the corporate learning side, although the book business has grown very well in India.
About 40 per cent of the traffic on the HBR website comes from India, which is pretty impressive, and we see a significant growth opportunity for HBR. Today, it is predominantly a magazine taken up by CXOs and aspiring CXOs but if you look at the volume of middle management and younger managers in India, that’s the segment we are looking at for future growth.
HBR itself is going through a strategic shift with a digital first strategy which, in turn, will help us bring much appeal and access to younger audiences as well.
How much of your revenue comes from India and other emerging markets?
Our revenue outside of North America is roughly 35 per cent of our overall revenue. In the emerging markets it’s probably half of that — 16-17 per cent, which is significant. .
What kind of growth is HBP looking for in 2016 in India?
We are looking at 20 per cent growth for our Corporate Learning business in India. I think we have potential for more than that.