Variety

‘Digitisation of educational content is the way forward'

Heena Khan | Updated on November 16, 2017 Published on March 11, 2012

Mr Manzar Khan, Managing Director, Oxford University Press India.

The main challenge facing the school publisher is with regard to e-learning. We need to develop suitable digital content that can support teaching and learning in the classroom. - Manzar Khan, Managing Director, Oxford University Press India



“What sells for $55 (about Rs 2,700) in the United States; retails for Rs 595 in India,” says Manzar Khan, Managing Director, Oxford University Press (OUP) India.

Mr Khan has been associated with OUP since 1979. He talks to Business Line on the business of education books, the potential of Indian markets and the challenges facing the school text-books business.

How big is the market for English language education books in India?

The market for English medium books is about Rs 6,000-7,000 crore. This includes fiction, non-fiction, school textbooks etc. Of this, the private school textbook market accounts for Rs 1,000 crore. However, this is only 15 per cent of the total school textbook market. The rest is serviced by the Government.

How big is your business in India in the school textbook segment?

OUP India is Rs 300 crore annual business, of which school textbooks account for over Rs 200 crore.

We have 20-22 per cent market share in the private English medium market.

What size is OUP's India pie and how fast is it growing?

India accounts for 5-6 per cent of OUP's turnover. The pie is set to become bigger because India, along with China, is the fastest growing market for us.

Where is the growth coming from?

This market is growing very fast, by 15-20 per cent. The real growth is happening in school textbooks – from primary up to the middle school segment. After Class X, there are quite a few drop-outs. The gross enrolment post-secondary level is only 12 per cent, but the Government is making efforts to raise this to 20 per cent.

How are the dynamics of the market changing? Is there any new trend that you see?

With India's economic growth fuelling the last decade, the country's education needs have gone up tremendously. Digitisation is the way forward for supporting teaching and learning. Content has to be developed, digitised and made available. We are, at present, creating a support structure for learning and teaching methods, which are currently available for free. As the demand grows, our digital offering can be monetised. We have a scholarly textbook search engine by the name ‘Oxford scholarship online', which we provide to universities on subscription.

Which subject course books earn you the maximum revenue?

A total of 55 per cent of our turnover comes from English course books and material and the potential for expansion is huge. There are approximately 50,000 private schools and a shortage of a good 1.5 lakh schools in the country.

Finally, what are the challenges to school textbook publishing business?

The main challenge facing the school publisher is with regard to e-learning. We need to develop suitable digital content that can support teaching and learning in the classroom.

At OUP India, after considerable market research, we have been providing digital solutions in the form of CDs, e-books and websites that are specific to our print courses and which help the teacher provide a complete multimedia learning experience to the student. In this regard, wherever necessary, we provide the necessary teacher training.

Published on March 11, 2012
null
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor