India's publishing BPO industry to grow USD 1.2 billion by 2012

A recently released report by ValueNotes estimates that the Indian publishing BPO industry is expected to grow to a value of USD 1.2 billion by 2012. This growth is expected to come from rise in the number of publishing companies that will outsource – which include traditional segments such as STM/Academic, Educational & Legal Publishing, as well as new segments such as Magazines, Corporate and B2B publishing.

India continues to remain the favored publishing BPO hub – with 35,550 people in direct employment, and revenues worth USD 660 million as of end-2008. While revenues are expected to cross USD 1.2 billion by 2012, the total employee strength is estimated to cross 55,000 by 2012.

Publishing outsourcing includes a wide range of services. The four broad heads include content, design, technology and ‘other’ services. Content continues to drive the industry and contributes to 72% of the total industry revenues. Over the last couple of years, services offshored have undergone a transition – from low value services such as tagging, editing existing designs, copy editing to high value services such as original designs, testing and assessment and e-learning tools.

There has been an influx of technology in the industry that has enhanced productivity, workflow management and most importantly reduced costs and turnaround time. According to Arun Jethmalani, CEO, ValueNotes, “Most providers have access to similar technology, however the differentiator has really been the capabilities developed around workflow and innovation. Today’s technology will become tomorrow’s standard and constant innovation will differentiate the winners.”

The STM/Academic segment contributes to the majority (60%) of the offshore revenues, followed by the Educational publishing segment. The “other” segment has increased its share compared to our earlier research published in 2007, indicating significant traction in the last couple of years. ‘Other’ comprises mostly of magazines, corporate and B2B, which are now fast growing segments in the publishing offshoring market. According to Aradhana Kolhatkar, lead analyst, Publishing Services, ValueNotes, “Indian players are shifting focus from the matured STM segment to the more lucrative segments in the publishing market. We believe that educational, magazines, corporate/B2B, trade and e-books will be attractive segments over the next 3-4 years. Indian service providers can extend their current capabilities to service these upcoming opportunities.”

Based on exhaustive primary research and analysis of this sector, ValueNotes has identified and established that there are over 140 vendors in the publishing offshoring industry. Of these we have identified SPi, Aptara, Integra and Laserwords as frontrunners in the industry.

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