Maneet Sawhney interacts with Mr Krishna Naroor – MD Collins- India and explores his publishing career which he started in 1994.
- What are your views on primary and secondary education levels in India?
Education boards have made huge improvement for students at primary and secondary levels. Concepts like CCE (Continuous & Comprehensive Evaluation) contribute towards both academic development and personality development. As a publisher, we have a huge opportunity for bringing new ideas in our books and provide the best teaching and learning tools. We see this sector evolving and thus we have stepped into it. Collins India will be publishing curriculum based text books for K-12 market.
- How does the education system in India compare with the rest of this world?
Education system in India is very sound and believes in building strong concepts from the start which improves overall personality of the students. India is a very diversified market with schools in remote towns which do not have access to quality education/resources as compared to the developed countries.
- How was the journey of Collins India with regards to interest in its books amongst Indian students, teachers, schools, parents etc.
Collins India is a new division and is yet to test time. We are trying to understand demands and expectations of schools, teachers, students and parents. Awareness amongst people through school visits, book fairs has made huge impacts on our readers. In a major new initiative, Collins India has launched skills books for phonics, spellings, English Language Teaching, Mathematics and reading for children in Indian schools.
- On a personal level, how challenging was the Indian market compared to previous experiences?
Competition in education books publishing is very intense, both from local publishers and international publishers. We are governed by strict compliance & ABC (anti bribery & corruption) laws. The market dynamics have changed in the past few years and many schools in India are looking forward to quality resources which help teachers to address the needs of the students in a better and efficient way. We will focus on quality resources (both print and digital) and enhance the overall learning experience.
- What are your personal goals visa vis Collins India?
My personal goal is to keep the spirit of 200 years of brand heritage of Collins alive, and to establish efficiency. We have to hire the right set of people in Marketing, Sales and Editorial. Our roadmap for next 3 to 5 years is well laid out.
- What kind of travelling is required in your job and do you enjoy your sojourns to relatively smaller towns of India?
Lot of travelling is required. Since I enjoy travelling it’s a really a wonderful opportunity for me to travel to different parts of the country especially tier 2 cities. In the past, my travel was mainly to metros but I see a lot of potential in tier 2 cities and small towns.
- What has been your experience in terms of working in metros and in smaller cities and town and do you find any difference in their perceptions compared to larger towns?
The schools/teachers in tier 2 cities are looking forward to quality product and are eager to enhance their knowledge/skills. The publishers are also reaching out to these small towns/cities which is a good sign for the overall development of education in India. In the past, the focus was mainly on metros and the schools located in important metros had more access to quality material as compared to schools in smaller towns/cities. There are differences in terms of socio-economic conditions, language skills etc but going forward there will be lot of improvement in the quality of education in schools located in smaller towns.