• Table of contents

    • [+]Preliminaries (3)
    • [+]Introduction (4)
    • [+]Latin America (13)
    • [+]Sub-Saharan Africa (9)
    • [+]Arab World (11)
    • [+]Russia (11)
    • [—]India (11)
    • [+]China (9)
    • [+]Conclusions (6)
    • [+]Appendix (1)


Publishing services companies

The championing of the software industry has made India a global centre for publishing-related technological services. There are countless companies of varying sizes offering services that include digitization, text recognition (OCR), conversion to ePub and layout. In one survey disseminated by Valuenotes in early 2010, 66% of publishers interviewed from the US and the UK admitted to having outsourced their pre-production work to India.[1]

Among the firms that provide publishing services we can mention Data Outsourcing India, Amnet, Aptara and Vel Software. These are companies that tend to participate in international book fairs and count the world’s leading publishing houses among their clients.

These service companies face a constant challenge, which we will come back to when we analyze the problems facing publishing houses: we are referring here to the difficulty of building solid brands and competing on the basis of price alone. As it says on the Amnet website, low prices are a fleeting competitive advantage:

The communications infrastructure had been built between Western countries and India. And state and local governments understood that companies like Amnet contributed to overall prosperity. They were eager to support us. But there were some clouds on the horizon. The first generation of outsourcing was based on providing the services of India’s highly-educated, English-speaking talent pool at rock bottom prices. That couldn’t continue. Being the lowest cost provider is almost always a losing strategy because the advantage is easy to copy. By 2000, Indian companies were seeing lower cost price competition from China and the Philippines.[2]

  1. Cf. Menon, Ravi: “Publishing: India remains top outsourcing destination”, Business Standard, 27th January, 2010.
  2. Cf. “The story of Amnet”, Amnet. The data company.

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