Vivek Mehra is the MD and CEO of SAGE India. He comes from a family that was in the textile business. After his MBA from Columbia University, he returned to India in the late 1980s. Following this, he worked in food processing, textiles before he finally ventured into publishing in the late 1990s. He joined SAGE India in 2005. Vivek and I talk about his professional journey, the size and break-up of book publishing industry in India. We conclude with Vivek’s advise for authors.
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Key takeaways from discussion with Vivek Mehra
- Vivek Mehra was hired by Tejeshwar Singh as deputy MD of SAGE India.
- According to Neilsen report on Book publishing released in 2015, the size of book publishing industry in India is USD 4 billion. This is an approximate size, and has a margin of error of between 10 and 20 percent.
- English language books constitute 22 percent of the market, Hindi books are 25 to 27 percent, regional languages constitute about 50 percent of the market.
- SAGE is one of the top five academic publishers in India. Globally, they publish about 800 books a year.
- Social Sciences and medical journals are some of their specialization areas.
- SAGE India has ventured into translations into Hindi and Marathi languages.
- Vivek self published his book in 2011, and he is writing a fiction trilogy- an occult based on the Kolis (fishermen from Western India).
- Starting 2016, SAGE India plans to offer services for academia (editing for journals, etc.)
- Print publishing is more profitable for SAGE than digital publishing.
- He believes that without technology, publishing will become redundant
- SAGE Bhasha is SAGE India’s regional language imprint. They are not looking for original content at this time.
- Vivek believes that the concept of collaboration is alien to India’s book publishing industry.
- As an author, he believes that self publishing offers a viable option today.
Links and Resources
Link to Vivek’s Book