Juggernaut, a publishing company which will give both – digital and physical platform to authors, has raised Rs. 15 crore in funding from FabIndia’s founder William Bissell, Infosys’ co-founder Nandan Nilekani and Neeraj Aggarwal, Managing Director of Boston Consulting Group India.
Founded in September 2015, the company aims to create a world-class Indian publishing company that will give authors both a digital and a physical platform.
However, the company’s primary focus is on digital publishing and is betting on 200 million mobile users in India. It is planning to develop new ways of commissioning and rethinking the reading experience, book distribution and payments.
The company will be publishing about 50 titles each year. The first book from the company will be published in April 2016. It will be distributed and warehoused by Hachette India.
It is founded by Chiki Sarkar and Durga Raghunath. Chiki was a publisher of Penguin India and founder publisher of Random House India. Durga was CEO of Network18 Digital and also founded Firstpost.com.
The advisers of the firm includes Aveek Sarkar – Group editor of ABP Media Group; Vijay Shekhar Sharma – Founder and CEO of PayTM; D. Sundaram – Managing Director of TVS Capital; Pratap Bhanu Mehta – President of the Centre for Policy Research; and Vikram Chandra – A highly acclaimed novelist and twice winner of the Commonwealth Book Prize.
Durga Raghunath, co-founder of Juggernaut, said,
There are more Indians accessing the internet, reading, writing and paying online than five years ago. I cannot imagine something more exciting than rethinking the underdeveloped book market and getting Indians to read.
Chiki Sarkar, co-founder of the company, said,
With William I knew that he was investing in startups, and he cared about books and ideas; so does Nandan and he also gets digital, so for him this was a bit of a winning idea. Neeraj again used to head BCG’s digital strategy: all of them saw the promise in it and I think that’s why they have come in.
This new venture hopes to address the problems like poor financial model, not enough book shops, and not enough adventurism in getting people to read books.
The Indian book publishing industry is highly fragmented and competitive in nature, with more than 16,000 publishing houses and each of them having a market share not greater than 5%. Most of these publishing houses are family owned businesses, having passed on from one generation to the next.
India is the 7th largest book publisher in the world and is the 3rd largest English language books market in the world the U.S and U.K.