A Garage Takes Off
Publishers are a cautious lot. No matter how rosy the predictions of Indian readers soon overtaking the rest of the world in buying books in English, they still insist on a first print run of 3,000 copies or less, with an occasional gamble at a first print run of 5,000 or even (gasp!) 10,000. “Where are the distribution networks and chains?” is the usual excuse. But online bookstores tell another story. In just two-and-a-half years, Flipkart has grown from a garage enterprise to India’s biggest online bookstore, with 4 million titles and an annual turnover of Rs 25 crore, selling a book a minute only in English. Their USP: penetrating small towns with no bookstores (their next target is reaching remote villages across the country), free shipping and delivery within 3 days.