Penguin Random House India has acquired Hindi-language publisher and "cultural icon" Hind Pocket Books for an undisclosed sum.
Established in 1958, Hind Pocket Books is considered a pioneer in publishing Hindi and Urdu paperbacks in India, predominantly publishing literary fiction, as well as spirituality, healthy, biography and books in translation. Its list of high-profile authors including Amrita Pritam, Shivani, Acharya Chatursen, Narendra Kohli, Khushwant Singh, R K Narayan, Osho and Thich Nhat Hanh, and prestigious prize wins include the Nobel Prize, the Sahitya Akademi Awards and the Jnanpith Award.
The acquisition of the company "will build further on Penguin Random House India’s presence in local language publishing, to which it has been committed for over a decade", PRH said. Penguin began its Hindi publishing programme in India in 2005, and has built a "significant" catalogue.
PRH India s.v.p. Nandan Jha will take on the added portfolio of building the Indian language publishing programme, in addition to heading sales and product for the company, while Vaishali Mathur, previously responsible for Indian language publishing and rights at PRH India, will become editor-in-chief of Hind Pocket Books, while also continuing to build her English language publishing programme. Hind Pocket Books m.d. Shekhar Malhotra will continue in an advisory role for the next 12 months.
PRH c.e.o. Markus Dohle said: “We are thrilled to welcome Hind Pocket Books to the Penguin Random House global family of publishers. Our operations in India have been a success story for us, and this acquisition represents our commitment to expand our local-language publishing as we continue to implement our global strategy of growing in our key markets such as India. I congratulate our Penguin Random House India c.e.o. Gaurav Shrinagesh, and I thank Mr Shekhar Malhotra for selecting our team to further build on his iconic publishing house and great successes.”
Malhotra commented: “It is a great honour for us that this pioneering legacy is now in the reputed hands of Penguin Random House India. The Hind Pocket Books Group has nurtured some of the best local language publishing across decades, making available quality literature all over the country with its motto: Books for the Millions. In 1956, my father, D N Malhotra, founder of Hind Pocket Books, met with Sir Allen Lane (founder, Penguin Books), the year Penguin was celebrating its 21st anniversary, and here began a great association between two imminent visionaries.
"It is only fitting that today our company chooses to hand over its legacy to Penguin Random House India, under the inspired leadership of Markus Dohle and Gaurav Shrinagesh, who will build on this remarkable publishing programme and bring to the forefront our rich cultural heritage of literature and the arts.”
PRH India c.e.o. Gaurav Shrinagesh described the buy as "a landmark acquisition for Penguin Random House India", which "reiterates our commitment and passion to grow publishing and readership in the region." He said: "Hind Pocket Books is a cultural icon and we are honoured to have been chosen by Mr Shekhar Malhotra to continue the strong legacy his father and he have built. We are delighted that Mr Malhotra will be advising our team over the course of the next 12 months, as this will allow us to gain from his rich experience to further build a platform for original language publishing and translations.”