By Dennis Abrams
Vital Source Technologies, the digital textbook arm of the Ingram book distribution company has partnered with Indian’s largest distributor of science related textbooks, B.i. Publications, to form a joint venture, Ingram-B.i. Pvt. Ltd, to make Ingram’s VitalSource Bookshelf eTextbook platform available to institutions throughout India.
“India, by far, is the most exciting growth market for English language textbooks in the world today,” said Shashank Bhagat, Chairman of the Bi Group. “The market in India is ripe for media-rich interactive learning experiences. With Ingram’s VitalSource Bookshelf platform, and the local market reach of the Bi Group, students at India’s top universities, colleges, and corporate training programs will have access to the newest and most relevant digital content learning tools that are available today.”
The VitalSource Bookshelf platform, designed specifically for education, is said to be the preferred and most used e-textbook delivery platform available for higher education, with relationships with more than 300 major publishers, and over 3 million registered users on 6,000 campuses worldwide.
“Integrating technology into academic curricula is quickly becoming the new standard in education,” said John R. Ingram, chairman and CEO of Ingram Content Group. “Ingram-Bi is ready to help educators in India seamlessly incorporate more digital components and learning tools into their programs of study to enhance learning opportunities for all students.”
The move will allow Ingram to capitalize on India’s rapidly expanding higher education market, which industry sources predict will go from its current 14 million students to 40 million by 2020. Along with that there has been an equally dramatic grown in Internet use, with 5 to 7 million new users being added every month, making India now third in the total number of Internet users, just behind China and the United States.