Penguin Random House India

Penguin Random House India Earns “Publisher of the Year” Award

Penguin Random House India has been honored at the 8th annual Tata Literature Live Festival in Mumbai with the Publisher of the Year award, which recognizes the efforts of India’s publishers to discover and nurture writers.

  Gaurav Shrinagesh, CEO, Penguin Random House India, thanked the organizers of the festival and said that the publishing group will continue to reflect as wide a range of opinions and voices as possible. Mr. Shrinagesh added, “I would like to especially thank the fabulous team at Penguin Random House India – a group of talented individuals across all functions who come together with utmost passion and dedication, and an abiding commitment to connect authors with readers.” The Tata Literature Live Festival is the biggest literary event in Mumbai, and one of the most important international book events in India. More than 130 authors, journalists, and other participants from 15 countries attended this year's three-day program of workshops, panel discussions, book presentations and award ceremonies.  The Tata Literature Live Awards presented at the event alos include Book of the Year, Best First Book of the Year, Business Book of the Year, and the Lifetime Achievement Award. Pranay Lal’s Indica, a Penguin Random House India title, won the Best First Book Nonfiction award. The range of outstanding books released by a publisher in the current year, and the number of awards for individual titles at the literary festival, are decisive in determining the winner of the Publisher of the Year award.  Anil Dharker, founder and director of the Tata Literature Live Festival, explained why the award was created: “All over the world, prizes are awarded to authors and their books to honor their outstanding literary work. But publishers provide an essential part of the entire process, without which books could not be made available to the public. It's obvious that there would be no books without publishers.”

Penguin Random House India Invites Audiences to Celebrate Its 30th Anniversary

Penguin Random House India turns 30 this year. As an ongoing anniversary-year celebration, the company is engaging readers in creative new ways, from sharing backlist classics to producing a phenomenally popular crowd-sourced Twitter campaign.

To kick off its anniversary celebration, the company created and published Penguin 30, which contains excerpts from thirty of its most celebrated bestsellers published during the past three decades. Among them: Nehru’s autobiography and such novels as Vikram Seth’s The Golden Gate, Amitav Ghosh’s Sea of Poppies, and Jhumpa Lahiri’s Unaccustomed Earth. The volume received considerable attention nationally when PRH India collaborated with The Book Fairies, a worldwide initiative whose goal is sharing books with others by hiding them in public places. Several book fairies went on a special journey with a mission to hide thirty copies of the Penguin 30 special anniversary edition throughout Delhi, Mumbai, and Bangalore. Participating local book lovers then went on a quest to find the volumes, using clues from the magical “The Book Fairies” portal on Instagram. The most adept book seekers posted photos of themselves and their finds. (View a selection: @penguinindia.) Similarly, and in keeping with its anniversary motto #KeepReading, PRH India partnered with BODM (Books on the Delhi Metro), and provided special anniversary editions that were placed at various metro stations at the Delhi Metro line for one week in August. Part of the great eye-catching appeal of the campaign was that the lovely anniversary special editions were color-coordinated with the metro lines: blue covers on the blue line; yellow covers on the yellow line; red on the red line; and so forth. What made the promotion extra-worthwhile is that Books on the Delhi Metro is a nonprofit initiative aimed at promoting reading while commuting. Reading initiatives by BODM have taken social media by storm recently as reading enthusiasts drop off books for people to pick up, read, and then return for others to enjoy reading, as they have. BODM shared updates on Facebook and Instagram regularly, as did PRH India’s own social media pages. “We received extensive media coverage, word of mouth, and great satisfaction for our part in commuter book discovery, for this campaign,” said Hemali Sodhi, SVP, Marketing, and Publisher, Children’s, Penguin Random House India. Launching a #KeepTweeting contest was an entirely different way of inviting audiences to join in the celebration. Twitter users were given the first line of a story and invited to keep adding the next lines until the story was complete. The idea was to create the first-ever short story with thirty lines to commemorate the 30th anniversary in India. Who knew turning thirty could be such fun and attract so many new readers to Penguin Random House India’s great books?   To stay up-to-date on publishing news from India, visit:

Penguin Random House India’s “Book Fairies” Work Their Magic

Do you believe in fairies? How about Book Fairies? Penguin Random House India recently collaborated with The Book Fairies as several of our colleagues  in India went on a special journey to Delhi, Mumbai, and Bangalore.

Their mission was to hide 30 copies of the Penguin 30 special edition throughout these cities as part of the ongoing celebration of Penguin Random House India’s 30th anniversary.  Participating book lovers then went on a quest to find the books using clues from the magical “The Book Fairies” portal on Instagram. The most adept book seekers posted photos of themselves and their finds.  View a selection: @penguinindia. A similar initiative, “Books on the Delhi Metro” (@booksonthedelhimetro), took place in early August. The Penguin 30 special edition was published at the beginning of this year and features 30 bestsellers by Indian authors written during the past 30 years, among them Nehru’s autobiography as well as such novels as Vikram Seth’s The Golden Gate, Amitav Ghosh’s Sea of Poppies, and Jhumpa Lahiri’s Unaccustomed Earth. “The Book Fairies” is a worldwide initiative with the goal of sharing books with others through finding hiding places for them in public spaces.

Taste What You Read: Penguin Random House India Pairs Books with Chocolate

Penguin Random House India has collaborated with the chocolate brand “All Things” to formulate and pair taste buds with words. Inspired by classics from Indian literature, it is now possible to appease multiple sensory palettes.  You can feel the flow of the narrative and truly taste what you read.  

From the initial sight of the packaging that resembles a book to chocolate melting in your mouth,  this collaboration promises a unique experience. Several Penguin Random House India colleagues served as “taste-testers” looking for perfect book & chocolate combinations. A caramel-toned Belgian milk chocolate with a lemon zest and cream cheese-flavored white chocolate ganache echoes the richness and longing of love found in Kalidasa’s luminous poetry. A bittersweet dark chocolate with botanical undertones paired with an aromatic Earl Grey-infused vodka ganache whets the appetite for the lyrical works of the poet Faiz Ahmed Faiz.  A milky Belgian chocolate with baked coconut crumble evokes Raja Rao’s The Cat and Shakespeare, which connects readers with the everyday struggles and ordinary pleasures of living in Trivandrum during the early 1940’s.

Penguin Random House India Partners with Save the Children

An integral part of Bertelsmann’s vision is to make a valuable and lasting contribution to society. A key part of this goal are the corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives that Penguin Random House undertakes in each territory where it operates and through every company that comes under the Bertelsmann umbrella.  In addition to our global commitments, Penguin Random House India have partnered with Save the Children India – an organization committed towards ensuring the ‘Rights of Children’.

Here are some of the programs we proudly support. india3Promoting Early Childhood Education through Balwadis: Its mission is to provide early childhood care and education for all round development, including physical, social, emotional, cognitive, and language development, and to build a habit of attending school among children. We are supporting one Balwadi, reaching out to 30 children (ages 3-5 years) and their parents. We are sponsoring their education aids, mid meals, and infrastructure requirements to run the education center. In addition, we also helped create a library by donating our books meant for early learning. Enabling Women to better their Lives through Functional Literacy: This program aims to provide functional literacy to the women and girls of Sarai Kale Khan Village, who have never been to school, or have dropped out of school. The 4-month curriculum adopts an Activity-based methodology, which equips an adult learner to read, write, and understand Hindi language and basic Arithmetic. The program provides them with a platform through various activities for enhancing self-confidence, communication, and developing a positive outlook. We will support one such program that covers 45 women for a period for 4 months. In addition, we are also looking at providing infrastructural support to their existing center by donating office equipment and furniture.
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International Report: Penguin Random House India Wins Social Media Award

penguin india2Our colleagues at Penguin Random House India are celebrating their prize in the Social Samosa Awards for Best Social Media Brands 2016 competition, receiving a Silver Award in the “Media and Entertainment” category.

Rukun Kaul, Digital Lead at Penguin Random House India, says: “We’re delighted with this recognition. This is a testament to our vision to make our social media channels forums where we

engage with readers and followers on ideas that matter to them while keeping them entertained and engaged … Of course, next year we’ll be aiming for the Gold!” Here are examples of Penguin Random House India’s social media innovation:
  • An inventive documentary-style book trailer was created to promote author Amitav Ghosh’s book on climate change, The Great Derangement, his first nonfiction title in ten years. View the trailer here. The social media team also hosted three Twitter panel discussions, with experts joining from all across the world and reaching an unprecedented global audience (14 million for the final panel) and creating an impactful conversation around the topic of climate change.
  • the dinner1A short movie called The Dinner on ‘love outside relationships’ was produced for bestselling romance writer Ravinder Singh’s new book, This Love that Feels Right, which revolved around the idea of adultery. Watch The Dinner via Facebook here.
  • Short time-lapse line-illustration videos were produced to promote a new book by bestselling Mythology author Devdutt Pattanaik, presenting Indian mythology in the most accessible way with striking Indian-style line-drawings. Watch the selected drawings being redrawn here
  The Indian online platform Social Samosa observes, discusses and investigates current trends and developments in social media marketing. With its inaugural awards, announced via Facebook Live, Social Samosa recognized social media excellence in 16 categories.

International Report: Penguin Random House India Kicks Off 30th Anniversary Celebrations

Penguin India 30Penguin Random House India turns 30 this year and kick-started its anniversary celebrations at one of India’s largest literary events of the year, the Jaipur Literature Festival.  As part of the festivities, Penguin introduced the iconic orange pop-up cart and a new range of quirky merchandise and collectibles as well as top bestsellers in India from the last 30 years.

Hemali Sodhi, Senior Vice President, Marketing, and Publisher, Children’s, Penguin Random House India, filed the following report: [caption id="attachment_5023" align="alignright" width="225"]Indian political commentator and policy analyst and our beloved author Mr Sanjay Barua at The Penguin Tent at JLF Indian political commentator and policy analyst and our beloved author Mr Sanjay Barua at The Penguin Tent at JLF[/caption] The highlight of the festival was the Penguin pop-up cart, a mobile treasure trove of some of our most loved books and collectibles that bibliophiles can relate to. The cart is also part of our ongoing campaign for the year – #KeepReading – aimed at promoting reading anywhere, anytime, and providing a variety of reading content across genres to literary enthusiasts. Authors such as Sunil Khilnani, Devdutt Pattanaik, Ravinder Singh, and Sanjay Barua as well as other renowned personalities made appearances. In a country such as ours, where a huge proportion of the audience is still not online, there is a big opportunity that an offline mobile cart brings with it, standing out from the crowd of brands trying to compete for attention. It created a buzz around the message of reading and is a great medium to engage with customers better in an attempt to understand their book interests face to face. MRX8GvL8_400x400Some of the other highlights included the brand new Penguin Tent featured a traditional Rajasthani avatar, replete with ambis and camels. We also unveiled our 30th anniversary logo as part of the tent décor and anniversary titles –  an alluring selection of India’s most brilliant and visionary writing in the English language published over the last 30 years – including timeless classics like Kalidasa’sKumarasambhavam and Nehru’s An Autobiography as well as much-loved fiction like Vikram Seth’s The Golden Gate, Amitav Ghosh’s Sea of Poppies and Jhumpa Lahiri’s Unaccustomed Earth, among others. [caption id="attachment_5025" align="alignright" width="200"]Shobhaa De with Milee Ashwarya, Editor in Chief at the 30th anniversary celebrations in India Shobhaa De with Milee Ashwarya, Editor in Chief at the 30th anniversary celebrations in India[/caption] We also launched an interesting contest – #KeepTweeting – India’s first ever crowd-sourced Twitter book. The contest was launched by giving out the first line of the story and inviting users to keep adding on to the next lines till the story was complete. The idea was to create the first ever short story with 30 lines to commemorate our 30th anniversary in India. In addition to this, we also urged people visiting the festival to tweet their memories and pictures along with the five key elements at the Diggi Place – Kulhar Chai, Trees, Durbar Hall, Rajasthani food, and books. Festivities concluded with the inimitable Penguin Party at Sujan Rajamahal Palace, graced by a who’s-who of the literary circuit. To commemorate our 30th anniversary celebrations in India, Glenfiddich curated a special cocktail aptly named “The Flying Penguin,” created exclusively for the grand occasion. A special 3D tasting arena was set up by Glenfiddich for the guests to enjoy. As each Glenfiddich variant was poured into glasses, 3D projections on the table demonstrated the tasting notes and aging techniques of the drink. The year of India 30th celebrations has just begun for us, and there’s a lot more to watch out for throughout the year. Stay tuned for the latest news about our continuing birthday celebrations!