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February 21, 2005

CricInfo co-founder to quit; to focus on regional language publishing venture

Badri Seshadri, a co-founder of the popular online cricket portal Cricinfo.com, will be leaving his position as Managing Director of Wisden CricInfo-India in April 2005, reports Mediaah!. Seshadri plans to focus on building his new start-up, New Horizon Media Pvt. Ltd., which is into regional language publishing.

Extracts from Mediaah's interview with Seshadri:
The plan is to create content in regional languages - with the content in the form of printed books, audio, CD, online (but subscription-based) etc. We are starting with Tamil (as I am familiar with this) and are looking at aggressively expanding to other languages...

...Where is the quality, knowledge driven , local language content on the web at this stage? Even amongst books that are published, there is a vast difference between books published in English and those that are published in local languages. Also an average English book is extremely expensive. The regional books are, on an average, priced one third of an English book (which is itself a reprint for India - in lower quality paper etc.). We studied the Tamil market and decided that we will enter in a big way and over a period of one year have created a very strong brand in Tamil Nadu...

...We validated our claim that narrative non-fiction content created in a very attractive package - good paper, good printing, good design and good narrative style, almost in a story-telling way - sells well...We started the company New Horizon media Private Limited in February 2004 and over a one year period came up with 51 titles. Most of them are top sellers.

Arun Natarajan is the Editor of TSJ Media, which tracks venture capital activity in India and Indian-founded companies worldwide. View sample issues of TSJ Media's Venture Intelligence India newsletters and reports.