Bangladeshi company puts its mark on e-publishing

23 July 2013
ITC News
ITC’s Netherlands Trust Fund II project linked Bangladesh-based Devnet Limited to a Dutch publishing company that provided training to launch a successful ePublishing business

Bangladeshi company Devnet Limited is now doing business with one of the largest academic book publishers in the country after ITC enabled the company to meet with the Dutch publishing company Diskad Concepts.

ITC set up contact between the two companies as part of ITC’s Netherlands Trust Fund II (NTFII) Bangladesh project, which supports the information technology (IT) sector in Bangladesh by linking selected IT companies with markets in Europe, improving the export competitiveness of the sector.

Learning to create eBooks

Devnet Managing Director Sabbir Mahbub met Diskad partner Arjaan Kunst, who had experience working with electronic books (eBooks). Diskad agreed to train a team at Devnet on ePublications, helping the group to select tools and learn to use the technology.

‘He took us forward with the smallest details,’ Mr Mahbub said about Mr Kunst. ‘Every time we sent him a file, he would patiently analyse the ePub and gave us his feedback, which also included efficient work process and coding practices that would make the ePub most efficient one.’

Mr Kunst also taught staff members about the eBook conversion process, from scanning images to the final output.

‘Now we have vast knowledge on different eBook formats required to publish on the Kindle and iOS platform,’ Mahbub said. ‘Soon we discovered that there is a market for these skills in Bangladesh. We started to explore more and amazingly received our first order three months after we started communication with local publishers.’

‘A beautiful marriage’

The order came from University Press Limited (UPL), a Bangledeshi publisher of academic books, to convert out-of-print books and books written by international writers.

‘They had special pressure from the writers to publish those books electronically so researchers worldwide can have access to those publications,’ Mahbub said. ‘Since there are few demands for those out of print publications, they were desperately looking for electronic deliveries. Therefore, it was a beautiful marriage between UPL and Devnet.’

Devnet published its first eBook on Amazon within two months. UPL followed up with an order to convert more than 400 books, according to Mahbub, and more orders from other publishers are now rolling in.

‘We thank Diskad for the knowledge transfer, especially Arjaan Kunst, without whom we would not have had the chance to learn and offer the service,’ Mahbub said.

The NTFII Bangladesh project started in April 2009 and ended in June 2013. The project was funded by the Government of the Netherlands to support the IT and ITES sector in Bangladesh to improve its export competitiveness and facilitate business links with selected markets.