Vikas Gupta: Everything is going digital and processes are getting redesigned

By 19 Oct 2020

This pandemic has provided an opportunity to reflect and redesign business and team strategies to evolve to a new way of working. There is a paradigm shift in handling customer demand, Vikas Gupta, MD, Wiley India, tells Dibyajyoti Sarma

Vikas Gupta, MD, Wiley India

The current scenario
The Covid-19 crisis has severely impacted the sales of books in the first half of the year, which further got exacerbated by the subsequent lockdowns. However, online retail and the publishers lobbied with the government to consider books as an essential item.

Online players like Amazon and Flipkart have contributed to major sales post-lockdown as the entire brick and mortar distribution chain was broken. From early on, Wiley had started to integrate technology in the context of learning, which is also enabling us to recover from the receding sales post-GPP implementation.

As a quick response to Covid-19, we went to the market with a digital first approach with eAdoptions, online courseware, zyBooks, and training solution for our new and emerging technologies — WileyNXT. This is an enabler for class continuity until we emerge from the pandemic.

Looking ahead
Our focus is on developing international and regional adaptations in new subject areas. Our centre of excellence also does international editions, which has made us a publishing hub for the global industry too.

So far, there has been an uptick and we are slightly better than what we have forecasted. This pandemic has provided us with an opportunity to reflect and redesign our business and team strategies to safeguard our employees and evolve to a new way of working.

We are working towards creating a self-reliant model where there is less office dependency and training our sales and marketing teams to partner in customer success. There is a paradigm shift in how we handle and interact with the demand of our customers during such crises.

In hindsight
While we were always ahead of our time with WileyNXT, to cater to the demands of Industry 4.0 and skill training, none of us could have ever planned for a pandemic that will have a devastating impact on our personal and professional lives.

However, as challenges always provide us with an opportunity to be better, this pandemic too brought in some advantages which I could not have foreseen in January. It has accelerated the environment which we always projected. Everything is going digital, processes are getting redesigned and there is a dire need for upskilling yourself with evolving industry needs.

WileyNXT is a platform that is fostering 21st century skills such as AI, ML, automation, cybersecurity, IoT, blockchain and others, even before it became more pertinent.

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