As a child, I grew up on Amar Chitra Katha and I must say I was hooked to the fascinating tales they spun. With a number of titles like Tenali Raman, Birbal, Ramayana and Tinkle, I used to eagerly wait for the next edition, and once received, would promptly consume each book within a half hour to one hour period.
At this stage, I have to confess that Diamond Comics was great too with tales like Phantom and Mandrake. Hmmmmmm, I am a little inclined to pick up a copy. Sorry, I stepped a into fantasy world for a moment (JD from scrubs would empathise).
Lets get back to Amar Chitra Katha and children of today
Nothing earth shattering about the fact that entertainment avenues for children are way more than you can ever count. Add to it competition from players like Virgin Comics, who have understood what kids relate to and have come up with a modern avatar of the traditional stories.
They even have an adult version of these stories. No!! Please don't let your mind wander. I didn't mean that
Additionally book libraries are increasingly getting wiped out in Metros and with that their B2B model will undoubtedly diminish in value.
Somewhere along the way I think Amar Chitra Katha relied too much on the content they created in the past and didn't focus on creating more contemporary stuff.
At this stage, they needed to do something contemporary to change perceptions of being the brand of yesterday. AmarChitraKatha.com is certainly a step in that direction. I was super happy to see them launch this site. When you see age old brands like Amar Chitra Katha suddenly wake up to the Internet and leverage Web 2.0, you realise social media might actually be getting bigger in India.
The site has been created for more than just selling their books. It enables their loyalists to participate in story creation and designing their book covers. In addition they are your one stop information on the cultural events in your city, right from photography exhibitions to salsa and jive classes. Not just that ACK wants to become a store house of authentic information on the Indian Culture with the launch of ACK Pedia.
Will ACK succeed in its efforts to become contemporary using the web? Do they need successful virals before they achieve what they have set out to do? What do you think?