Growth Region India

With a gross domestic product of US$ 2.3 trillion, India is the world’s seventh largest economy, and with 1.38 billion people, it is the world’s second-most populous country. A growing young middle class and rapidly increasing internet and especially mobile penetration make India an attractive destination for foreign investors like Bertelsmann. Shobhna Mohn, Executive Vice President Growth Regions at Bertelsmann: “India is an important market for our expansion in growth regions. The country’s demographic, economic and technological development offers many opportunities to a future-oriented media, services and education group like Bertelsmann.”

Bertelsmann has been active in India since 2003 and most of its divisions have a presence here. The RTL Group subsidiary Fremantle Media has produced international hit shows including “Indian Idol”, “Factor” and “Got Talent” through its production unit in Mumbai. Penguin Random House (PRH) is the country’s largest English-language trade publisher, with internationally renowned authors including Salman Rushdie, Ian McEwan, Dan Brown and also successful Indian authors like Pankaj Mishra. Furthermore, Dorling Kindersley (DK) India provides PRH with a global hub for publishing services and digital operations and contributes well-known brands such as DK Travel and DK FindOut. Arvato offers customer relationship management and supply chain management services to large multi-national clients.

In order to accelerate Bertelsmann’s expansion in India, a Corporate Center was opened in New Delhi in February 2012. It supports Bertelsmann’s activities in the country, e.g. business development across divisions and knowledge transfer. At the same time, Bertelsmann established its strategic investment arm Bertelsmann India Investments (BII) that invests in new business opportunities in the fields of digital media and higher education. 

BII’s direct investments in digital media include the home furniture and furnishings portal Pepperfry, the online music streaming service Saavn, and the real-estate portal IndiaProperty. In the higher education sector, Bertelsmann invested in the online learning platform WizIQ and the educational services provider iNurture. Bertelsmann also invested in three fund-of-funds, including Kaizen Private Equity, Helion Venture Partners and the Nirvana fund. 

Pankaj Makkar, Head of Bertelsmann India Corporate Center and Managing Director of Bertelsmann India Investments (BII) states: “Education and digital businesses are of great importance for Bertelsmann and promise the highest growth.”