By Abel Muhatia
Book publishers Longhorn has planned to raise its market share from the current stand of 21 percent to 35 % by 2016.
This comes after the company rebranded its name from Longhorn Kenya Limited to Longhorn publishers limited, in a bid to give the company a global outlook.
In a press briefing on Thursday morning, Longhorn managing director Musyoka Muli said plans of cross listing to other East Africa countries are underway.
“It will take us a period of one and a half years to build a strong foundation and consolidating with other subsidiaries inorder to improve on our total market share,” added Muli.
Longhorn also intends to improve on their diversification by feeding the subsidiary with funds to develop products that meet requirements of their respective target audience.
Currently, a total of Ksh.120 million and Ksh. 80 million for both Tanzania and Uganda respectively have been set aside for this process. A full report on its diversification plan will be released in a month’s time.
On its expansion tactic, the company has so far landed in Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Zambia and Malawi. It has acquired 2 properties in Uganda and Rwanda to localize its presence to the two subsidiaries.
However, amidst this plans are challenges faced by the company, that include among others; introduction of 16%VAT to school books, which Muli believed, is a big threat to their growth.
High levels of piracy, competition between publishers and the government plus a delay in introducing the new curriculum were termed among the major challenges.
Muli said that the government should be clear on the functions of Kenya institute of curriculum development (KICD), which has more power to publish than the publishers themselves.
“The referee can not be the player in the same game.so KICD should not be competing with publishers in coming up with a product.Theirs is to re check the product and confirm it as good for use by the consumers” supposed the MD
He asked the government to review the penalty given to book pirates since piracy costs the company a total loss of 50% in their annual income.