In January, Bangalore-based Pustak.co.in started selling magazine subscriptions online. Not just any magazines, but more than 45,000 international magazines such as Harvard Business Review, The New Yorker, Wired, Scientific American, Popular Mechanics and Maxim. Getting the latest edition for most of these is a tough task and so is fitting them into your monthly reading budget. On an average there is a price difference of between 200 and 400 percent between Indian magazine editions and their international counterparts.
This disparity can be blamed on the economics and logistics of mailing magazines across thousands of kilometres every week or month. It simply isn’t worth any publisher’s time.
Pustak CEO Anand Rao says he found the solution to this after nearly six months of negotiations with global publishers. By receiving and aggregating copies in his US warehouse and then sending them to India once a month at his own cost, Rao is able to offer subscriptions at prices that are unheard of (annual subscription to Wired US for Rs. 1,000, to GQ US for Rs. 1,200). But, there is a catch: If you subscribe to a weekly, you’ll get four issues at once.
Rao says his first batch of 400 subscriptions is just being delivered. “When people see them on their friend’s tables, they’ll want to get some too,” he says.
Who wouldn’t, at these prices