Indigo CEO Heather Reisman and Kobo e-reader execs at Toronto Queen’s Business Club event

Posted on April 28, 2010

Toronto’s Indigo store on Bloor was the setting for the Toronto Queen’s Business Club’s event on April 13 that featured Indigo’s founder and CEO Heather Reisman, KOBO’s CEO Mike Serbinis and EVP Content and Sales, Mike Tamblyn. A panel discussion moderated by Marketing Professor Ken Wong highlighted Indigo’s strategy in getting into the e-book business on a global scale and its interest in Kobo, a new e-book seller of which Indigo retains majority control.

Perhaps not coincidentally, Kobo’s new e-book reader was available for pre-order at Indigo  — “only $149, a perfect Mother’s Day gift,” said Mike Serbinis – as he proudly displayed the paperback sized, 10mm thin, quilted back device. Kobo generously provided an e-reader as a door prize won by a lucky alumna in attendance at the sold-out event.

The device is just part of the mix – Kobo is getting into the e-book market on a global scale, with partners in Australia, New Zealand, the US and Hong Kong. And their application is downloadable on smart phones and other mobile devices so that customers can choose when and where they catch up on their reading.

Heather Reisman explained why Indigo was getting into the market in a serious way. “Right now, predictions are that between 15% and 40% of books will be read digitally within four years. And those projections are changing monthly. Our strategy is to move with the evolving technology and our book-loving customers online.”

When Ken Wong asked about the longevity of the book lined library and what the future of print books is likely to be, Ms. Reisman was quick to respond. “I don’t think books are going away. While there’s something seductive about reading a book at the dentist’s office, reading parts on an iPhone, there’s also the feeling of wanting to settle back into a good book. I think, for at least some time, we’ll do both.”

For more information about Kobo and Indigo’s foray into e-book retailing, visit and