Got a chance to attend the ‘internet and mobile connect’ in Mumbai — the panel and audience stirred some interesting thoughts and I would like to throw them open to the audience of ileher:
Is the boom in Indian internet space real or just hype?
There was a consensus among the panel that even though internet population in India is rising sharply, the monetization from this traffic has yet to happen to its full potential. So, the boom is growth based but not profitability based.
Alexa’s system of ranking can be debated but given what it does, the reach should not fall.
Will India see new Internet and Mobile services coming from Media houses such as the Times Group / TV18 or standalone players will play a more important role?
The panel’s view was that media houses are in an enviable position to cross sell and up sell their new services to their existing customer base. But at the same time, smaller outfits can be disruptive and a lot faster to hit the market.
Looking at the way some of the successful internet companies such as shaadi.com and naukri.com are setting up offline distribution channels, can we safely say that it is not possible to succeed in Indian internet space by being purely ‘online’?
Will the products and services based on model arbitrage work in India?
Yes and No. To put things in perspective, the panel pointed out that the Match.com model has not quite worked in India. But, matrimonial services such as shaadi.com and Bharatmatrimony are doing well. So, model arbitrage concepts have to be implemented keeping in mind the Indian cultural and demographical nuances.
Overall, a very well conducted session. Kudos to the team at Venture Intelligence for bringing VCs and entrepreneurs together on the same platform.