When crowd is a company


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Economic Times talks about Crowdsourcing Landscape in India.

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When crowd is a company

  1. 1. WWW.ECONOMICTIMES.COM Special Feature Crowd-sourcing 15When a Crowd is CompanyThe public is a fount of resources, skills and ideas. More and more companies are tapping this via the Internet tosolve business problems. Crowd sourcing is cheap and efficient, and is fast gaining scale, reports Bhanu Pande Independent Fund Raising New Technologies FILMS: Onir Anirban raised PROCTER & Platforms one-third of the `3 crore GAMBLE, US: They are the online interface budget for his film ‘I Am’ A new peptide between companies, especially through social-networking technology small ones, and the ‘crowd’. Some sites. Also, platforms like Film developed by a small crowd-sourcing platforms in India Interactor and Kickstarter French cosmetics enable public financing company was picked up by P&G from its ekjaa.org MICROFINANCE: Milaap, crowd-sourcing site, Enables grants and loans to social MicroGraam and Rang De enterprises and NGOs Develop+Connect. bring together lenders Thus was launched and borrowers for small Olay Regenerist 99tests.com livelihood loans Testers locate bugs and judge user experience for softwares and websites ideaken.com Architectural Inputs Intermediates between those who seek innovation and those who want to solve BANGALORE INTERNATIONAL jademagnet.com CENTRE: An upcoming Design, web and marketing solutions cultural hub in the city, plans to ask architects across the globe to give onebillionminds.com suggestions on its `100 Problem solving in science, technology, crore building on a crowd- design, business or social innovation sourcing platform brandpotion.com Develop products, re-imagine brands and create innovative advertising hoonur.com New Products Professionals and businesses from entertainment, TV, media and advertising can promote and share their services ARINDAM milap.org, rangde.org micrograam.org Connect people who want to donate or lend to the poor with borrowers Advertising talenthouse.com HERO MOTOCORP: filminteractor.com Public can upload Kickstarter.com PEPSICO FOODS: The Mastana Mango flavour their videos on Fund-raising for performing arts, for its Lay’s brand of potato chips came from a heromotocorp.com for including films public contest that, according to the company, its ongoing ‘hum mein drew 1.3 million responses hai hero’ campaign Design DELL, US: From its crowd-sourcing site, ideastorm. com, came the idea to provide a USB 3.0 port on all HAPPIEST MINDS: Ashok Soota’s new IT venture got its logo INKFRUIT: The garment maker constantly solicits SAMSUNG: Tweets from people suggest ideas for artworks, which are talking its computers, a common charger for devices, and anti-glare on screens from crowd-sourcing platform T-shirt designs on its then drawn using design apps in its Galaxy Note phone, and advertised heads Jade Magnet website More than 50% of the ideas for our new n 2010, when India’s cen- microfinance sector, with online …For Working struggling with payments. They for thousands to contribute towards ru- products and I tral bank decided to cre- platforms like Milaap, Rang De and need to figure out the best way to ral development. “We should also look at innovation came from ate a symbol for the rupee, MicroGraam connecting people Professionals… accept payments from vendors and this model from the perspective of people here (its own crowd- instead of asking a design who want to lend or donate for small, As more enterprises take some of distribute it to providers.” who are interested in doing something house, it asked, well, eve- livelihood loans with those who their work online, it’s opening up Srivastava says a mature online for the benefit of the poor in India, but sourcing website) ryone. The Reserve Bank need them. freelance opportunities for certain presence is needed for crowd- are not sure how,” says Varadan. “Until RAJU KONDURU of India invited the public skill sets: visual artists, software sourcing to be effective. “Internet recently, the only option they had was Head, P&G’s innovation centre to post their designs on its website. It testers, web and marketing profes- penetration in India, as well as speed to donate to charity.” In films, crowd- received 3,000 designs, from which it What’s In It For SMEs… sionals, copywriters and actors, and bandwidth, is still not very high, sourcing is promoting independent films. in Bangalore chose the design of Udaya Kumar, an For small- and medium-sized enter- among others. though this is changing,” he says. For example, in 2009, Onir raised one- IIT student. prises (SMEs), lower costs, without Deepti Goel, for instance, has Paul says 23% of the 500,000 active third of the `3 crore budget of his last film While that was a rare outreach by a corresponding drop in quality, is earned about $7,000 (about ` 3.5 contractors of Elance, a US-based ‘I Am’ using Facebook and other social- Crowd-sourcing in a government arm, it’s a routine a major incentive to crowd-source. lakh) by designing logos and doing platform that has facilitated pro- networking sites. “Hundreds of people India is currently at exercise for the $82.6 billion Proctor The premise: in one-to-one client animation work on Jade Magnet gramming jobs worth $400 million, from many countries contributed as little the stage where & Gamble (P&G). The US-based con- dealings, overheads pad up costing. for about 15 clients from the UK and are based in India. “With loads of as `1,000 and as much as `15 lakh,” he sumer goods major has a dedicated In crowd-sourcing, overheads are India. The 29-year-old graphic de- talent available in smaller cities says. Directors Anurag Kashyap, Ashvin e-commerce was two website, P&G Connect+Develop, to minimal. For smaller and simpler signer is currently designing a web- and towns, crowd-sourcing can help Kumar and Guneet Monga want to follow years ago. It is about solicit ideas for products, technolo- projects, then, costs come down site for a client in the Middle-East. businesses access it without having suit. “Crowd-sourcing in India is cur- to explode gies, businesses and innovation -- drastically. “It has provided lot of freelancers, to wait for these people to migrate to rently at the stage where e-commerce was from one and all. Jessie Paul, the former chief individuals and firms a good plat- metros,” says Paul. “On top of that, two years ago,” says Mehra of Talenthouse ARUN MEHRA The ideas sought are both general marketing officer of Wipro and form to work on,” she says, from her there is a significant cost arbitrage India. “It is about to explode.” CEO, Talenthouse India and specific. Currently, P&G has who now runs a marketing consul- home in New Delhi. within the country. That makes for a 85 ‘needs’ like ‘new ingredients or tancy, has used crowd-sourcing Doing a few assignments on a platform nice value proposition.” products that reduce the severity of platforms for brochure templates tends to open up a line of communica- common cold’. This open strategy and logos. She is a satisfied client. tion for the provid- …And Large Crossword 5166 works for P&G. “More than 50% of “Their advantage is that you pay ers with it, which the ideas for our new products and only for what you use. You don’t Besides ideas, translates into work. Corporations innovation came from here,” says have to pay for the person’s down- crowd- “Over the months, Even big companies are adapting Raju Konduru, head of P&G’s in- time,” says the CEO of Paul Writer. sourcing is we have built fa- crowd-sourcing into their business. novation centre in Bangalore. Like Godika estimates that for a logo birthing miliarity with the In early-2010, Parle Agro used Twitter Olay Regenerist, an anti-wrinkle design, crowd-sourcing is cheaper ventures that platform and they to identify supply-chain gaps. When it cream, the peptide technology for by a minimum 20-30%; this can would be have also under- launched Hippo, it asked consumers which came from a small, unknown increase depending on the project stillborn in a stood our quality of and retailers to tweet to a specified French firm via Connect+Develop. brief and stature of the design firm conventional work,” says Ronak Twitter handle the non-availability “It (the site) helps accelerate innova- hired in a direct dealing. financing Meghani, a software of this brand of potato chips in their tion,” adds Konduru. Paul says the world is shifting scenario engineer and web neighbourhood. The company says It’s called ‘crowd-sourcing’, and it towards informal labour networks designer, about Jade. it received tweets from 25 cities and involves the outsourcing of a func- and India will follow. “As more work “That makes it easier for us than, say, sales jumped 76% that week. “The tion once performed only by em- can be done remotely and digitally, new providers.” symbiosis of crowd-sourcing and ployees to the public. The Internet is the need for these digital equivalents “This works equally well for small social media makes for a perfect busi- expanding the idea of the ‘crowd’ as of temping firms will only rise.” and large businesses,” says Paul. “This ness plan,” says Nadia Chauhan, joint partner, helping companies and em- Already, in India, crowd-sourcing gives them access to talented people MD & CMO, Parle Agro, who plans to powering professionals. It is shaping is funding microfinance and films, they probably could not afford or retain develop such channels and communi- all sorts of business engagements testing software and websites, doing on a full-time basis,” she adds. ties for each of its brands. and business models in developed design jobs, creating advertising Hero MotoCorp’s ongoing ad cam- markets, where crowd-sourcing is and firing innovation, among other paign, ‘hum mein hain hero’, asks about six years old. things. …For Crowd-sourcing the public to upload their video to On the one end of the spectrum are According to Sandeep Khanna, Platforms… the AR Rahman tune on its website, large corporations like P&G and founder and editor of crowdsourc- Crowd-sourcing platforms usually which the company then incorpo- Dell, which have dedicated sites to ingindia.com, an online Indian charge clients either per transac- rates into its TV ad. “Its genesis tap ideas relating to their businesses crowd-sourcing publication, over tion or per subscription. Part of this lies in this ownership displayed by from the public. On the other end 500 SMEs have used such platforms goes to the providers. According to people: what if every individual was are smaller enterprises, which are in the past year. “It is growing fast Srivastava, Jade keeps 20% of the given a chance to create a video that trying to ride on websites that are in because of the growing freelance client fee and passes on the rest to could be seen by others?” explains the business of creating a meeting culture,” he says. “Since the model the provider. Some like Talenthouse Anil Dua, senior vice president-mar- place for crowds and companies. helps SMEs, more people are able to also charge a registration fee. keting and sales, Hero MotoCorp. “It (crowd-sourcing) can help busi- use it and benefit.” Selling advertising on the web- As is evident, large Indian compa- nesses keep costs low while getting Take Jade Magnet, which site is another revenue stream. nies are still using crowd-sourcing their work done by qualified people primarily hosts projects related “We seek brand sponsorships for for soft activities, unlike, say, the US. who can deliver good quality,” says to logo and website design, bro- each ‘creative invite’ that we put Dell, for example, launched a crowd- Sitashwa Srivastava, CEO of Jade chures, demo animation, and up,” says Arun Mehra, CEO of sourcing site, ideastorm.com, in ear- Magnet, a Bangalore-based crowd- print and banner ads. CEO Talenthouse India, a joint venture ly-2008. According to Dell, the site has sourcing platform. Srivastava says it has delivered between Reliance Entertainment logged about 11,000 ideas, of which, Both these templates, though nas- about 1,200 projects in two years and Talenthouse, a crowd-sourcing 350 were implemented. These include cent in India, are gathering steam. and the adoption rate is increasing. platform for performing arts. making USB 3.0 port a standard fea- So, for example, the logo of Ashok “Convincing clients, especially However, given the nascent nature ture on its PC and laptops, a common Soota’s new IT venture, Happiest SMEs, is never easy. But when they of the business, hardly any crowd- charger for devices, and introduction Minds, came from Jade Magnet. see the cost advantage, they agree sourcing platforms are making prof- of anti-glare on notebook screens. Dilbert by S Adams “We had a specific and well-defined to give crowd-sourcing a shot,” he its. “Each project ends up making an The real appeal of crowd-sourcing, project that didn’t require any says. “Also, viral effects and refer- operational profit,” says Srivastava of though, is for smaller, less main- serious background research,” rals is popularising crowd-sourcing Jade. However, adds Khanna of crowd- stream outfits and ideas. In microfi- says Salil Godika, chief strategy & among small companies and sourcingindia.com: “Most platforms nance, for example, crowd-sourcing marketing officer, Happiest Minds. start-ups.” are in investment mode.” With an eye is enabling a meeting of minds. “So, we chose to crowd-source it as a One of Jade’s recent clients is on a wider audience, platforms are According to Rangan Varadan, faster way that would give us fresh Sure Fertility, a fertility clinic in investing in technology, marketing, founder of Micrograam, the power and diverse thinking.” Bangalore. The clinic posted a de- research and delivery methods. of the crowd-sourcing model is Besides ideas, it is birthing ven- sign brief for a logo on Jade, includ- The challenge for a crowd-souring two-fold. One, because investors tures that would probably be still- ing its budget and time. It received platform is to bring together a large are socially-conscious individuals, born in a conventional financing about 35 designs. It short-listed one. number of providers and vendors there is little pressure on a micro- scenario. Crowd-funding is helping After a few iterations with the de- on a platform, while keeping its credit company to be aggressive in small and independent film-makers signer through Jade’s Magnet mes- marketing spends low and main- repayment and collection, or pursue to make the films they want to. And saging application, it arrived at the taining high quality in delivery. excessive profits or growth. it’s creating a new model in the final design. Says Srivastava: “Platforms are also Second, it offers an effective vehicle