WHAT IT TAKES TO OPERATE A SUCCESSFUL DIGITAL BUSINESS IN INDIA?   Sanjay Mehta Jt. CEO, Social Wavelength
So this is the question that I am addressing:  What does it take to operate a successful digital business in India??
I may as well have been trying to answer the question:  What does it take to get World Peace?! Ok, a tad over-dramatic, I ...
Let’s set the framework clear though:   What does it take to operate a  successful   digital  business  in India ??
Successful / Digital / India <ul><li>Real scale: beyond friends and family </li></ul><ul><li>Angel, VC funds or Biz plan c...
Let’s look at a few examples:  Global and Indian
<ul><li>Understands its customer well </li></ul><ul><li>Makes it easy to purchase </li></ul><ul><li>Keeps innovating; awes...
<ul><li>Early focus on doing one thing right – very right </li></ul><ul><li>A need that was virtually global – everybody s...
SELLERS BUYERS
Rediff in 1998: the Indian Yahoo?!
Rediff in 2008: still looking a lot like Yahoo… !
And Rediff now..is it a Google look?   Oops.. No, now it is a Facebook look.. ! When will the real Rediff stand up and be ...
<ul><li>The digital handshake model </li></ul><ul><li>At least one side of the handshake pays and pays well </li></ul><ul>...
<ul><li>Also a digital handshake model </li></ul><ul><li>Both sides may pay, or not pay </li></ul><ul><li>Not quite recurr...
Shaadi vs Naukri: The Real Challenge!
The Business Model  <ul><li>What is the market size? </li></ul><ul><li>Will it scale with technology or with on-ground pre...
It’s Digital and it’s India.. <ul><li>PC based user base is finite; is it still attractive enough for your plan?  </li></u...
The Depth of your Pockets? <ul><li>Technology costs; at some point, it will go beyond the hostel room and beyond pals! </l...
Revenue: It’s not always the user  of the service who pays! <ul><li>Advertising </li></ul><ul><li>Subscriptions </li></ul>...
In Summary <ul><li>Clean, scalable digital business model </li></ul><ul><li>Technology strength – core competence </li></u...
Interesting models: which ones work? <ul><li>DVD rentals </li></ul><ul><li>Used car sales </li></ul><ul><li>Text books – s...
Thank you! Sanjay Mehta Jt. CEO, Social Wavelength www.SocialWavelength.com Twitter: @sm63 Blogs: SanjayMehta.me and GreyH...
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What does it take to run a successful digital business in India?

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Transcript of "What does it take to run a successful digital business in India?"

  1. 1. WHAT IT TAKES TO OPERATE A SUCCESSFUL DIGITAL BUSINESS IN INDIA? Sanjay Mehta Jt. CEO, Social Wavelength
  2. 2. So this is the question that I am addressing: What does it take to operate a successful digital business in India??
  3. 3. I may as well have been trying to answer the question: What does it take to get World Peace?! Ok, a tad over-dramatic, I agree..  But given the few successes, a challenging question…
  4. 4. Let’s set the framework clear though: What does it take to operate a successful digital business in India ??
  5. 5. Successful / Digital / India <ul><li>Real scale: beyond friends and family </li></ul><ul><li>Angel, VC funds or Biz plan competitions are not success: earning money, not burning money is what we are talking about </li></ul><ul><li>Hockey-stick curve, Brand, IPO! </li></ul><ul><li>Every biz has digital component; developing apps is software business </li></ul><ul><li>Digital: largely pure play online biz, any access device, e-com/digital del/portal etc. </li></ul><ul><li>India: ops based here, market can be global </li></ul>
  6. 6. Let’s look at a few examples: Global and Indian
  7. 7. <ul><li>Understands its customer well </li></ul><ul><li>Makes it easy to purchase </li></ul><ul><li>Keeps innovating; awesome use of technology, but for benefit to the customer </li></ul><ul><li>Uses its reach to sell more; via brands, via user stores </li></ul><ul><li>Affiliate programs – online distribution network </li></ul><ul><li>Scale, mind-blowing SCALE </li></ul>
  8. 8. <ul><li>Early focus on doing one thing right – very right </li></ul><ul><li>A need that was virtually global – everybody searches! </li></ul><ul><li>Did all that others were not doing </li></ul><ul><li>How Free can be a lot of Money </li></ul><ul><li>Protect the key turf well; innovate to remain cutting edge </li></ul><ul><li>Scale, mind-blowing SCALE – yes again! </li></ul>
  9. 9. SELLERS BUYERS
  10. 10. Rediff in 1998: the Indian Yahoo?!
  11. 11. Rediff in 2008: still looking a lot like Yahoo… !
  12. 12. And Rediff now..is it a Google look? Oops.. No, now it is a Facebook look.. ! When will the real Rediff stand up and be noticed??
  13. 13. <ul><li>The digital handshake model </li></ul><ul><li>At least one side of the handshake pays and pays well </li></ul><ul><li>A recurring requirement model </li></ul><ul><li>Improved on offline efficiencies </li></ul><ul><li>Generates good scale: companies keep needing people, people keep needing jobs </li></ul><ul><li>Gone offline, for growth and to meet stock market expectations! </li></ul>
  14. 14. <ul><li>Also a digital handshake model </li></ul><ul><li>Both sides may pay, or not pay </li></ul><ul><li>Not quite recurring, in India  </li></ul><ul><li>Some offline models still look better </li></ul><ul><li>Constantly acquiring new clients </li></ul><ul><li>For credibility, offline piece required </li></ul><ul><li>Offline necessity, call centers add huge cost, and reduce biz efficiency </li></ul><ul><li>But great model, all the same </li></ul>
  15. 15. Shaadi vs Naukri: The Real Challenge!
  16. 16. The Business Model <ul><li>What is the market size? </li></ul><ul><li>Will it scale with technology or with on-ground presence? </li></ul><ul><li>What are the entry barriers? (How many of us can remember the 2 nd name in auction sites??) </li></ul><ul><li>Is the model simple for a consumer to understand? </li></ul><ul><li>Are you ready to ramp up in a hurry? </li></ul><ul><li>Is the revenue piece clear? </li></ul><ul><li>Is it fundamentally cash positive? </li></ul>
  17. 17. It’s Digital and it’s India.. <ul><li>PC based user base is finite; is it still attractive enough for your plan? </li></ul><ul><li>Mobile access is an option for sure; does your service demand large screens? </li></ul><ul><li>Can you aim for a global market? (Just read today about Titan, VLCC, FabIndia, Just Dial and other retail brands going global – for digital brands, it’s got to be easier!) </li></ul>
  18. 18. The Depth of your Pockets? <ul><li>Technology costs; at some point, it will go beyond the hostel room and beyond pals! </li></ul><ul><li>Do not underestimate branding and marketing expenses; in the maze of the digital space, you may not be visible! </li></ul><ul><li>Cost of speed, cost of technology changes, cost of responding to surprises, cost of responding to competition with deep pockets </li></ul>
  19. 19. Revenue: It’s not always the user of the service who pays! <ul><li>Advertising </li></ul><ul><li>Subscriptions </li></ul><ul><li>Pay-per-view </li></ul><ul><li>Freemium </li></ul><ul><li>Affiliates </li></ul><ul><li>Lead Generation </li></ul><ul><li>Brand Placements </li></ul>
  20. 20. In Summary <ul><li>Clean, scalable digital business model </li></ul><ul><li>Technology strength – core competence </li></ul><ul><li>Smart not stupid – save money, where you can, but not at cost of service levels </li></ul><ul><li>Branding, smart marketing </li></ul><ul><li>Clarity of revenue model </li></ul><ul><li>Aim for the world – why can’t a Facebook or Twitter come out of India?! </li></ul><ul><li>Good investors and mentors are a huge plus </li></ul>
  21. 21. Interesting models: which ones work? <ul><li>DVD rentals </li></ul><ul><li>Used car sales </li></ul><ul><li>Text books – sales and library </li></ul><ul><li>Mobile payment services – aggregation </li></ul><ul><li>Group buying / reverse auction </li></ul><ul><li>My wish list: a model to manage my communication overload.. Any takers?! </li></ul>
  22. 22. Thank you! Sanjay Mehta Jt. CEO, Social Wavelength www.SocialWavelength.com Twitter: @sm63 Blogs: SanjayMehta.me and GreyHairWisdom.com

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