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Monday, March 10

Mobile Talk 1 : Rajesh Jain

Read a decent interview of Rajesh Jain, the man who almost single handedly brought on the dotcom boom to India after selling off his Internet venture, IndiaWorld.com, to Satyam for Rs 499 crore in 1999, on agencyfaqs.com!

Nuggets from the same...

1. Other than email, classifieds, trading and ticketing, not much has happened there. What I think of as the N3 web – Now, New, Near Web – hasn’t really happened. Part of the problem is that access is mainly from cyber cafes, so the Internet has not become a part of people’s lives.

2. There are two aspects to the Internet – the PC and the mobile. PC-based access is very much around the 'reference web'.

The mobile has the opportunity to be the primary mode of access and interaction for the 'incremental web'.

So, I can use the mobile to find directions and similar day to day activities. There are life's 'empty moments' and life's ‘know now’ moments. When you are waiting for someone, for example, you are in an empty moment and you can use your mobile to check stock quotes or text someone. In the ‘know now’ moments, you want to know something immediately instead of going and searching on the web. Now, if you can overlay mobile services with permission, you can give consumers only the information they want.

3. I think in the next few years, when you mention the Internet, it will primarily mean the mobile Internet.

4. Just like on the Internet, the search box has become the starting point for user interaction and monetisation of the web, my belief is that on the mobile phone, it’s going to be the SMS subscription with a brand of your choice.

So, if there’s a special promotion at the mall in the neighbourhood, you want to know. It's called 'invertising' – advertising that consumers invite into their lives. This is a marketer’s dream (come true). For example, if you buy a new Nokia phone, you can get free updates from them about the features of the phone and about upgrading to a new model

5. Why not enough innovations in the mobile industry? Because something has worked very well in the industry... because ringtones, wallpapers, Bollywood, cricket, etc., have become a Rs 4,000 crore industry, where users are spending on consuming this content, we are not looking beyond.

6. SMS subscription is the best way to provide bite-sized content.

7. As we think of roads, airports and power, we need to start thinking of the digital environment as core infrastructure for this country. I think there is no reason why we cannot have state of the art innovation in services here in India. That's going to spur entrepreneurship and will create the next set of large companies in India. Once we make that happen, it’s better for advertisers, marketers and businesses.

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