Looks like the winter chill is catching up with Venturewoods. Was at the contentsutra mixer couple of days back, and the participation seemed to be good.

One thing that I have been thinking about is the set of online businesses that are ripe for indian market. In 1999-2000 the dotcom boom lasted only 3 months in India, and as such, some ideas and teams that might have had merit could not get funded. Five years later, a lot of interest is coming back. One set of ideas are clearly around “concept arbitrage” — bring and localize ideas that have been successful elsewhere. JobsAhead was an example of this, so was Baazee. Some examples of obvious holes:

1. Online consumer travel. Makemytrip got funded few months back, and I hear some others have funding too. This space is getting competitive. Are there models which people are not looking at but are valuable? A travelog site for example (check out my Leh travelog).

2. Ecommerce — there is still no amazon.com equivalent in India. I still buy most books I need from amazon, and pay $7-8 per book for shipping. And I spend around $500 per year doing this. Firstandsecond and Fabmall started with promise but (imho) succumbed to low funding and premature entry (though I believe, both sites are still there and may make a comeback).

Horizontal portals are taking some of this action away, in travel, in ecommerce and so on. But, focussed brands will have potential.

Would love to hear about big ideas waiting to happen in India (either concept arbitrage, or otherwise)… Any thoughts?

Alok Mittal

Alok is a first generation entrepreneur, now in the venture capital business. Alok heads up venture operations for Canaan Partners in India, with focus on internet, technology and BPO space. Alok is also a founding member of Indian Angel Network - an organization comprising successful entrepreneurs looking to invest in seed stage businesses. Prior to this, Alok cofounded JobsAhead.com, a leading job portal which was acquired by Monster.com. Alok is an active charter member of TiE Delhi. Alok is a computer science graduate from IIT Delhi and, postgraduate from UC, Berkeley.

The views expressed on this site are personal views of Alok, and do not constitute an offical opinion of any company or organization.

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