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?
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Cricket and celebrities are the heart of indian entertainment industry.This idea by one of my ex-collegue mekin is my fav is this area.
An Celebrity blog – http://www.livejournal.com/users/mekin/27387.html
In india still 70% of people visit internet through cyber cafe – http://www.alootechie.com/News/70__of_netizens_access_internet_from_cyber_cafes.asp – so i still believe there is some time before we move towards a phase where non-essential commodities can go to internet and it would still to be used as information dissimination center rather than a platform for fullblown ecommerce. Entertainment oriented portals in india can be a sector where users might be ready to move online.
Another obstruction is absence of trust factor among the buyers and sellers in online transactions. People still percieve their online identity as a mere shadow.
Considering these two factors – any business involving providing essential services (bill payment, book stores, communication platform, recruitment … ) should be the winners and there isn’t need to think alound and too innovative to build a winner. A non-evil and well managed execution should be enough. Right now poor user interfaces, high response time, poor search and usability turns me off the indian ecommerce websites most of the time.
On an realted note let me know what you think about the idea of issuing temporary internet based credit cards. http://blog.360.yahoo.com/blog-JOxIXmQjfqfLj8YvrOwtzuL97Q–?p=102
Building trust in ecommerce 🙂
I have tried to review the broad points discussed during the brief interactive session at the ContentNext Mixer in my article, Personal Computers: Limitations and Potentials, published on the AlooTechie website.
Will appreciate your feedback on the review!
I would bet on a model which is sort of e-commerce, but since people atleast in india wont buy unless they have a real feel of the product. It makes it hard to sell on net and added to this is the postal cost which would be significant and add to product cost. So a site which will show up local neighbourhood sellers of a particular product. After seeing pricegrabber going for $400m plus, i would wanna take a shot at that and integrating this with the mapping.
Build on a model which works based on how wikipedia works. Travel site of what Alok mentioned. A traveller would want to know eatout places and lodging facilities before he gets there. So a user experience based feedback mechanism linked to hotel names of the place wouldnt be a bad idea. The data information sure sells 😉
I dont know why i think of E-learning as the next best bet. Those CBT based training tools will go a long way in getting to know things much better. Use of flash and interactive based learning videos or tools in delivering content.
U are aware that Golf is a lucrative and a Rich man’s sport here in US with a huge industry thriving on various golf products, golf courses and equipment excluding the real estate maintenance, high membership costs.
Golf, Baseball, Tennis are slowly gaining Fancy among the Indian youth. Even Game sponsorships is evolving into a multi bullion dollar industry thanks to
1) Tendulkar in Cricket
2) Vijay Singh in Golf >> http://www.pgatour.com/players/bio/132108
3) Sania Mirza in Tennis.
If the same expensive Golf experience can be recreated inside your home at 1/5 th cost of a Golf course membership and avoiding all the costly equipment in your home, it is a dream come true.
India’s aspirational MIDDLE class is moving up the Value chain with many switching to Home Theaters, Modular kitches which are common in US.
Now, a Company with proven business background in realty and construtction is providing the iGOLF Simulator experience in Indian homes for Middle class and the affluent, at the same time pocketing good margins.
See for yourself….
STATS to the SIZE OF Opportunity
The 241 million people belonging to the middle class as a whole (23 per cent of total population) accounted for Rs 3,02,534 crore of total consumption (42 per cent)
See this link to believe it…….