China has Jack Ma. India has ____( fill in the blank). According to one of my fellow Band of Angel members quite a few VC’s investing in India are looking for exits by getting say a Net Flix to buy the Indian equivalent just as say Monster bought Jobs Ahead or eBay bought Baazee. They may be right and I never question what big money can do. If this is the easy way out then there is nothing wrong with it.
Atleast the two of us in the Band of Angels believe in the somewhat idealistic notion that the winners in India and then globally will be companies that provide real value to consumers and have awesome and clean user interfaces . These need to be coupled with a human or mobile last mile to achieve critical mass as a lot of people will just not use the Internet till they see a compelling reason to do so.
Customer experience is paramount. Honestly in India there are very few businesses Internet or otherwise that are great on customer experience / service. Jet Airways, PVR’s , a few restaurants in Delhi, Hutch, Airtel . On websites I cannot think of any truly great websites.
I do not for one minute believe that an insane focus on the customer is not good business strategy in India. Way back in 1985 the corporate cash management business which I led for Citibank was used by 275 of the top 300 companies in India ( an insane market share). Indian consumers may be the toughest in the world. If that is true and a business cracks the code it should be a world beater.
Am I being overly critical ? I do not know but this causes me pain. Will someone out of the one billion people stand up and fill in the blank.
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