Archive for September, 2007

Firstphera.com – Indian Online Wedding Site Creator Review!!!!

This morning when i got an invitation to review firstphera.com i was pretty surprised keeping in mind nor am i married(or plan to get married any soon) nor such a good blogger who people would send their site for review.

But would thanks Vikas for sending me out invitation code as Rajesh @ Alootechie.net always tend to get one sent like 1 week prior to other bloggers.Anyway by the time i got down to writing it Rajesh had already made his post. Still here it goes.

Firstphera.com is beginning of creation of digital services built around proven business model of online matrimonial classified listing. The site to attract visitor in its free service stage provide facility for couples to create online wedding site where they give handy tools which can be used to save the memories and share tasks. Example i live the RSVP thing or you may say guest list creator where both would be groom and bride can share guest lists etc. But the main service or functionality which site focuses lot is on Uploading pictures to share in website design format with people/friends.

Though the site technology wise is good with nice use of AJAX and all what i really couldnt figure out when i can host my picture on Yahoo Albums or flickr why take the extra effort to create another wedding site. Secondly The site is concentrating too much on collection of information/images as memory and not helping todays fast lane first in love then getting married couple arrange activities etc.

Couple of years ago i burnt my hands building a site called rishteyonline.com where the model was to do something similar but if firstphera.com could add my listed below wish list. I am certain their business model will flourish and will get invited for a treat of coffee at their office.

Wish List

  • Create facility to add tasks to be done and help in dividing work for marriage into steps.
  • Help Delegate tasks to friends and families keep track and let couples remain organize.
  • Monetize by offering help on each objective from finding Wedding venue to brides jewelery

So its very basic get an Project management software customize it to act as a wedding planner and boom you are out there way ahead of matrimonydiary.com etc. See the idea is that you supplement the classified sites but you have potential for addressing a bigger segment bigger market than what shaadi.com or other matrimonial sites are offering. Concentrate on pre-wedding things more instead of post wedding. Post wedding is a market in itself where the business model avenues are totally seperate and you need more services instead of just facility to host pictures and add contents on their life as a couple.

Cute concept but need a good business model to grow and stay. Wont mind consulting!!!

Is Today’s time best to work for someone else or work for yourself

This is a question which was recently put to me on a visit to IIFT B-School by couple of students. To everyone it sounds a no brainer but if you are running a startup especially if you have bootstrapped your way through you understand in which direction is this post going.

The student in front of me were from hard working middle class families with dreams in eye to earn lot of money quickly and in hand with information on startups getting funded millions of dollars. Telling them yes is easy as our job is to motivate the youth of today but one surely need to share with them the dark realities of life.

In real world not all companies get funded millions of dollars. Not everyone can come up with validating idea which will create bandwidth for huge money. Although the students carry the top B-School tag which they feel can help them open right doors at right places but ground reality is its not having just the contacts which help but finding ways for utilizing them right.

If you try to answer the question you need to analyze what is your vision vice-a-versa skills available with you to achieve it. Secondly Entrepreneurs are not only made by their self confidence and belief but belief of people around them their family their friends as their comes time in every persons startup life cycle when he/she would like to give up everything coming under the pressure.

So are you cut for it?

If you are a person who has already been working for some time and feel working for self is your calling then take the risk now and get into it.As you wont regret a bit. But if you are person who is just finishing B-School and after participating in couple of B-Plan comptt. feel motivated to get in. The answer would be NO. Why ??

My suggestion is you should first work for a similar idea kind of company probably nurturing in startup environment where you can implement and test skills on someone’s else money probably sharing similar goals and ideas. 1-2 years down the road you will figure out yourself if you are meant to take such risk to succeed and make something which stock market will go crazy investing in.

How to Control Attiriation in IT or Technology driven company

Generally before some one can answer the question “reasons for attrition” ones need to quantify the level of attrition in an organization. As the number of people leaving an organization generally some times help you narrow down on reasons why people are leaving your organization.

Secondly lot of things are dependent on peoples background and qualification vice a versa the industry they are working with. Generally just saying people become dissatisfied with what they are doing is very wrong as even after change their are higher chances they will be working on similar profile again depending on industry and role. But then what kind of change with just changing organization bring.

In an SME kind of setup its the motivation and aggression of the management to grow to work towards higher goals keep the employees downward motivated. as lot is happening lot of new learning lot of new activities so everyone remains involved. Major reasons for leaving is a larger salary jump.

In an larger organization it can be based on kind of projects one has been regularly getting and possibility of just specializing in one kind of work and getting type casted. Or less opportunities being given as compared to other employee wise comparable peer group. Its very important for an HR questionnaire to get information on what peer group set is employee comparing themselves to in the organization or externally as this will let you clearly identify the problem point. As competition in an organization is healthy you need to motivate employee right to find out what kind of personal goals or tragets one carry.

360 degree review or peer review what it was called in older days is a good tool to identify employee problems and potential gaps which need to be filled in before they tend to leave.

If you employee this methodology of finding from an employee who them feel they are competiting with internally and externally in organization. Automatically you will be able to draw out plan to increase their capabilities to superseed other persons targets and have greater job and personal satisifcation.

This formula can work for a small startup to large organization.

Social Networking Model – What opportunity they present to us?

Till now india has seen burst of new social networking portals coming in trying to vow users from each other trying to generate numbers.  But we have still not seen companies looking at developing business models which effectively use the strengths of existing social networks to gain traction.

For instance you could look at starting a product company which specializing in developing technology components for social networking sites which help them monoteize their customer base. Like AD serving products which work over google ad sense or other products on offering. Another idea which my friend came up with was creating an organization which provide digital currency to these social networking sites giving power to spend for micro payments on these platforms or generate services which e-commerce enable the social networking platforms. The opportunity are immense and would love to organize a meet with fellow like minded people who feel social networking is here to stay and digital economy can be developed around it.

Please leave a comment or contact me directly if you feel we could do something together in organizing such meet.

Traditional Media dumping Paid Content sections on their portals

If you like reading magazines and newspapers online you always wonder why they tend to keep some articles behind paid content sections when similar news items or analysis could be available free of cost somewhere else on the internet. Going back to 1999-2000 when web 1.0 bubble burst happen and just surviving on net based advertising became non feasibility to run online portals.  Most of the portal managers came up with solution to ask users to pay keep reading content of their favourite newspaper or magazine.

With google changing the whole game with bringing in advertisers back into the picture and increasing value of ad inventory.Its becoming more sense for traditional media to dump paid content model and concentrate on sucessful integration of target advertisement. Wall street has been recently in news for considering dumping the model and so has lot of newspapers moved away from model. Looking in india Hindustan times was looking at charging their customers for accessing the epaper which is 100% copy of the offline paper being distributed. But some sense got to them and they decided to stay clear from the model but lot of magazines in india like business world are dependent on subscription based business model. Though if you are using these sites you may see lately they have started to release more content to free publishing domain but these publishing houses need to adopt to new advertising oriented model or user base generation model so that even if advertising bubble burst again with defined user base something new evolved could easily be incorporated.

Ticketpro.in – E-Retailing of Event Tickets come online!!!

Event Ticket Selling has been a big business abroad where agencies like Ticketmaster has become billion dollar businesses specializing in selling Tickets for concerts to sports events. India which has recently seen increase in number of international artist coming in and with usage of credit card going high as a suitable destination for launching such convenience services.

Coming from delhi where generally most of the events are sold out due to sponsors generally taking the tab to entertain V.I.P’s finding even where the tickets are retailing is a big job in itself. While looking for tickets for the latest Akon Concert i bumped into ticketpro.in an online exclusive retailer for the event.

Ticketpro.in website is not really in line keeping in mind the new web 2.0 e-commerce b2c sites we see these days. Its pretty static with an integrated shopping cart. The site doesnt organize the information properly nor does have a great navigation forcing people to buy tickets online. Probably after going through about us section i realized that ticketpro is currently concentrating on selling event tickets why their partners more instead of online channel. Reliance Web World and Planet M leading the cart. What ticketpro.in is not realizing is the potential and power of internet to sell these events ticket combined with banner advertising on social networking sites. They can also look at something like an Facebook application which gives out details of latest concert and ask people to send out invites to other people in the group hence extending the commerce.

For now their is room in india for more organized ticket selling companies to come in but a concrete business model will require work to start now to be ready for big events boom in india starting from 2009.

Indian Internet Advertising requires Publishers not Ad Networks

With Launch of many ad networks recently we have seen debate in blog sphere talking about how innovative models are being developed by advertisement networks to attract potential ad spend. We have heard about the famous Ad to SMS model where advertiser advertisement is linked to a query form where query is sent to advertiser by an SMS. This is to increase reach to SMB segment where they dont large investments in e-commerce as delivery channel and routing customer to their website does not turn into sale.

Though i surely appreciate the innovation happening but i m seriously concerned with most of these advertisement revenues are being cornered by fewer publishers( website owners). Now ad networks will surely jump to prove me wrong but reality is that its not their fault but lack of website owners which could benefit from this huge advertisement money spend coming in India.

This is the right time for content strong low on transaction model to appear in the market and take advantage by concentrating on building viewership. The models being generated should not be INDIA region specific but could be more INDIAN GROUP SPECIFIC to engage foreign markets. So if you were waiting for the time to start a niche content specific site and didnt know how you would manage the cost associated in running such sites wait no more as ” the time is right the time is bright

Social Networking Portals vs Online Matrimonial Portals

Recently i came across an article talking about need for setting up online dating networks in India. They talked about market available effect of social networking sites in developing the segment etc. This made me run some statistics on both the segments. This not in brought in some interesting facts on how online matrimonial portal model is here to stay and also dismissed Online dating networks viability in India.

Social Networking Portals :  14-30 active user group of these portals. Where most of the activity happening in 16-24 segment. They are high school or college going students with internet connectivity and looking at cheaper mediums to remain connected with friends. The main objective being achieved remain connected with existing friends.

Online Matrimonial Portals  : 18-40 though may look quiet similar in target age group but people coming online are with defined objectives. Once the purpose is solved no need to remain in touch with people you are connected with. Status of one’s availability is clear and lot more truth put in the profile of users as compared to one being hosted by social networking portals.

Social Networking portals like facebook or even orkut cannot replace matrimonial portals in india as the cultural difference exist in a big way where in decision of marriage more than mutual consent  – family & societies involvement in process is integrated. Though in longer term it will surely effect the social model where more and more people if they remain in touch will increase closeness and in term likeness but not effecting the matrimonial advertisement model directly.

The biggest gainer from the online matrimonial segment has been the NRI’s abroad which earlier had difficulties in generating lot of queries without involvement of some local in india. Talking about NRI segment as they are suppose to be more connected or technology savvy the use of social networking tools in NRI is limited in remaining touch with people they have known and have lost touch with eg school friends, old social network,college friends, job mates etc. They are not actively using this tool to discover new people and get connected as indians still refer to it as freak stalking!!!

Keeping all the above in mind Online matrimonial portals like shaadi.com bharatmatrimony.com are here to stay and are safer option to find some one to be committed to rather than online social networking portals.

Impact of Regional Languages on E-commerce sites in INDIA

Recently i came across an article by IAMAI chief talking about how less impact does Regional languages will have on internet and e-commerce play in india. All sites you see from bookmyshow.com to seventymm.com are available in english as medium of instruction. This is something i am not against and i surely agree regional languages dont hold lot of importance in b2c e-commerce sites where target customer is given a product based on its merit not on basis of content.

Again even if a site has information as its model  lack of digital regional language content and inability of users to easily type in regional language using english keyboard act as a deterrent.  Even if you are ready to invest in infrastructure for delivery of information in regional language the return on investment is very marginal. Though if you are looking at integrating Mobile phones as another channel for delivery and interaction then language content can help you to reach out to masses which now has access to mobile phones but not the internet. Thats a different ball game all together. The mobile based users can benefit by knowledge of your product in the regional language and without any need of translation message can easily spread to large group of people. With most of the b2c players looking at tier-ii and tier-iii cities for expansion the need to localize content does not means changing medium of language but localizing the actual product delivered according to target market requirements.


Contact Details

E-mail:siddharthpuri@gmail.com Call Me :+91-9910444460
September 2007
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