Archive for Indian startup

Yeh Moqqa

Posted in Brand, India, Social networking with tags , on March 31, 2008 by manuscrypts

haath se nahi jaana chahiye is what a lot of guys seem to be thinking about social networking. During a movie interval, I happened to see an ad which asked me to go to Bangalore’s very own social networking site – moqqa.com. While the communication still lost out to Bipasha Basu (i didn’t leave the movie halfway to have a look) it did make me curious to figure out if they actually made a site only for Bangalore. Nah, it was only a communication gimmick designed perhaps to elicit exactly that kind of reaction.

I haven’t actually registered because it seems to concentrate on areas in which my interest is minimal. From the cover it looks to me like an ‘activity based’ SNS, because immediately after the (yes we all know that by now) make friends, its ‘what you can do’ covers MotorBiking, Trekking, River Rafting, Jeep Safari, Beach Volleyball, Weekend Football, Skiing, Snowboarding, Shopping, Partying etc. It also plugs sharing of creative ideas eg. Ad Ideas for Products like Colas, Jeans, Mobile Phones etc, 2D-3D-Flash Animation, Bike & Car Designs, Biz Ideas, Fashion Design, Movie Scripts, Song Lyrics etc. While a Facebook or an Orkut does have groups which do all or at least most of the above, an entire SN platform based on adventure sports/creative designing etc is definitely intriguing. Before we go further, other features include a chat platform (Talky), info emails (which would let you know about fashion, cool gadgets, Discounts & Sales etc), a public chat platform called Zap, music, blogs, videos, photo sharing, and a displaying of people who visited your profile. Overall, it seems more like a niche version of Orkut.

While focusing on specific interests is an intriguing proposition, I am not sure if the mix of adventure sports+ shopping+ creative designing makes sense. Maybe the idea is to broaden the base. In any case, I feel, to make it work will require a lot of activity from the makers of the portal outside the web. These will have to be local efforts which can then be later scaled up. For example, tie ups with holiday service providers who give adventure sports packages, efforts to make this a one stop shop for knowing about discounts (there are enough niche players in this already), corporate tournaments in say, weekend football and so on…

The creative designing itself spans a lot of territories, each of which require customised efforts – design contests in association with local ad clubs, bike car, fashion designs to be integrated with auto/fashion expos, and bollywood (since they’ve anyway started an SN site, they could adopt the other cliche too – reality shows for movie scripts and movie song lyrics).

So while I’m still wondering about its physical geographical location, it’ll be interesting to see whether they manage to brand themselves as a unique SNS or will fall by the wayside as yet another wannabe.

until next time, is there some numerology in the name (qq being a succesful chinese SNS) 😉

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Idiotbox 2.0

Posted in India, Internet with tags , on December 5, 2007 by manuscrypts
Saw this , apparently the first sitcom (in India), thats been made specially for alternate viewing platforms like internet, mobile etc. Haven’t seen all the episodes, but from the first two, it ain’t too bad. At least its not like Ekkta KKapoor stuff, and the characters are all very urban. But i digress, this is not a review blog!! 🙂
I’ve always been interested more in content coming onto the net, as say, opposed to internet on TV. While there might not be too many differences at a later stage as far as end products go, i feel that the television can never be a personal medium, not as much as the net.
Meanwhile, doesnt a sitcom for the net offer tremendous possibilities as far as brands go? For one, you can clearly measure audiences, and their reaction to what you do with your brand online . In addition, there is all the stuff that are mantras currently – offline and online media partnerships, product placements etc. And of course, the costs of production and definitely distribution would be really less, which also means the scope for experimentation is huge -brands making more films and UGC ones at that with the product being weaved into the storyline (HLL, oops, HUL could do wonders with that, i’m sure)
How is this different from say, a YouTube? For one, it’ll not be completely user generated, and the brand could build a site/microsite to ensure stickiness. And second, and most importantly, its the content, silly, its almost like the brand having its own channel. Would you watch an ad, or would you rather watch a sitcom with brands featured?
But like many other web related things in India, i guess all this will take some time, hopefully, only time.
and i bid adieu, while you start making the popcorn 🙂

Shaken and Stirred

Posted in India, Internet, Social networking with tags , on November 21, 2007 by manuscrypts
So, HT buys DesiMartini for a cool $10 million. Cheers to that, because the exit strategy seems to have worked for them, although i saw many sites warning about the impending bubble 2.0 in the Indian context.
I have always wondered about the business model of the ‘main bhi’ social networking sites, and this makes me all the more suspicious about the intentions. I really wonder how many of these guys are actually in for the long haul, although the other wondering is what exactly do they tell the VCs about revenue models when they go in for the initial funding. Maybe they give conspiratorial winks to each other when they reach that slide 🙂
But to pull back, how do you think an offline major player like HT can leverage social networking? While DesiMartini was one of those sites which had a fairly good burst in the television media (which would’ve driven up their user base), I’m sure they would be minnows if compared to the videsi orkut or even facebook these days. Do they see some potential for bundling print and web in terms of ad sales? Or is it a strategic buy to gain a footspace in the still nascent Indian internet space?
Or hey, do you think HT’s trying to increase their valuation? 😉
and i bid adieu, while you should start work on that start up of yours 😀