- Perspectives on the SEA Tech Ecosystem
- Indonesia Tech Startup Wrap-up: IMULAI & StartupLokal
- Terraforming Singapore into Startup-land
Link to full article
We have been talking about how Nokia is losing market share in India and while Nokia officially denies such stories, the writing is on the wall.
As per Opera’s March report, Micromax Q5 was one of the popular handset (#8) for Internet browsing in India and if you notice, none of the recently launched Nokia devices (N97/N900/N8) are in this list.
This should mean a lot for Nokia – what happens when these users start “upgrading” their handsets? Will they stick to Nokia or move out to other alternatives like Micromax/Samsung?
What’s your opinion?
PS: Of course, Nokia doesn’t bundle Opera browser in their handset, and hence this report doesn’t include the newly launched handset. So take this with a pinch of N-salt.
Concur Announces Strategic Investment and Alliance with Cleartrip
Concur, a leading provider of integrated travel and expense management solutions, today announced its entry into a strategic alliance with privately held Cleartrip, India’s leading online travel portal, which consists of both a marketing partnership and a$40 million strategic investment for a minority interest in Cleartrip. This alliance perfectly aligns with Concur’s strategic initiatives to expand its existing customer base while also expanding into new geographic markets, including Concur’s new operations in India. This partnership also provides Concur with access to enhanced travel content and technology integration between the two companies’ offerings to better serve the burgeoning Indian business travel market.[PR]
Eros International digitizes and catalogues its entire movie library through state of the art CLEAR platform
Eros International Plc (Eros International) is spearheading the Indian digital revolution by digitizing and cataloguing its entire library of movies, comprising in excess of 1,000 titles across languages, and setting up an in-house ‘Digital Asset Management’ platform. Eros International has deployed global digital content services group Prime Focus Technologies (PFT)’s CLEAR content operations management platform to administer its extensive content library.
This initiative will help Eros International monetize its intellectual property by enabling the production, repurposing and delivery of its content globally, across web, mobile and other new media platforms. It will also allow the Company to archive, preserve and rights manage its library.
The platform offers Eros International wide-ranging functionality for managing and monetizing its content including Asset management for managing and digitally archiving content; Workflow management for multi-platform production, distribution and fulfillment, to exploit existing library content and global content delivery across multiple platforms.[source]
Info Edge Board to consider Dividend
Info Edge (India) Ltd has informed BSE that a meeting of the Board of Directors of the Company will be held on April 28, 2011, inter-alia, to consider and approve the Audited Financial Results for the year ended March 31, 2011 and recommend dividend for FY 2010-11, if any, to Shareholders for approval.[source]
Airtel Launches Photo Service (on the Cloud)
bharti airtel enters into an exclusive partnership with leading photo service-Zoomin.com. The service available to all airtel broadband customers across the country.
Powered by Zoomin.com, airtel Photos enables the user to import photo albums from Facebook or upload photos directly from their computer to their account. Users can store unlimited photos in their airtel Photos account as storage is free. The Organizer- another feature unique to the service, allows to customers to work seamlessly across photo albums to create a customized collection of favourite folders. The service also enables customers to add a personal touch to gifts such as calendars, t-shirts, mugs, photobooks using photos, themes along with a personal message. They can choose from a range of themes, funky art clips and designed templates and add captions of their choice.[source]
Aside, we also noticed that airtel has a section called airtel Cricket and airtel Soccer communities.
Came across this piece of news recently about JGI Ventures floating a Rs 500 Cr startup fund. JGI Ventures is a part of the Bangalore based education group Jain Group of Institutions. The ‘eye catching’ part of the news – however – is not that. It is what appears in the second paragraph -
Budding entrepreneurs would be able to undertake a 30-month postgraduate course for a fee of Rs.30 lakh under JGI iDEA, or Incubating and Developing Entrepreneurial Ability.
This made me curious and I went through the programme brochure. They have chalked out a comprehensive 30 month course which covers subjects across domains (Finance, Marketing, IT etc) – and also includes some ‘International Exposure’ to make your business plan ‘global’.
Now, at first sight, it sounds more like a B School programme (and a damn expensive B School programme at that!). Only difference is that a B-School programme typically ends with Campus Placements. This won’t.
And if it sounds like a typical incubator, then the fact that there is a fees of Rs. 30 lakhs makes it ‘different’. Moreover, one need not even have a business idea in the head to be a part of the programme. As the brochure reads –
Having a pre-conceived business idea will be a part of this process but will not be a mandatory criteria for selection. While aptitude is important, the primary focus of the selection process is to assess your attitude and passion to become an entrepreneur
In fact, this is in stark contrast to PayPal Co-Founder and Facebook early investorPeter Thiel‘s 20 Under 20 programme where he wants to "invest upto $100,000" in 20 Under 20 kids and "teach them about entrepreneurship".
Is this just an attempt at a new B-School trying to position itself differently (with a sweetener of a Rs 500 Cr startup fund at the end of the course replacing the traditional campus placements). And if one thinks of it as an incubator, then doesn’t the huge fees upfront remove the incentives for the ‘mentor’ to really mentor like an investor?
Moreover, the well chalked out structure of the program – while it looks impressive on a brochure – might not be what is required. For example, not everyone would really require a visit to seven different countries to crystallize a business plan. So at least there could have been an option to pick and chose parts of the course (and thus also cut down on the course expenses).
Certainly there are lots of aspects that pique curiosity. But still, 30 lakhs?
[Guest article by Mandar Kulkarni/Reproduced from his blog]
World Economic Forum and INSEAD have published their report for Network Readiness Index, a ranking of countries around the world that showcases important data that helps to assess impact of the adoption and development of Information and Communication Technology(ICT) . Based on the framework of NRI, that measure key factors that drive competitiveness between countries, and their ability to use ITC.
Out of 138 countries tracked and ranked by widespread use of mobile phones, Internet, personal computer as well as regulatory environment and IT infrastructure, China ranks 36th and India 48th. Among other high-scoring Asian countries, Singapore excelled in second place while Taiwan checked in at sixth, Korea came in 10th and Hong Kong 12th.
The NRI framework comprises of 3 stakeholders:
It measures the following factors:
The stakeholder play out their roles in the 3 factors to form the complete NRI rankings.
NRI rankings ( for 2010-2011 ) place India at rank 48 and it is classified as a Lower Middle Income country. It ranks third in its income group classification, behind Tunisia(35) and China(36). China ranks first amongst the BRIC ( Brazil, Russia, India, China ) countries that are major emerging markets, and is narrowing the gap between itself and other major western countries.
A breakup of the factors will bring in a clearer picture of the stats, let us compare them to how India was place in 2002-2003 and how it is placed today, and what needs to be done.
It consists of 3 major factors : Market environment, Political and regulatory framework, Infrastructure development.
India ranks 58 ( was 44 in 2002-2003 ) on the global scale with quite an interesting breakup of he major factors.
The market environment is ranked at 41 globally, meaning that the markets are positive with healthy competition driving adoption and use of ICT.
The political and regulatory framework is ranked at 52, also something that instills faith in the markets and drives overall growth.
India scores dismally in the Infrastructure development and has a global ranking of 81.
China , India’s most notable competitor is ranked 71, 50 and 58 for market environment, political/regulatory framework and infrastructure.
Readiness is the capability of the 3 major stakeholders to leverage ICT in the process of development of nations.
India is ranked 33 ( 50 in 2002-2003 ) globally owing mostly to its high score in Individual readiness rank 21 ( 70 in 2002-2003 ) .
Individual readiness is an assessment of the literacy rates, mode and locus of access to the Internet, and the degree of connectivity of individuals ( internet users per 100). This is a clear indication on how increased expenditure in education services is required.
Business readiness has always been a stat that has drawn attention from markets around the world. India is ranked 33rd globally ( 27 in 2002-2003 ), major software and technology exports drive the business sector to develop and invest in employee skills for using ICT effectively.
Government readiness indicates the policy of the government to encourage the use of ICT in the long and short term. India is ranked 48 ( 33 in 2002-2003 ). Government readiness can also be seen day to day with its use of ICT enabled services such as e-governance to perform its duties towards its citizens.
Usage sub-index is an indicator of the degree of impact that adoption of ICT can have on a countries citizen’s. Readiness and usage rank can vary considerably as not all who can use ICT actually use ICT.
India ranked 67 ( 43 in 2002-2003 ) for usage on the global scale.
On individual usage rank, India does poorly managing a global rank of 98 ( 79 in 2002-2003 ). This rank is assessed by measuring the deployment of new technologies that enhance connectivity.
Business usage measures the level of deployment of ICT across businesses in the country. India is ranked 45 now was ranked 42 in 2002-2003. It indicates the level of technology used for B2B and B2C commerce.
India’s government usage index is the level to which governments use ICT to function. This includes use of e-governance for following procedures etc. Ranked at 47 in 2010-2011 in sharp contrast with its position in 2002-2003 indicates that the government policy is clearly not with this one.
China outperforms India in nearly every way and consequently enjoys a much higher ranking than India
- India clearly needs to buck up on infrastructure development if it wants to have any real chance of catching up with China in the next decade. Development of infrastructure can drive further growth in the economy by encouraging usage of ICT. Current internet connectivity figures in India are low but rising steadily, compared to China though, they are still weak.
- Education can be the key here, with a major percentage of the population being under 30 years of age, the government should not lose out on this opportunity. Make the best of it by introducing quality educational institutions at affordable rates for the all round development of its human resources.
- Encouraging the adoption of new technologies at subsidized rates for small and medium businesses to encourage rapid growth.
Have more suggestions? We would love to know.
Link to download the report : www3.weforum.org/docs/WEF_GITR_Report_2011.pdf
And according to their latest study, the quake and tsunami that hit Japan on March 11 had a rather large negative effect on the sales numbers of the Japan’s group buying sites: total sales just reached 9.7 billion yen (US$117 million) in March 2011, based on 220 sites examined.
This chart from Luxa shows that numbers were actually going up slightly from January to February, following the sharp decline the industry saw right after Osechi gate in December:
Via Venture Now [JP]
Enamoured by Facebook, YouTube, Amazon? Find out how East Asians do it differently.
This month for Web Wednesday, the speaker is Chris Schaumann, who will share with the audience what his team is doing over at Nokia to maximize their social marketing programs and digital strategy.
When: Wednesday 20th April 2011
Where: Tawandang Microbrewery, 1 Raffles Boulevard, Suntec City
If you’re looking for a real-time Q&A solution for your event, check out PigeonHole Live. The team at PigeonHole has kindly agreed to allow event organisers who quote SGEntrepreneurs to get to use their solution for free till end June 2011.
At the beginning of April, I was almost writing up an article about how the Eastern Japan earthquake affected social media battle. Since the end of 2010, Japanese traditional media had been in great favor of Facebook as “the next big thing from US”. Their endless coverage was very similar with what was done with Twitter in 2009-2010, and eventually, Twitter’s appearance on mass media became rather small.
However, the disaster changed the game. Facebook might have been a good platform with its real-name policy if Japanese Facebook penetration was not about 2% of population. (Although the real victims in the disaster areas could not use any social media by black-out,) Twitter was the cure for tens of millions people who wanted to confirm their friends safety under disconnected phone. Twitter also helped that people who had to walk back to their home at the night of the earthquake in greater Tokyo. Many raw information (, false rumors and corrections as well) were circulated on it for weeks.
A blogger Edgefirst summed up that how Japanese newspaper companies utilized/opened their Twitter accounts to cover up their stopped and delayed distribution. Twitter accounts of some Tohoku region newspapers added 500-700% followers. National paper’s official accounts got notable gain, too. Generally speaking, Japanese newspapers are anti-internet with fear for losing their readers, but this disaster seemed to encourage web amiable factions.
Non-Japanese residents’ English activities were huge on Facebook. Many support from overseas were discussed on Facebook as well. But in Japanese language, there were less activities happened from Facebook, if you compare them with Twitter and other web services.
Here is the population graph of Facebook Japan users recorded by Socialbakers after the quake. Screenshot on April 4th.
The number of Japanese Facebook users were sharp rising around the release of the movie “The Social Network” in early January, then, March 11th quake completely stopped the trend. The graph above is from April 4th.
Then, on April 5th, something strange was observed on Socialbakers (and Facebook’s ad tool, as Socialbakers is only recording numbers from it).
In Japan, as Serkan Toto pointed out on his blog, half a million user joined Facebook in a day. That made over 3 million users, Facebook population increased 20%.
In China, ReadWriteWeb showed that over quarter million Facebook users disappeared on the same April 5th.
I checked other countries in East Asia. South Korea lost 100,000(2.5%).
Taiwan lost one million active users(10%) on the same day!
So it seems as if massive users moved out from Taiwan and China to Japan. If it was opposite way, it could happen as some people evacuated from Japan to other Asian countries. (still the number is unbelievable high, though)
There were no campaigns like “changing your location to Japan on FB (for showing support or something)” as far as I know.
Only a few days left to apply for PowerPlug contest for April month [the deadline is April 20th].
Those who haven’t yet heard about the contest (migratory birds?), this is India’s first ever contest where we recognize technology entrepreneurs on a regular basis (every month). The most amazing part about PowerPlug is the goodies associated with the contest.
As a startup, you get a lot of credibility/bragging rights + media coverage and an iPad (32GB) as well (thanks to our partner Sequoia Capital India). And this is apart from all the VC calls and customer interest.
You need to really stay on, keep pivoting unless and until you have found a sweet spot. Even though we are looking for early stage startups, we would like to focus on the ones who have the ability and willingness to stay in the game.
If you are entrepreneur who looks at entrepreneurship as a career (and not a quick way to make money), do apply for PowerPlug contest [link to the application form, which is also embedded towards the end of this post].
Typically, product startups and to be precise, startups of age >6 months. If not revenue making, you should have pivoted the product and found a sweet spot in the market (atleast you think so!). You can apply only once in a quarter.
Well, 6 months is what it will ideally take you to pivot/find a sweet spot for your business/product plan [aside, real entrepreneurs do gatecrash].
No. All startups can apply.
No. Just fill up the form (also embedded in this post).
- More FAQs here.