5 reasons why Google and Airtel sounds like a deadly combination

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The recently announced Google-Airtel deal should sound a serious alarm to companies like Yahoo!/MSN/AOL and every other player who wants to tap the growing Indian Internet market. The deal will give Google access to 1.9 million users as well as an opportunity to upsell it’s office product suite.

Look at these stats:

  • Airtel is the number 1 private broadband and telecom operator – has 1.9 million broadband users (close to 60% market share?)
  • Google is the most preferred site in India.
  • Google has the capability to localize
    As John Yunker points out “The greatest reason why I think Gmail has a good shot at popular usage is Google’s expertise at localizing the platform for developing markets. I don’t expect Microsoft to localize Outlook for Bihari, Tonga or Swahili anytime soon, but Google is well on its way toward supporting these languages on its main platform.”
  • Broadband usage is riding north, and is expected to reach 20 million by 2010.
  • Google’s closest competitor, Yahoo doesn’t have the suite of applications that Google has (online office apps) and even though Microsoft is working on live office, it wil take them years to get their act together – which obviously means that Google, has lot more agility to execute their India strategy compared to others.

More than the consumer industry, I strongly see small businesses getting hooked onto Airtel’s broadband and Google office apps (who doesn’t want free office suite?). What do you think?
Who do you expect BSNL to get cozy with? Y!/MSN/AOL?

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