India Business wrapup: e-shopping shoots up, VAS hit by short codes, Printo gets funding, wipro’s second life..and more

VAS sector hit by ban on short codes
Despite high monthly mobile subscriber additions, the VAS industry has actually shrunk in India, thanks to a TRAI order banning four digit short codes. Companies are reporting almost 50-70% drop in revenues and claim the order has hit them hard. According to the TRAI order, all short codes will now be pre-fixed with five and will be of five digits. It has meant that all users having old SIM cards are facing denial of services when they request for astro, news, sports, music, stock quotes, etc, through their pre-burnt short codes in the SIM cards.

All players in the chain — content providers, aggregators, developers and mobile operators are affected. “Even the government is losing revenues as it levies a service tax on each SMS sent of about 12.5%. It has taken the industry back by at least 6-12 months depending on company to company,”

E-shopping to shoot up 130% during Diwali
Online sale of consumer goods such as electronics, jewellery and chocolates is likely to shoot up 130 per cent to Rs 575 crore this Diwali as about 30 lakh consumers are expected to place orders through internet.

Consumer goods industry sold products worth Rs 250 crore in the last festive season through internet, in which nearly 18-20 lakh consumers took part.
Gujaratis lead the pack, followed by Sindhis and Punjabis. The percentage of Maharahtrian is equally strong. (Read the market trend report of Indian e-commerce industry)

IMI gets harsh on illegal music downloads
The legitimate mobile music market is around Rs 400 crore, which includes products like monophonic and polyphonic, true tones, ringback tones and full song mobile downloads and music videos. Considering royalty (for music industry) on products like full songs download at approximately Rs 5 per download and that there is only one illegal transfer permitted per phone per month the loss amounts to Rs 15 crore annually.

India Music Industry (consortium of 90 music companies) is carried out pan-India raids s a step towards controlling the situation.

My take: Piracy helps grow an industry. Instead of carrying out raids, how about bringing down the price of downloads? IMI should read “Why Piracy is important“. Why fight a lost battle?

Printo gets $6.25 million funding from Sequoia
Sequoia Capital Partners has invested Rs 25 crore in Printo Document Services, a printing retail chain. The investment will be used to expand the firm’s reach nationwide and ramp up. Read our earlier coverage/Interview of Printo and also a detailed coverage of online photo printing market in India.Wipro launches virtual world internet site
Wipro launched phase one of its multi-phase presence in Second Life, with the unveiling of Wipro’s offshore development centre (ODC) model campus with facilities like client engagement centres, learning centre, a three-floor ODC set up with cubicles, security desk at the campus entrance, etc. It will be regularly staffed by Wipro’s own avatars.
The innovation Isle has been created and managed by Wipro’s gaming and animation practice.

My take: Honestly, it looks like a PoC to me.

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