Mid-week recap : Burrp adds Pune, Govt. puts police stations on the net..and more

Here is the mid-week recap of events in Digital India world. More than the news, this week (so far) has seen few very candid interviews and articles. Here is the summary:

Interview with BharatMatrimony’s founder, J Murugavel

Few key (and candid) insights from the interview:

  • On rise of local language: “I don’t think language is really going to take off (on the Internet) in India. It can have an incremental benefit, but personally, I don’t think (local) language is something India needs right now. It’s not going to happen at all.”
  • On PC penetration and his involvement with IAMAI:
    People don’t feel the need to spend Rs10-15,000 on buying a computer. So, cost is definitely one of the factors. What we are looking at addressing strongly is can we get them a PC at Rs 200-500 a month? That will really drive penetration.We are working on that with (the) IAMAI. We had a discussion on that and we are trying to involve relevant people and stakeholders to create an Internet and PC revolution in India
  • On Mobile replacing PCs?
    The thing is that it’s good to talk about it, and mobile is definitely going to be one of the key devices. But you cannot do everything on it. There’s the thing about comfort, too. When you want to do serious stuff, you definitely need to get on to the Internet (from a PC). Today, communication functions like e-mail can be done on the mobile. But it doesn’t mean that it is the same. There are limitations about the screen and the typing.
  • On new gen entrepreneurs
    A lot of interesting companies are coming up and there is a lot of cash available. We will have to see whether they have the ability to stay on longer. People who are looking for seed funds are showing that they are looking to get acquired. They are not looking at the business in the long term. You should have the passion to create the business and run it. You should not be looking for an exit in two-three years. I don’t think they have the drive to create a long(-term) organisation. We are not looking at what we are going to get out of the business tomorrow, but what we will get five years down the line.

I don’t necessarily agree with the above points – the challenge for local language adoption is of course the usability (of keyboards etc) – but things will change with better transliteration.

On Mobile replacing PCs – well, its all about building the right mobile apps. I agree that PCs have their own benefits, but mobile scores an edge with regards to “instant on” availability, accessibility and connectivity. What do you think?

Related: BharatMatrimony – From Scratch to Success: Walk the journey

How to zero in on the right VC?
Look for these questions :: Does the VC have time? Does he have operations experience? Experience in your industry? What do other portfolio companies say about him? And, most important, do you like the guy? Bottom line: The VC will be like a co-founder. Is this the business partner you want?

Indian start-ups feel the heat as Google goes local
Can Indian startups successfully leverage their first-mover advantage?

Burrp arrives in Pune
Now Burrp! is available in Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Delhi and Pune. If you are wondering why Burrp is soo slow in adding cities, listen to this podcast with Deap Ubhi.

BSNL clocks Rs. 383 crores in revenues, has market share of 43%
Broadband revenues of Rs 382.6 crores in 2006-07, of which Rs 67.5 crore were from Tamil Nadu, Rs. 59.7 crore from Karnataka, Rs. 45.8 crore from West Bengal, Rs. 33.9 crore from Maharashtra. Maximum revenue, Rs. 213.8 crore, was from its Home 250 plan, while Home 3300 plan generated only Rs. 3.6 crores

UP government goes online.
UP government launched websites of 33 departments.

After UP government, even the policemen have gone online! (checkout the site: www.bprd.gov.in)
The contact details of the police stations and officials across the country are now just a click away, the first time in the history of policing in the country.

Geodesic to develop IM applications for telecom firms
Geodesic Information Systems Ltd (GIS), which is into developing Internet-based technology, is in the process of developing customised instant messaging (IM) applications for at least 18 telecom operators.

The applications will be specially-designed for GPRS, EDGE or WiFi-enabled mobile phones…Geodesic expects the company to cross one million users mark for its IM applications. At present, the company offers Mundu IM for internet and mobile phones. Since 2000, Geodesic has added up around 3.5 lakh users for its IM applications as well as it’s internet radio application, Mundu Radio.

RCom joins hands with ICICI for mobile banking
Telecom company Reliance Communications and private financial institution ICICI Bank are close to offering money transfer services over mobile phones. The service, first of its kind in the country, is expected to be launched shortly. The new service will enable ICICI Bank customers to transfer funds to other account holders registered with the financial institutions website.

tags: bharatmatrimony, burrp, bsnl, geodesic, mundu IM, rcom, indian startups

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