Roundup of new launches in Indian Internet space: MBAKarma, CitiPals

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Introducing two new products (to be launched) in the Indian Internet space:

MBAKarma: brings mock SIMCAT tests to your computer.

As Sudhanshu, founder of MBAKarma mentions:

  1. Hundreds (Maybe even thousands) of people can log on at the same time and give the same test. We would then provide them with the categorized results, feedback and most importantly percentiles. This would mean that every weekend (even everyday), for a very small fee (must lesser than even the test series conducted by the institutes), you can give a full length CAT and find out your weak spots.
  2. Unlike most online testing websites, which resemble the GMAT interface, MBA Karma provides tests in a format very similar to CAT. Moving through the questions is as easy as doing a pen and paper test, and so are the rest of the things.

mbakarma

MBAKarma has also added the basic social networking features (sharing etc) to their offering. View their online tour

What I like about MBAKarma is that it is on-demand and the tests can be taken at any point in time. Having said that, my only concern with online tests are:

  • They don’t give you the same adrenalin rush as the pen-paper one.
  • Event if this sounds a little idealistic, I believe that paper-based exams are more “CAT like” than online exams,

What’s yet to be seen is the scalability and adoption – they need to grow the user base very rapidly to have a sample size good enough to atleast represent the CAT percentile scores.

MBAKarma will be launched on August 17th and the tests will remain free till August end (and Rs. 50/SIMCAT after august).

If you are a CAT aspirant, I’d love to hear your feedback on the quality of questions and your overall experience.

Related: Part time MBA vs. Full time MBA – Reality check.

citipals

CitiPals: is a restaurant review site which basically takes into account your network (and your network’s network)’s review to help you in making a “trusted” decision.

As Ashish Baldua, founder of CitiPals mentions:

In a certain way, we do fall in the same space as burrp.com or mouthshut.com. However, our differentiation lies in our belief that reviews and opinions from other users is helpful but the trust factor is extremely important. To that end, we are creating these categories of content and reviews/opinions on top of a social network.
We always bubble up reviews from your network (friends and friends of friends)
. For example, i see 50 reviews of a restaurant on yelp.com but am still not confident if i would like the restaurant; whereas if along with those 50 reviews, if i were to see a review from one of my friends or from someone whom i have marked as “trusted reviewer”, the decision-making would have been much more easier. A mock of this concept can be found at .

View CitiPals’ demo.

This is an interesting service, only if they are able to identify who my friends are. If I have to go and add strangers as friends (like any other social net), I am not too sure how is it different from Burrp/Mouthshut. Interestingly, Ziva’s mobile search is pretty much based on a similar concept of asking your trusted circle.

CitiPals is currently operating only in Mumbai and Pune.

I do see a need for services like this, but any social network which is starting from the scratch will have to first worry about getting a critical mass of the user base.

What do you think? If you were starting a new social net, how will you seed your users? What should be the right strategy?

Do give these products a spin and I look forward to your comments.

tags: citipals, mbakarma

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