The Indian Internet market is caught between b2b and b2c – b2b is still confusing and only happening in pockets, while b2c which only a year ago was the Great Hope for the Indian consumer is not taking off. The wonder that is the Internet has at best been hype for most Indian companies and consumers. But as we said earlier, this is the beginning. As cost-effective bandwidth options become available, Indian businesses will do well to adopt the Net as part of all their processes.
How can Indian companies leverage the Net? Let us start with the killer app: Messaging. Even today, most Indian companies do not have proper and reliable email systems. Email-for-all can help bring down the cost of communications dramatically in companies. Email does not mean one account per location, but one account per individual in the company. Email needs to be accessible from anywhere. For many companies, this also means a cultural change – to openness and sharing, which in many cases is harder. Messaging can be put in place within weeks in most companies, the attitude change to using it and replying to messages quickly takes longer. But this is the first pre-requisite of eBusiness.
What eBusiness software solutions will do is cut to the heart of the questions that every manager needs to answer, according to Mary Meeker from MSDW:
- Who are my best customers? Who are the Most Loyal, Most Profitable and Fastest Growing?
- How will customers behave and why?
- Why do they buy from me?
- How will they buy in the future?
- Would my customers behave differently with more info?
- Who are by best partners / suppliers?
- How does my business handle orders of One?
Some of the questions Indian companies will need to answer this year include:
- Strategy: what do I do on the Internet?
- Structure: is it a part of current biz or separate?
- Management: where do I get the right people?
- Money: do I fund it or go outside for finance?
- Model: will it scavenge my existing biz?
- Technology: do I build it or do I buy?
- Partnerships: do I do it on my own or do I partner?
- Rollout: how can I get it out in 90 days?
The pieces of the puzzle are now falling in place for 2001 to be the year Indian companies take to eBusiness. It is their game – to win or to lose.
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