Venture Capital in India

Sramana Mitra writes:

In todays India, the commodity in short supply is good entrepreneurs. In VC parlance, fundable deals are few and far between. Why?

Historically, India has been the worlds back-office. Consequently, the skill-set that has developed in India is that of engineering management and coding. The specifications are provided by teams elsewhere. Elsewhere, the market studies get done. Indian managers do not understand global technology markets. They have hardly had opportunity to learn this aspect of business. Entrepreneurs try to position products without knowledge of the product marketing discipline.

The natural instinct for Indian entrepreneurs is to build outsourcing services companies. BPO. Software Development. Chip Design. Those ventures take less capital, and become revenue generating fast. None of the Operating Loss period of a pure play product company is necessary, and hence, venture capital is also unnecessary.

Venture capitalists will continue to go on their eco-tourism trips to India, then return. In the words of Marcel Proust, The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.

What Audiences Demand

paidContent.org discusses a Scarborough Research white paper on how newspapers can build their audience share through online:

Factors that contribute to online audience growth: unique web content; heavy cross-promotion; high local-market web penetration; and integration of the site into the core newspaper business. Chances are that execs not already doing all that probably arent likely to read this site, but moving on

Integration is essential. One of the most pronounced success factors that emerged from our conversations with industry executives is that integration contributes to the success of newspaper websites, said Meo. At the newspapers we spoke with, their websites are an integral and essential part of the business strategy to grow audience.

Yahoo’s Academics Involvement

WSJ writes:

The company, which offers consumer services ranging from email to fantasy sports, is betting that sponsoring fundamental research will help it tackle some of its biggest challenges, including battling the technological prowess of Google Inc.

The research push, “has huge consequences for the business if we do things right,” says Usama Fayyad, Yahoo’s chief data officer.

Central to Yahoo’s goal is its ability to record what millions of consumers do every day, and to study how changes to the company’s Web services affect their behavior. Internet companies in the past have largely lacked the systems and focus to mine data for research, but now they’re viewing it as a key competitive pursuit. For economists, Web operations are data-rich fantasy lands where they can observe in real-time the behavior of millions of consumers in varied marketplaces far more effectively than ever before.