Netcore is the company I spend most of my time at. As a company, Netcore has been around for 10 years. We have two verticals in Netcore – a Managed Services business for enterprises primarily focused around mailing and security services (under the Emergic brand), and a Mobile VAS (Value-Added Services) business focused on direct-to-consumer services (under the MyToday brand). MyToday is relatively a more recent creation. Our vision: make the Emergic vertical into an IT Operator offering computing-as-a-service for SMEs, and make MyToday into a VAS Operator making the mobile into a magic lamp for consumers.
Yes, it is hard making one business succeed, and here we are trying to make two seemingly disparate businesses work! The good thing going for us is that we have good traction on both fronts with dedicated management to make it happen. And there are synergies across both verticals. For example, we have just launched Email2SMS, dubbed as the “Poor Man’s Blackberry.” It combines our strength in handling email for enterprises with our capability to deliver SMSes in large numbers. We also are leveraging MyToday’s underlying technology platform to enterprises to build relationships with their customers and employees via SMS. I will elaborate on all of these ideas and services in the coming weeks.
The opportunities that we see ahead in India are immense. For Emergic, there are 25-30 million inforoworkers in SMEs who would be willing to pay upto $10 a month for a managed computing (hardware and software). For MyToday, there are 60-75 million mobile subscribers who can generate a VAS ARPU (average revenue per user) of $2-3. [What I mean here by VAS is actually VAS 2.0 – advertising, invertising, mCommerce, etc. This contrasts with VAS 1.0 which is about ringtones, ringback tones, voice portals, etc.]
We are at an exciting time for both our business verticals. The foundation has been laid – in terms of proving that there are substantial monetisation opportunities. Much of what we are doing is in “blue ocean” territory – and that’s what I have always liked. It is not as much about competition as much as it about creating pioneering, breakthrough ideas and business models.
Entrepreneurship is what I have always liked. Success and failure have been part of the journey in my 16 years as an entrepreneur in India. Along the way, I have made about a dozen investments in mostly early stage companies in the mobile and broadband space. But for me, the excitement has always been in building a business. And that is what Netcore is all about. India can deliver the next big companies in the SME software and mobile data services spaces. Hopefully, we can be a key player in that ecosystem in the years to come.