Emergic: Rajesh Jain's Blog

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Entries from November 2009

IndiaWorld Sale: 10 Years On

November 30th, 2009 · 6 Comments

Ten years ago, on November 29 1999,  I sold my previous company, IndiaWorld, to Satyam Infoway. It was a defining moment for me. It was also not an easy decision to make. Six weeks before the sale actually happened, I was wondering how I would manage to raise venture capital for the business, given that [...]

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Blog Past: Mumbai 26/11

November 29th, 2009 · 7 Comments

I wrote this on December 1 last year: There is a palpable sense of outrage and fear in people – outrage because of the failure of the politicians and bureaucrats to prevent such attacks, and fear because there is no guarantee that this will not happen again somewhere else in India in the next few [...]

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Weekend Reading

November 28th, 2009 · 2 Comments

This week’s links: Mobile Data Apocalypse: by Michael Mace. “In the last year or so, the attitude has shifted dramatically from “no one is using mobile data” to “oh my God, there’s so much demand for mobile data that it’ll destroy the network.” Best Business Books of 2009: by strategy+business. 10 UI Design Patterns: from [...]

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Corruption in India (Part 5)

November 27th, 2009 · 13 Comments

I dream of an India that has rid itself of corruption at the highest levels of its government. (If we start at the top, the clean waters will flow down quickly to the lower levels.) I dream of an India where people in government make decisions that are right for the country, and not for [...]

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Corruption in India (Part 4)

November 26th, 2009 · 4 Comments

India needs to be made free of corruption before it can become developed. But  the entire existing Indian governance ecosystem will prevent this from happening. Seen from the outside, it is quite clear that no honest business person will ever make it the top and be able to clean up the system. There are too [...]

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Corruption in India (Part 3)

November 25th, 2009 · 14 Comments

Once in a while, the government of the day will send out the CBI to raid a few people here and there, to show how they care about creating a corruption-free country. A few days later, the case is slowed down, and vanishes from the headlines. This happens because the chain of corruption goes to [...]

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Corruption in India (Part 2)

November 24th, 2009 · 5 Comments

When you talk to people in the know, all kinds of stories about politicians come out. So, I cannot believe that these stories are totally unknown. Of course, the smart ones cover their tracks well through front companies and people. Much of the wealth is held in the form of land banks. As someone put [...]

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Corruption in India

November 23rd, 2009 · 35 Comments

A recent issue of Outlook had a cover story on Koda, the former Chief Minister of Jharkhand, who is alleged to have looted Rs 4,000 crore from the state. A related article in the magazine was on all the scams that have taken place in India and how little we seem to care about all [...]

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Blog Past: Newsweek on the $100 PC

November 22nd, 2009 · 1 Comment

Continuing from last week’s Blog Past on the Rs 5,000 PC ecosystem, here is a link to a Newsweek cover story from February 2007 on Novatium’s $100 PC. (Novatium is a company I helped co-found.) Despite the country’s rise as an outsourcing hub, PCs are selling slowly–far more slowly than mobile phones or motorbikes–because they [...]

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Weekend Reading

November 21st, 2009 · No Comments

This week’s links: The Future Of The Web: Where Will We Be In Five Years?: by Cameron Chapman (via Atanu). 15 predictions about the future. 10 Top Consumer Mobile Applications by 2012: from Gartner. Top 3 are money transfer, LBS and search. 2009′s top 10 Emerging Enterprise Technologies: from InfoWorld. The Death of the URL: [...]

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Broadband in India: Business Models

November 20th, 2009 · 10 Comments

The sad state of Indian portals can be seen from the recent results of India’s leading home-grown portals – Rediff and Web18 both lost upwards of Rs 10 crore in the past quarter. Google is cleaning up on the ads front because it doesn’t do content and it links ads with context (in search). The [...]

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Broadband in India: Services

November 19th, 2009 · 2 Comments

I have written in the past about the lack of ‘utility’ services on the Indian Internet. Little has changed in recent times. Even though many new portals keep getting launched, few of them have become part of our daily lives. In China, the link between computers and education helped get computers into homes. The social [...]

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Broadband in India: Pipes

November 18th, 2009 · 3 Comments

India made one fundamental mistake when it came to awarding wireless licences a long time ago. It gave them to BSNL and MTNL (the two dominant public sector wireline players) instead of doing what China did. China created two new companies for the mobile business. The result was that during the early days in India, [...]

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Broadband in India: Devices

November 17th, 2009 · 4 Comments

The interesting change in the world of computers is the diversity of devices that are now becoming available. We have netbooks, network computers (thin clients), smartbooks, eBook readers, gaming consoles – and tablet computers are on the way. In all cases, the form factor will likely be much bigger than what a conventional smartphone offers. [...]

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Broadband in India: Overview

November 16th, 2009 · 5 Comments

Among the many areas that India has not invested in is broadband infrastructure. In fact, not only has the government not invested enough through its telecom companies, it also effectively prevented the ISPs from doing anything to bridge the last-mile. A friend mentioned that TRAI was doing a consultation paper on broadband. I couldn’t help [...]

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Blog Past: The Rs 5,000 PC Ecosystem

November 15th, 2009 · 1 Comment

I wrote this series in early 2003: By themselves, the 5KPC and many of the ideas discussed in the past columns are not new. What’s new is the markets that need to be targeted, and the focus on “value-added aggregation” – putting together whole solutions for different verticals. In a sense, the markets need an [...]

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Weekend Reading

November 14th, 2009 · 3 Comments

This week’s links: The decade of Steve: Fortune on Steve Jobs. “How Apple’s imperious, brilliant CEO transformed American business.” Conversation with Unilever’s CEO Paul Polman: from McKinsey Quarterly. “Unilever’s chief executive reflects on lessons learned at three major consumer goods companies, including how to manage people in a global context, the obligations corporations have to [...]

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Mumbai Airport Dysfunctional

November 13th, 2009 · 6 Comments

Mumbai airport has to be the worst that exists in any major city in the world. With two runways that crisscross each other,  arrivals and departures are severely constrained. Add to that the increasing stories of near misses on the ground and in the air that keep filtering through. In addition, of late, these runways [...]

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Chennai to Mumbai via Ahmedabad

November 12th, 2009 · 2 Comments

I was on SpiceJet coming back from Chennai last Thursday. The flight took off about 15 minutes late at 8:10 pm. It was scheduled to land in Mumbai around 10 pm. At 9:15 pm, the pilot announced that Mumbai airport had been temporarily closed because an aircraft had burst a tyre on landing. So we [...]

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A2P SMS: Interconnect Issue (Part 2)

November 11th, 2009 · 1 Comment

TRAI needs to intervene immediately in the matter of SMS Interconnect charges and do the following: Change the “forbearance” policy to “Bill-and-Keep” until further direction. This will ensure that arbitrary charges between operators do not start creating havoc for SMS aggregators, enterprises and consumer SMS companies. Start a consultation process to determine SMS costs and [...]

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