42 to 43: Part 2

For the first time in many years, I have been directly managing a team. It is not something I am good at – in IndiaWorld, Bhavana had done much of that. But given the early stage of what we are doing, the hands-on involvement is critical. It reminds me of the early days of IndiaWorld – there was an idea with potential, but one had to get lots of small decisions right every day to move it forward. MyToday is at that stage now.

My logic for MyToday is driven by the fact that the “consumer pays” segment in the digital space in India is 10X larger than Internet advertising which in itself is 10X larger than mobile advertising. Almost all consumer payments in the mobile space are processed by the operator. Unlike Docomo’s approach in Japan with i-mode where it shared 91% of the revenue with content/service providers, Indian operators have had the opposite mindset.

What India needs to drive innovation in this space is the creation of a thriving off-deck marketplace – with payments. That is easier said than done. And that is what we are hoping to do. As I look ahead, the next year is going to squarely focused on building this ecosystem out – from creating an open publishing platform to enabling easy micropayments. It hasn’t been done before – and that’s why I am so excited!

Continued tomorrow.

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