There was another by-product of the domain name shift, and perhaps in retrospect a very important one. Even though we had restarted as indiaworld.co.in, the .co.in extension was not an intuitive one. People still typed indiaworld.com and ended up at the wrong portal. That made me think about creating vertical properties like khoj.com, khel.com, samachar.com and bawarchi.com. In retrospect, I should have just changed indiaworld.co.in to something else with a .com suffix, but I was too obsessed with IndiaWorld to let it go. Nevertheless, the vertical portals were big hits as soon as we launched them. If it had not been for the November 1996 incident, we would never have probably thought of this strategy.
So, that is lesson number five: In every Adversity, there is Opportunity. One has to see the silver lining. It is not easy doing this. At the time when a business is seriously impacted, it is almost impossible to think about what the brighter side can be. But if one can step back and think, one will see that there is always some good which will come out of these situations.
I tend to view these situations as Turning Points. We experienced one last week on Thursday. Even as I write this, I know that we moved our own thinking up a notch. We were suddenly shaken out of our shell. And that will serve us well in the long-term. As I sat in the war room with my colleagues, we generated more ideas and insights into our business in those few hours than we had in the past few months. We now have very clear plans on how to move ahead. Suddenly, everything seemed to fall in place even though we had a crisis on our hands. But I was confident that it would pass though I did know then when and how. All I knew is that we would remember January 25, 2007 as a day when we all Grew Up!
There is one more thing which comes out of these Bad Things and that is lesson number six: the need to have backups for the weak links. When one is running a business, one doesnt always tend to create fallback plans. At times, the constraint is resources. At other times, one is just too optimistic. Nevertheless, there is a very strong need for entrepreneurs to think about what are the weak links in the chain, and what is needed to create backup options for these. The alternatives may not be perfect but at least they will give the entrepreneur some time to think in a calm and composed manner when calamity strikes.
Tomorrow: Looking Ahead
TECH TALK When Bad Things Happen+T