A week or so ago, I met a couple of VC friends and we got talking about the Internet business in India. My contention was that this is perhaps a great time to build a hybrid net-mobile consumer media business — if one is willing to invest $5+ million over the next 2-3 years, and think out-of-the-box about what needs to be done.
The current crop of portals (horizontals and verticals) are too few and for the most part, unexciting. They haven’t yet become “utilities” (daily must-visits) in our lives. The content is quite insipid, and there seems to be little innovation happening on the Internet front from the larger players. For the smaller ones, it has become almost impossible to raise any kind of capital from angels or VCs, thus leading to an almost complete stagnation of the Internet base and usage in India. This has been compounded by a fall in ad revenue for many of the companies as the economy has slowed.
What can get us out of this and where are the next set of opportunities? More on this tomorrow.