The Mint writes, as part of a story on mobiles and religion: “Customers such as Christopher say their text messages are less about religion than about sharing a beautiful idea with friends. He signed up for the service through the website www.mytodaysms.com. The firm charges Rs2 to start and stop services and the SMS itself is free of cost, sponsored by churches and other religious organizations. Netcore Solutions Pvt. Ltd, which runs the site, declined to give details about its business model.”
My company, Netcore Solutions, will be providing live ball-by-ball coverage of the Cricket World Cup on a mobile-friendly site at cricket.mytoday.com. The site also has extensive stats and scorecards of all ODIs and Tests played. Hope you like it!
The first match (Pak v WI) starts at 8 pm India time today. India’s first match is against Bangladesh on Saturday.
I met with David Cowan of Bessemer Venture Partners recently. David had this to say on his blog: “The highlight of my week was meeting Rajesh Jain, founder of India World (the high-value acquisition that served as poster child of India’s internet bubble). Rajesh is the Bill Gross of India, prolifically founding, funding or running startup after startup (get a sense for his metablosim and creativity on his blog). Among his more ambitious projects are a thin client service that promies to deliver India’s households with computer, bandwidth and software for $10 per month.”
Thanks for the gracious praise, David. Was a pleasure meeting with you, too!
We have launched a free SMS Greetings service from MyToday.com for Indian mobile users.
MyToday SMS Greetings allows you to send free greetings via SMS to any mobile in India. You can type 110 characters worth of message while the remaining 50 characters are used for MyToday ads.
Visit www.MyToday.com from either your phones or computers browser. Please check the cost of GPRS data with your operator, if you are using the on-phone browser. [You will need to register by sending an SMS from your phone, if you are not already registered with MyToday.]
Have a wonderful New Year!
ContentSutra has a story on Rajshri Media’s launch of its broadband portal. [I am an investor in Rajshri Media.]
Rajshri Media, the digital media arm of bollywood production and distribution house Rajshri Productions, has launched a broadband portal Rajshri.com for entertainment and premium video content. The company owned by the Barjatyas is also premiering their home production VIVAH online. The movie will be available for download or live streaming from Friday 12 PM. This is the first time an Indian movie is premiering online – simultaneously being released in theatres and also online. VIVAH is available for $9.9 per download. And the DRM (Digital rights management) licence will expire after 72 hours.
The site is mainly targeted NRIs and non-Indians living abroad but interested in Indian entertainment content. Currently it has aggregated content worth 3,000 hours which include movies, music videos, historical videos and documentaries. Quite an amazing collection of broadband content, and it looks like Rajshri has a winner here. Besides, the Barjatyas are bollywood insiders and so they have a competitive advantage over others in aggregating the bollywood content at much better terms.
CIOL has more:
Rajshri Media has already aggregated more than 3,000 hours of premium Indian video content across multiple genres. Rajshri.com also features film and non-film music videos, concerts, humour clips, short films and documentaries licensed from the most respected individuals and organisations of their fields.
Commenting on the future plans, Barjatya said, Going forward, Rajshri Media plans to aggressively build depth and breadth in each content category of rajshri.com, add exciting new features to the site on a regular basis, launch comprehensive sections on astrology, numerology, Indian food and spirituality besides others, add regional language content across multiple categories and integrate rich content repurposed for mobile phones, iPods and other digital devices.
He added, Rajshris aim is to reach out to the consumer through the four screens in his life cinema, television, computer and mobile. We plan to create and develop original programming for new media and digital devices, which has the potential to spawn an entirely new digital entertainment revolution in the days to come.
Knowledge@Wharton interviewed me recently. Here is the introduction they wrote:
Rajesh Jain has a lot in common with Marc Andreeson, co-founder of Netscape. Just as the Netscape IPO in 1995 is widely believed to have sparked the Internet boom in the U.S., Jain ignited a dot-com storm in India when his portal — IndiaWorld — was sold in November 1999 for $115 million to Sify, an Internet service provider. That deal signaled to millions in that country that the web was not just a passing techie fad and that entrepreneurs could make serious money from it.
In recent years, Jain, 39, has deliberately kept a low profile in the media, though he makes his views on technology issues widely known through his blog, emergic.org. Jain, who is now the CEO of Netcore, a Linux-based messaging software company, was a panelist earlier this year at the 2006 Supernova conference in San Francisco. He met with Knowledge@Wharton in his offices in Mumbai to discuss how mobile phones could hold the key to the Internet’s evolution in India and other emerging economies.
Here is a quote from me:
I believe another dimension will define the future of the Internet in India, and that’s going to be built around the mobile phone. Given the way that mobile phones have taken off in India during the past four to five years, I am convinced that more people in India will access the Internet through mobile phones than through computers linked to narrowband or broadband connections. We need to start thinking about the mobile Internet differently than we do about the PC Internet.
For me, three words help define the mobile Internet. They are: now, near and new. “Now” is about what is happening right now in real time. Wherever I am, I can find the latest cricket scores or the top news stories because my mobile phone is always with me. “Near” is about location — it can be as small as a neighborhood or it could be a city. If I’m about to take a flight this evening, could I get an alert on my mobile phone if the flight is delayed? Some of this is starting to happen, but it needs to happen a lot more. It could make a real difference to people’s lives. Finally, “new” is about new stuff in which I might be interested. Just as a search engine like Google is a good way to find material that has been published in the past, the mobile phone is a great way to keep in touch with future or incremental content. If there is a sale, it should be possible for my book store to send me an alert and suggest business books that I might find interesting.
Express Computer has a story on us and our bet on Linux:
From e-mail to VPN, firewalls to bandwidth management, virus protection to spam filtering, Netcores products are providing solutions to build the back-end infrastructure in large enterprises and small-and medium-sized businesses alike.
The company also offers products such as BlogStreet, Indias first portal on blogs providing analytics, search and directory services. Emergic CleanMail is a hosted anti-virus and anti-spam solution and messaging service that is used by organisations in the banking, logistics, finance and other industry verticals in India and other developing countries. Emergic FlexiMail is a mail hosting component where mail space can be offered to customers. The Emergic Mail Server, a new product, is a Linux-based messaging and security suite. It has a proxy server, mail server, firewall and anti-virus solution built into it.
Right from the IndiaWorld days, Netcores focus has been to develop and market affordable software solutions. The company has been providing Linux-based solutions. Rajesh Jains first endeavour, IndiaWorld, was an early user of Linux. Since then all the development of the company has been done on Linux.
For the first time, there is a place for people to go beyond the calendar of events and make events real experiences. And this is evolving into a web of events in which people will be able to immerse themselves and not only experience but also gain experiential insights.
I particularly liked the horizontal and vertical partitions that are made available in the system Months back, I have seen this system for sometime backtracking from my visitor log did not then know that it is product under beta(it looked good even then) and more than that did not know it is a Netcore product. Rajesh over time you may consider to publish some analytical information about the frequency of blog updates as they get published also the number of blogs that on average user subscribe to and read. Perhaps a view of common subscribers/taggers (like shown by bloglines/del.icio.us) and details like top50 subscribed feeds would make usage more attractive. I have also pointed out in the past about the near total domination by the US based enterprises on web 2.0 applications(I have no complaints about that – The US is the epicenter of the IT World). New Web2.0 applications like MyToday, R.L.Narain’s TracBac,a visual project handling, digital white board, version tracking tool for the designers worldwide and others coming out of India make it interesting that much more interesting to watch.I am sure that in the near many more such applications would folow – looking forward to the day when the next riya.com, flickr.com or the next writely comimg out of india based enterprises. Congrats folks – you are setting an example to the several hundred thousand IT wannabe entrepreneurs out in India to take the plunge.
Dan Farber reports on my presentation at PC Forum.
At PC Forum Novatium Solutions demoed its $100 PC appliance (without keyboard or display, which adds about $75) for emerging markets. The Nova netPC and Nova netTV are based on thin client (server-based, zero administration for users) and mobile phone technology. “We have the guts of mobile phone and use the business model of phone industry,” said Rajesh Jain, co-founder of the Mumbai, India-based company. “We reduce the price of the thin client by about 50 percent, moving away from the Intel architecture, and change the business model to suit emerging market customers.” It’s like a cell phone in square box and a bunch of I/O ports.
The core processor is an AMD digital signal processor, rather than x86 architecture, used in cell phones, and works over LAN, Wi-Fi and broadband networks. (After the session an Intel representative was primed to talk to Jain.) The only client side processing is for the display and multimedia, and the maxiumun video display is 1024×768. The device also supports standard I/0 ports and outputs only 5 watts. A future edition could include DSL on the motherboard. Jain expects that the base price will remain steady over time as new features are added and as volume sales increase.
Software is provided at $10 per month, and supports Unix and Windows terminal services. The license for Windows software and terminal services has to be purchased separately, but an open source, Linux-based desktop stack is available for free. “There is a growing flexibility to look at monthly pricing cycles, including from Microsoft,” Jain said. Since few people in many emerging markets pay for software, having server-based subscriptions could reduce piracy, he said.
There is one error in the write-up: we are not using a processor from AMD, but ADI (Analog Devices).
Will do a more detailed write-up as part of Tech Talk next week on my PC Forum presentation.