Indian Mobile Internet Emerging Big:Rediff Founder

by Manu Sharma    Jun 08, 2009

With mobile phones experiencing a phenomenal growth in India, Rediff founder looks at mobiles for Internet access and social networking as the next big technologies of the future in India.

Addressing the inaugural session at Startup City held in Bangalore, Ajit Balakrishnan, founder & CEO, said, I see mobile as a big medium for Internet access that will shape up in the future.

The Internet user base in India is small in India while mobile phones has grown substantially over the years. About 25% of the Rediff users use mobile phones for Internet usage.

According to Comscore report, Indian social networking sites have witnessed a 51% increase from the previous year to more than 19 million visitors in December 2008.

The report sites that social networking sites like Orkut, Facebook, Hi5, LinkedIn and MySpace have gained more visitation during the period.

However, social networking sites are not just about a boy meets girl on the Net but much more than that. With such a high growth in traffic, it is for entrepreneurs like you to come out with something innovative idea.

Rediff believes in re-investing its wheel every two or three years and for that reason, the company has a in-house research and development (R&D) and a team of developers and product managers. Besides Rediff gets help from research institutes like IIT (Mumbai), IIIT in Hyderabad. We get students to work for us in many areas like machine translations for future needs and also language businesses.

In fact, SQBiz another company that is a spin off of Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore is also been helping us on the R&D front, he said.

Best companies are those who are in constant touch with their customers and are open for feedbacks and comments. One needs to overcome customer issues and that helps your company grow.

Initially Rediff was on the same grounds as a newspaper and did have similar format like the day-to-day papers. In fact, we were mimicking some of the leading dailies, he said.

Balakrishnan said Rediffusion was started as a media company during the 1980s and later forayed into the online space in 1995 when Rediff was launched.

Rediff in those days used only text but later over the years made used of graphics, audio and now video. Today multimedia is used extensively on the websites, he said.

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