Asianet Satellite Communications Ltd., leading Internet service and cable TV service provider, has acquired Keralaonline.com.
The portal will be relaunched soon by Asianet with more attractive features. It will have an exclusive commerce section, said S Rajeev, senior general manager, Asianet.
Asianet had decided to enter this sector despite adverse market conditions thanks to the infrastructure for Internet service, cable TV and other operations the company already had on the ground, he added.
Keralaonline.com was originally promoted in 1997 by Kottayam-based Webnet Communications Pvt. Ltd. owned by Dr Varghese George. Asianet has acquired both the Web hosting and portal business from Webnet.
Asianet’s revenue model is based on advertisements, margin on sales and tie-up with various companies, including travel agencies, cellular phone companies to provide value-added services. Escotel-Asianet tie-up for providing short messaging services (SMS) is also expected to bring revenue for the portal.
Apart from payment by credit card, customers can also opt for advanced demand draft payment or direct payment on delivery. This has been made possible thanks to the tie-up with Elbee Net for delivery of goods. Keralaonline, has the payment gateway facility provided by HDFC is also having a marketing tie-up with Fabmart, India’s top e-commerce service provider.
Asianet already has a large number of Internet-over-cable subscribers who, in turn, are likely to utilise the e-commerce section. Keralaonline is likely to be turned into a homepage for Asianet Internet cable customers. Asianet operates one of the biggest Internet kiosks in Kochi. All these will provide a captive customer base for e-commerce, it is expected.
Keralaonline.com also has several region-specific domains such as Thiruvananthapuramonline.com, which can be used for providing localised value-added services, including doorstep delivery of foods and beverages.
As part of the site’s relaunch, Asianet will be strengthening the content, especially news and travel sections. Travel section will provide online reservation facility in arrangement with leading hotels.