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India Brand Summit Day 1: Of new age and new competitions, elevating Internet to a higher intellectual platform

23-September-2006
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India Brand Summit Day 1: Of new age and new competitions, elevating Internet to a higher intellectual platform

The second half of the first day of the two-day India Brand Summit being held in Mumbai concentrated on the changes in media space and the emergence of new ways of connecting to the consumer.

One of the key sessions of the second half was on ‘New challenges and new business models’. The session was chaired by Rajesh Sawhney, President, Reliance Entertainment Ltd. The panellists included George Zacharias, MD, Yahoo! India; Neeraj Roy, CEO, Hungama; Ajay Vidyasagar, STAR India; Roy Gilbert, Director, Online Sales and Operations, Google; Sunanda Ambardar Chak; K P Unnikrishna, Director, Marketing Sun Microsystems; Arvind Rao, CEO, Onmobile; Sachin Bhatia, Co-Founder, Makemytrip.com; Avnish Bajaj, MD, Matrix Partners; and Janakiraman Murugavel, CEO, Founder, Bharatmatrimony.com.

The first session drew the difference between Web 1.0 and what is experienced today – Web 2.0. Roy spoke of the changes that had come in from 1990–95 to 2000 in the Internet space, speaking on the wars seen between websites like Yahoo! and MSN. He said, “We have to look at it from a triple play perspective – today 2.5 billion people are connected through the mobile and 3,000 million people are connected to IP.”

He explained the relevance of mobile entertainment and that the domain comprised factors like music, image, imagery and games in addition to various other services that brought a completion in the domain and made extreme sense to the new age consumer.

Following Roy, Bhatia spoke on the changing lifestyles with Search Engine Marketing and the new meaning that return on investments gets with this. He also pointed out examples like Myspace.com to indicate the kind of opportunities that India had.

An interesting view came from Gilbert when he explained that with the change in media consumption ways and lookout for instant gratification, Internet allowed an opportunity for one to one messaging. He explained that where Web 1.0 was about bringing the world closer with emails and chats, Web 2.0 was about user generated content, virtual communities, sharing online – elevating Internet to a higher intellectual platform.

Next on the dias was Unnikrishna, who believed that India had just scratched the surface as far as the Internet was concerned. For him the shift to Web 2.0 was a shift to participation from mere publishing. He also identified challenges on the road ahead in areas of infrastructure, identity, information availability and risks presented through new devices.

Bajaj followed, building on similar lines and playing up the changing psyches again. For Janakiraman Web 2.0 was a broad collection of recent new technologies. He spoke on phenomena like blogging and internet communities catching up.

Another interesting definition of Web 2.0 came from Zacharias, who said that in the 2.0 version, the game was all about a closer connect with the consumer and many a times by consumer generated content. He spoke of blogs and drove the discussion back to why users went back to the Net.

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