Firefly eVentures Ltd, the wholly owned Internet subsidiary of HT Media Ltd, has acquired social networking site Desimartini.com in an attempt to enter one of the fastest growing segments in the Indian Internet space.
“Localisation is the norm all around and as broadband penetration improves, we can see phenomenal opportunity and growth in the Internet in India. This acquisition in the social networking space is the first step towards expanding our Internet base. We are exploring other new online businesses such as gaming, e-commerce and classifieds,” said Amit Garg, Business Head-Internet, HT Media.
Garg added that HT Media had plans to launch online portals in jobs, matrimonial, real estate and auto verticals – areas wherein classifieds pages of newspapers currently dominate, and where Hindustan Times has a strong presence in some markets.
Pahwa Knowledge Based Services had launched Desimartini.com late last year. The social networking website is funded by the Pahwa Group of Companies and has a membership base of 250,000. It attracts around 2.5 million page views a month.
However, as compared to some existing players, Desimartini has fewer users. “It may look like we are late in getting into the local social networking business, but the Internet business is still in its infancy and not mature in India,” explained Garg.
According to Parijat Chakraborty, Vice President, TNS Global, “Users will experiment with multiple sites till they find one that suits them best. The key is to carve a distinct niche and provide a good value proposition to the user.” As is known, TNS Global is a business information and research firm.