The year 2007, which has been declared as the Year of the Broadband is set to witness a new revolution in this field. Setting the tone, Dayanidhi Maran, Union Minister of Communications and IT, said, “Broadband should be defined as 2mbps.” He was speaking at the India Digital Summit organised by the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) in association with CII at the Capital on January 18.
Broadband coverage for all secondary and higher secondary schools, public health care centers and all gram panchayats are some of the targets that Ministry of Communications and IT intends to achieve in this year.
Maran said, “We will soon launch internationalised domain names in Hindi, Tamil, Malayalam and other Indian languages, enabling local language domain names at the secondary level. We have already distributed free of cost, language fonts and attendant software to enable development of websites in local languages.”
The Minister also stressed on the importance of vernacular content by saying, “We need to look at vernacular content now.”
The second half of the day kick-started with a discussion on ‘How to leverage Internet to E-Nable Businesses?’ Moderated by Sanjeev Bikhchandani, Founder and CEO, Info Edge Ltd, the session had speakers which included the likes of Mark Fox, Chairman and CEO, Novator; Sandeep Murthy, CEO, Cleartrip.com; Vivek Nayak, COO, Avenues India; and Virender K Ahluwalia, CEO, Fobaz.
Terming technology as one of the serious challenges, Nayak of Avenues India said, “As professionals our responsibility is to go out and evangelise the benefits of e-commerce. We must open a new channel of communication which is direct, interactive and cheep to run.” He stressed on the need to go online if one has to build long lasting relationships.
Marketing and seamless integration of the online brand presence with the offline were some of the things that needed to be looked into.
The next session, ‘What can Internet offer as a medium’, highlighted the benefits of the Internet. The session was moderated by Prasad Ram, Director R&D, Google India. Rajan Srinivasan, National Head-Sales, Web18.com; Krishna Prasad, Executive Producer, MSN India; Mahesh Murthy, Founder and CEO, Pinstorm Technologies; and Manish Viz, Co-Founder and Business Head, Quasar, were among the speakers who presented their views on the topic.
Google India’s Ram, while lauding the medium as a unique one, stressed on the way Internet had evolved over the years, stating that the medium now promoted contextual advertising and had now begun to integrate other channels as well.
Srinivasan highlighted the need for having compelling content. He said, “The content has to be designed and presented in a very different format so as to draw the audience.”
Speaking on the ROI factor, Viz of Quasar, said, “The medium promises the best ROI for every penny that you spend is accountable. It’s a great medium for getting free traffic.” He highlighted the importance of testing, learning and evolving.
The last session of the day revolved around the topic ‘Is Youth the Driving Force behind Internet’. The session was moderated by Deep Kalra, Founder and CEO, Makemytrip.com and the speakers which included Suvir Sujan, Founding Partner, Nexus India Capital Advisors; Arun Mehra, Chief Marketing Officer, Zapak.com; Faisal Farooqui, Founder and CEO, Mouthshut.com; and Ratish Nair, CEO, Interactive Avenues.