Indian Portals like HT.com, indiatimes.com, MSN.co.in, Rediff.com, Sify.com, Yahoo.co.in and the online media agency, Mediaturf, have got together to formally launch the Internet and Online Association (IOA) on Thursday.
The IOA is a non-profit organisation whose key objective is to expand and enhance ‘content and business realization through online advertising, e-commerce and mobile advertising’. IOA has set a target of 100 million users by 2007.
Speaking on the occasion, V V Kannan, Chairman, Internet & Online Association, said, “The impact of technology is seen only when it benefits a substantial portion of the population. We believe that the target of 100 million online users by 2007 is achievable and IOA will work towards this objective. At that size India will be one of the top five Internet markets in the world.”
Kanna further said, “The online industry depends on advertising as the major source of revenue. More and more marketers are using the Internet and we see the potential for a Rs. 100-crore online advertising business in the next 12 months. With the increase in penetration, this can grow to a few hundred crores in the next three years.”
Commenting on IOA’s objective of increasing direct value to members and communicating the core strengths and competencies of the Internet, Preeti Desai, President, Internet & Online Association, said, “IOA aims to empower Indians by setting up standards that encourage transparency and protect privacy. We are also committed to creating a secure, safe and dynamic environment for children and teenagers. Our role towards the industry would be to translate and communicate our expertise and our convictions regarding the efficacy of the online medium.”
The IOA plans to achieve its target of 100 million through a multi-pronged strategy. The strategy will look at aspects like mass-communicating time and cost savings generated by using the Internet, delivering best-in-class research and strategic inputs to the industry and its stakeholders, and encouraging the adoption of global standards and guidelines that increase customer confidence.
IOA will look at marketing and promoting the industry by disseminating research and white papers, organizing events and media campaigns apart from developing educational material through global and national partnerships to raise the level of knowledge among members and users, and partnering with the government and trade bodies to inform and shape policies and legislation that affect the online industry.
Besides Chairman Kannan, the Executive Council of IOA includes Neville Taraporewalla and Ramani as Joint Vice-chairmen, Upen Rai as secretary, and Aninda Shome as Treasurer.