Senior officials representing the Indian wing of some of the most prominent global web portals and a group of popular Indian portals clubbed up for the formal launch of the Internet & Online Association in Mumbai on Thursday. Among the major portals represented at the occasion, there was HT.com, Indiatimes.com, MSN.co.in, Rediff.com, Sify.com, Yahoo.co.in and the online media agency, Mediaturf.
Set-up in January 2004, the IOA has fixed its objective to expand and enhance the content and business realisation through online advertising, e-commerce and mobile advertising. Alongside, the association has planned to work for communicating about the Internet’s potential for businesses and individuals. Officials inform that IOA aims at a target of 100 million users by 2007.
Speaking on the occasion VV Kannan, Chairman, Internet & Online Association, observes, “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 possible and IOA will work towards this objective. At that size India will be one of the top five Internet markets in the world.”
He further adds, “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, says, “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 user base through a multi-pronged strategy. The strategy will look at points like mass-communicating the time and cost savings generated by using the Internet, delivering the 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.
Also, it will look at marketing and promoting the industry by disseminating research and white papers, organising 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 industry.
The Executive Council Members of the IOA include VV Kannan as Chairman, Neville Taraporewalla and Ramani at the Joint Vice Chairman’s position, Upen Rai as the secretary and Aninda Shome as the Treasurer.