Multi-brand consumer Internet company, People Interactive (I) Pvt Ltd, recently won the CNBC-TV18 Emerging India Award in the ICE and ITeS category. People Interactive (PI) owns and operates businesses such as Shaadi.com, Fropper.com, ShaadiTimes, Astrolife.com and Shaadi Point. PI has also been awarded the prestigious Deloitte Fast 50 India Award and Deloitte Fast 500 Asia-Pacific Award for 2005-06. The company also won the 2005-06 Franchisor of the Year Award for its business unit, Shaadi Point, in the Consumer Services Segment.
Anupam Mittal, CMD, People Interactive, said, “We want to be dominant players in media, entertainment, retail, and IT. We are also looking at retailing our interactive services through digital kiosks and the Internet. I am building an entrepreneurial group by inventing new business models and re-inventing old business models. My vision for People Interactive is timeless, ethical, critical and imperative.”
Mittal is currently building new business models for People Interactive, People Infocom (through its brands Mauj and 7007), People Pictures (for film production), Purple Media (for TV production) and PEP Management (for event management). “We are in the process of creating original formats for TV as I do not believe in buying formats from international players. I think India has a lot of creativity that we can use to build interesting and original formats,” he added.
Speaking on PI and its role in the current Internet scenario in India, Mittal said, “As new media is growing slowly in India, it is still too early to talk about PI’s definite plans in the coming year. However, new media has a lot of potential and we are consolidating and gaining significant momentum in all our businesses under PI. Meanwhile, we are concentrating on specialising in each of our business segments like we did through Shaadi.com for individuals and Shaadi Point for parents.”
To further strengthen People Infocom, Mittal plans to make mobile VAS easy to use as the complexity in using VAS currently is the key deterrent in the industry’s growth. Currently, People Pictures is also developing two films based in India.
Commenting on Internet’s growth in India, Mittal said, “It is only a matter of time before the Internet gets as big in India as it is in the West. Internet provides education, information, communication and entertainment. All these are very significant in the Indian psyche, except for maybe information, as we are not an analytical nation. The price points for Internet need to be simplified and this can be effectively tackled by forward looking broadband companies.”
As the Chairman of Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI), Mittal plays an active role in developing the telecom and Internet industry. “India has had a proactive telecom policy, but we have not been very proactive with the Internet. IAMAI is getting the ministry involved for Internet’s growth in India and we would ideally like the Internet in India to be tax free for at least two years.”
Mittal added, “Internet in our country needs to get more corporate friendly and laws need to be streamlined so that we can avoid repeating incidents like what happened with Avnish Bajaj. Entrepreneurs who are adding so much value to the Internet need to be protected.”
People Interactive is going from strength to strength due to what Anupam Mittal calls ‘a mix of inspiration, perspiration and fortune’. Mittal said, “In our business, speed is critical. The challenge and opportunities to be successful in any business lie in the ability to learn faster than competition.”