Rewind 2016: Increased ad spends & bang-on marketing strategies help Chinese handset makers gain market share

From getting celebrities as their brand ambassadors, associating with big ticket events & allocating huge marketing spends, Chinese handset manufacturers ruled the roost this year

e4m by Sarmistha Neogy
Published: Dec 27, 2016 8:34 AM  | 8 min read
Rewind 2016: Increased ad spends & bang-on marketing strategies help Chinese handset makers gain market share

As we draw curtains on the year 2016, we take a look at Chinese manufacturers in India, who have taken a huge pie of the handset market and are posing as a big threat to the Indian mobile manufacturers. Some of their aggressive strategy plans include roping in celebrities as their brand ambassadors, associating with big ticket events, allocating huge marketing spends and competing with each other on the back of their selfie-enabled features.

According to a Counterpoint Research report, the share of Chinese brands, including Vivo, Oppo, Gionee and others in the Indian smartphone market has grown from 21 per cent during the January-March quarter to 32 per cent at the end of the September quarter. In fact, the share of these Chinese brands has doubled from 18 per cent in 2015 as compared to 9 per cent the year before. It is also estimated that the ad spends from the Chinese makers have more than doubled this year.According to media reports, these players accounted for more than 55 per cent of the total Rs 1,200 crore smartphone advertising market in India.

Commenting on this particular trend, Hitesh Gossain, Founder & CEO of Onspon.com said, “Smartphone market is a great opportunity (especially with Samsung losing its market share owing to the issues with Note) and the segment with price range below Rs 25,000 was up for grabs - and Chinese handset manufacturers have done just that. The impact has been mixed with a media mix usage strategy. For players like Gionee using high impact events like Sunburn and LeEco using IIFA - the others have been putting focus on television engagement primarily. Vivo initiated the bit by roping in as the title sponsor of IPL thereby creating a significant traction in a very limited time.”

He further added, “Celebrity usage has been fantastic and media amplification has added to it - from Ra?veer Singh, Hrithik, Sonam to Alia Bhatt - these faces have been roped with focus on a feature - speed, selfie quality, selfie flash etc - thereby creating a clear differentiator. The messaging has been cleverly crafted - and has gained traction owing to limited spending by other players in the space - thereby adding to the growth story of Chinese counterparts.”

Below are some of the strategies adopted by the Chinese handset makers which helped them to stay ahead in the highly competitive mobile market in India.

Increased ad spends & associating with big ticket events:

Vivo:

In an interview with exchange4media a month back, Vivek Zhang, CMO, Vivo Mobile informed that the brand has already spent more than Rs 350 crore as their total marketing spends this year. The brand bagged the Indian Premier League (IPL) title sponsorship for two years after replacing PepsiCo and allocated Rs 200 crore only for the IPL promotions. According to reports, the player has also spent around Rs 80-100 crore during the festive season, double of what they had spent last year. Since the primary focus of the brand is to target youngsters, they have tied up with different shows recently, like ‘Yaaron Ki Baraat’ on Zee TV, ‘Voice India’ on &TV, ‘Love School’ on MTV and ‘Indian Idol’ on Sony TV.

The brand which had a market share of 3.1 per cent in the total smartphone market at the start of this year, reportedly, has now increased to 5-6 per cent by volume and 7 per cent by value. It further has plans of capturing 10 per cent market share by 2017.

Gionee:

According to media reports, towards the start of this year, Gionee allocated around Rs 225 crore marketing budget for this year. It has also further revealed its new identity under the 'Make Smiles' initiative and has spent more than Rs 150 crore in the new branding identity.

Again during Diwali, the company announced their plans of burning around Rs 200 crore towards marketing. Last year, it had replaced Nokia as the principal sponsor for IPL cricket team Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) for a contract worth Rs 60 crore for three years. The brand currently has a 5 per cent market share in the country and it is targeting a share of 7-8 per cent this fiscal.

Oppo:

Oppo’s aggressive marketing strategy in India has been spot on with its investments on cricket – it was one of the biggest spenders in IPL -- and television entertainment which includes sponsorship on Color’s prime properties like ‘Bigg Boss’, ‘Comedy Nights’ and ‘24’. It allotted a marketing spend of Rs 140 crore, according to media reports, which even mentions its association with the International Cricket Council (ICC) as its new global partner for four years, from 2016 until 2020. Oppo has committed to pay $34 million over the next four years to ICC. The brand has gained a market share to reach 4 per cent of total smart phone share in 1Q 2016.  During the festive season, the company increased their festive spends by almost double of what they had spent last year.

Huawei:

A month back, Chinese smartphone maker Huawei started putting in a lot of money to promote their phone Honor 8, which was launched in India on October 12. The company used a 360 degree marketing plan, including full page ads in leading national dailies, occupying visible TV ad spots to featuring at prominent places in the OOH space.

According to reports, Huawei a few months back, expressed their desire of capturing 10 per cent market share in the Indian smartphone market by the end of next year, on the back of its dual-brand strategy (Huawei and Honor) and special focus on the offline retail channel. As per one Counterpoint data, the company has till now struggled in India, having just 0.5 per cent share in the first half of this calendar year, as compared to 0.9 per cent share in the same period last year.

LeEco:

LeEco started the year with a bang, where the brand was spending huge amount of money in the advertising and the marketing. During IPL this year, the brand reportedly spent around 80 crore and earmarked an annual advertising budget of Rs 400 crore. The brand also got a further boost when it partnered with 2016 Bollywood IIFA awards as the official powered-by sponsor.

However according to recent reports, the company informed that it has spent more than what it could afford this year in order to get into multiple markets in the smallest amount of time. It will thus have to not only exit the offline market in India, but also reduce on the advertising spends and axe people from the India office.

Roping in Bollywood biggies as ambassadors:

Towards the start of this year, Oppo got in Bollywood actors Hrithik Roshan and Sonam Kapoor as its brand ambassadors. The brand even signed on Yuvraj Singh, as their first sports ambassador for the cricket season. The reason being, it is of the belief that by leveraging partnership with these influencers, they will get closer to the Indian customers and spread the love of taking selfies.

During the IPL season this year, Vivo launched their television advertising campaign, for which it got on board Ranveer Singh with the belief that it will enhance the communication between the brand and the target audience. Commenting on how associating with him helped the brand, Zhang from Vivo Mobiles said, “Ranveer Singh is a great guy, the reason for choosing him as the face of our brand was that his personal spirit matches the ethos of our brand, which is filled with energy, joy and youth. He is extremely fun to work with and will always deliver his best.”

Gionee, which is the principal sponsor for team KKR during IPL, had released an advertising campaign during the tournament, talking about their new logo and the entire revamp. It has also recently got in Alia Bhatt, who features in a commercial which highlights the Gionee S6s phone which comes with a front flash.

Jostling for market in the selfie segment:

These Chinese handset makers have been increasingly focusing on the camera quality of their phones and keeping the selfie-obsessed consumers in mind; they have been innovating and introducing new features around it.

Gionee smartphones aggressively has been promoting their new Gionee S6s phone, which comes with a front flash. Alia Bhatt, the brand ambassador is shown talking about the product features in the commercial.

Vivo has recently revealed their latest phone Vivo V5, which comes with the first ever 20MP moonlight selfie glow camera. This new feature helps to take perfect selfies. It is a romantic film, featuring Ranveer Singh and the girl whom he meets in Budapest.

Oppo Mobiles has also been investing to give their consumers an unforgettable camera experience. With their ambassadors Sonam Kapoor and Hrithik Roshan who are labelled as ‘selfie-experts’, the brand through their campaigns highlights the selfie-enabled feature of the phones.

On one hand, when the made-in-China players are ruling the market, the Indian brands comprising of Micromax, Lava and Intex are losing their market share. It will however, be interesting to see, if the other Chinese handset makers can keep their momentum high and continue with their increased advertising spends in the coming year as well or will they have to go the LeEco way.

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OpenAI’s GPT-3 as news and SEO publisher in 2023: How to make the most of it

Guest Column: Saurabh Singh Kushwah, Digital Product Specialist, explains what makes OpenAI’s GPT-3 so lucrative

By Saurabh Singh Kushwah | Jan 30, 2023 4:52 PM   |   7 min read

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It's 2023 and the artificial intelligence market is scaling new heights with fiercely innovative competitors aiming to conquer the peak.

OpenAI’s GPT-3 has taken the world by storm and caught the attention of traditional technology giants Google, Microsoft, Meta and Amazon who are also vying for a piece of the AI pie with its precise, almost human-like responsive abilities.

Let’s dive a bit deeper into this emerging market to understand what makes it so lucrative:

  • There is going to be an explosion in the production and usage of AI-powered devices in the next few years. This will generate a vast amount of data that needs to be processed and analysed.
  • The potential applicationsAI are increasing at an exponential rate as the technology and its refinement evolves each day
  • The cost of AI is dropping rapidly as the market matures and moves towards a better understanding of scaling up the adoption. This makes it more accessible to small and medium-sized businesses who can use it to enhance their operations.
  • The talent pool for AI is growing immensely with increased investment in resource upskilling by both corporate as well as academic institutions.
  • Most new initiatives stepping forth in the market are powered by artificial intelligence or affiliated technology. This gives rise to the need for action from the established players in the market.

These factors aided with the addictive dependence of the general population on use of technology presents a sizable opportunity for those willing to make the most of it. .

Here enters OpenAI’s GPT-3. It is a machine learning platform that helps developers  work on AI models. GPT-3 has been designed to  provide a high level of flexibility to  developers and make it easy for them to create and deploy AI models. It is based on the open source TensorFlow platform, and is available under the Apache 2.0 licence.

OpenAI’s GPT-3 has the potential to revolutionise various industries and disciplines. And it is already being used by leading news publishing organisations in some interesting ways, a few of which are explained below:

 

Research - It can act as a resourceful tool for journalists covering data intensive planned events such as a state or general election. They can access specific data points such as the total participation of a particular constituency, its age and/or gender breakdown, details of the candidates etc. at their fingertips.

 

This eases content creation for live blog coverage with instant availability of statistical and trivial information about the background of a regularly repeated event. To illustrate an example, when a journalist is covering a live automated cricket match blog and a wicket falls, they can use GPT3 to gather relevant information about the player dismissed by the same bowler or by the same method in the past.

 

Demo link to generate few content using keywords.

ChatAI from OpenAI can generate news as per the available keywords given to them Generate Text

 

How to Approach AI-Generated Content for SEO

It is widely known  that 100% AI-generated content is not currently accepted under Google’s Webmaster Guidelines. If you use GPT-3 to write the content of your website without human review, you run the risk of receiving a manual action. (You’ll probably end up posting some degree of AI gibberish as well.)

However, using GPT-3 as a tool to create your content could be a viable way to expedite your work. It could give you inspiration for your writing and help spur ideas for how to approach a topic. You could also use it to translate dense industry jargon (like translating Legal English) into something more digestible for your writing team to work from.

Even if GPT-3 delivers you coherent, relevant copy, remember that creating a truly valuable content asset is often a group effort, with subject matter experts providing information, marketing teams layering in audience pain points and insights, and design teams helping to improve the overall experience for users.

Using AI for SEO isn’t the end-all-be-all for creating valuable content. Those insights lie outside of AI’s neural network. Can it be used as a tool to get a rough draft started or expedite your research? Surely. Will it eliminate the human element from SEO altogether? Not anytime soon.

SEO Is More Than Churning Out Content

GPT-3 is an incredibly powerful tool—there’s no denying that. But if you’re looking at GPT-3 as a way to create content and fill your site with low-value content just for keyword rankings, you’ll be fighting a losing battle.

A piece published by The Verge, A college student used GPT-3 to write fake blog posts and ended up at the top of Hacker News, shows how GPT-3-generated content can pass as human-written. Passing as human-written is a long way from SEO-optimised, which is still a long way off from being valuable to users.

To drive lasting revenue, your content needs to speak to your audience and inspire additional action.

GPT-3 will almost certainly inspire SEOs to take the easy route and publish AI-generated content with little-to-no human revision. The marketers that use this tool in tandem with a thorough editing process with an audience-first approach, however, could potentially improve their ROI by expediting the first draft of their content using GPT-3 and focusing more heavily on optimising for their audience.

Keyword research and Content Strategy -

As mentioned previously, Chat GPT is a great way to quicken up lengthy processes. One SEO process that is considerably lengthy is keyword research. By using OpenAI’s chatbot, it makes keyword research similar or related keywords and ChatGPT will churn out a list of related keywords based on the AI’s understanding of the search results. Additionally, you can also request ChatGPT to determine the competition for various keywords.

ChatGPT can be a great resource for small to medium-sized companies that have little to no experience in marketing, especially SEO. You can ask ChatGPT to provide you with a content strategy for a selected business. As you can see below the plan doesn’t provide in-depth details with a plan, however, it does provide a followable plan which can help a small business to improve its marketing and SEO needs.

 

Generating SEO Titles on demand

One of the most difficult and time-consuming parts of SEO content writing is creating the right title to address the topic issue, feature a keyword and entice the reader to click. ChatGPT can be used as an idea generator as you can ask ChatGPT to generate titles for a topic and set the tone and the keyword you want to use and within seconds you’ll have several different titles.

After this, you can take inspiration from each recommendation and make your own title or use one of the recommendations. Within seconds you’ll have various options instead of time-consuming brainstorming.

ChatGPT has the potential to make search engine optimization readily available for businesses of all shapes and sizes with little or no marketing resources, whilst making the process faster and more efficient. It can help quicken up the topic research and keyword process.

However, there’s no guarantee that the content created by ChatGPT is original and one of a kind, with over 1 million users, the AI may recycle similar or the exact same content to different users which will negatively affect the effectiveness of using the chatbot.

Although ChatGPT is a great piece of AI, we believe you still need human touch within SEO. If you have no resources but want to improve your business resources, then ChatGPT can greatly assist you. However, we recommend contacting an SEO specialist if you’re wanting to develop an in-depth, tailored SEO strategy.

 

(The views expressed here are solely those of the authors and do not in any way represent the views of exchange4media.com)

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Will bring back Trump's FB & Instagram accounts in support of 'open debate': Meta

The tech giant also said that it has defined the criteria under which it will ban profiles of public figures after receiving critical feedback from its internal review team

By exchange4media Staff | Jan 30, 2023 1:48 PM   |   2 min read

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Weeks after Donald Trump's Twitter account was reinstated, Meta announced that it will bring back the former US president's Facebook and Instagram accounts in the coming weeks.

The tech giant justified its move, stating that it's lifting the two-year-old ban on President Trump's accounts to preserve "open debate" and "free flow of ideas."

"As a general rule, we don’t want to get in the way of open, public and democratic debate on Meta’s platforms — especially in the context of elections in democratic societies like the United States. The public should be able to hear what their politicians are saying — the good, the bad and the ugly — so that they can make informed choices at the ballot box. But that does not mean there are no limits to what people can say on our platform. When there is a clear risk of real-world harm — a deliberately high bar for Meta to intervene in public discourse — we act," write Nick Clegg, President, Global Affairs, Meta in a blog post. 

Trump's Facebook and Instagram accounts were suspended following the January 6, 2021 violence at Capitol Hill.

Clegg explained that the decision was then referred to the Oversight Board -- a body comprising experts that performs independent checks on Meta's decision-making. The Board, while supporting the move, also criticised the tech firm's "open-ended nature of the suspension and the lack of clear criteria for when and whether suspended accounts will be restored."

The feedback prompted Meta to review the matter and then took a decision to impose a time-bound suspension of two years from the original date of suspension of Trump's accounts on January 7, 2021.

Meta also defined its criteria which could lead to the suspension of accounts of public figures during times of civil unrest and ongoing violence. It has also introduced a new Crisis Policy Protocol to guide its assessment of on and off-platform risks of imminent harm, wrote Clegg.

The executive also said that before lifting the ban on Trump's accounts, it would assess whether the risk to public safety has receded.

Trump will also be scrutinised for repeat violations with heightened penalties, said the platform.

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‘Monetisation of news platforms biggest challenge in digital era’

At e4m-DNPA Future of Digital Media Conference, Dr Annurag Batra, Chairman & Editor-in-Chief, Businessworld & exchange4media, spoke to CEOs on monetisation, fake news, consumer attention & much more

By exchange4media Staff | Jan 30, 2023 10:58 AM   |   3 min read

DNPA

At the e4m-DNPA Future of Digital Media Conference, a panel discussion with CEOs of top companies was held to discuss digital media and how the new generation of readers is influencing media houses and their ways of connecting with their audiences.

The panel was chaired by Dr Annurag Batra, Chairman & Editor-in-Chief, Businessworld & exchange4media. On the panel were Avinash Pandey, CEO, ABP Network; Puneet Jain, CEO, Hindustan Times; Hemant Jain, President and Business Head (Digital), Lokmat, and Sanjay Sindhwani, CEO, The Indian Express (digital).

Avinash Pandey spoke about the challenges in the digital era. “The biggest challenge today is reaching out to the consumer. When everybody has become a publisher and a broadcaster, how your authentic news reaches the consumer first, and how you monetize it best is the biggest challenge today in our industry.”

Speaking on the opportunities that the digital world has created for publishers, Puneet Jain said: “I think the biggest opportunity for our publishers’ communities is the tremendous interest and love we see from our users. All of us continue to track millions who are using our platforms to consume news on a daily basis. In fact, what we are seeing is a huge reinforcement towards credible journalism in these interesting times of a social world we are living in.”

Sanjay Sindhwani veered the discussion to the problem of fake news and how publishers and consumers together can fight it. “The opportunity is massive. But I think the cost is also massive. I think today what is happening is if the media business doesn't become viable, then we'll see a lot of fake news floating around. When you're trying to bait clicks, you try to provoke people with things, which may not be real or factual. So, I think that's the cost of it. And I think in a democracy, it's very important that people value good content and good news sources and learn to pay for it.”

Taking the discussion ahead, Hemant Jain spoke about how the short attention span of consumers is the biggest challenge for consumers today. “While monetization continues to be the lowest common denominator and the most common challenge for most news publishers across the world, I think if you keep the consumer at the centre of your entire ecosystem and the business model, there is a huge shift in consumer behaviour with regard to the attention span. So, if you look at human attention today it is the lowest. Now, how do you evolve yourself keeping the shift in consumer behaviour in terms of newer formats of news media content, which ensures that you are able to create the right connect with the consumer and thereby create a great value proposition is something which would which all of us would have to kind of today embrace as one of our bigger challenges.”

He ends his view by talking about first-party data as a big opportunity for media publishers and how they can monetise it. “The big opportunity I see is our investment of time, money and resource in building the first-party data because it's not just about collecting data, but it's about managing customer lifecycle. So, most of us complain about the lesser frequency of visitations in a month, lesser time spent and how do we increase frequency and time spent to increase a better value proposition for advertisers? Now, that's interesting, because we have to start thinking like B2C brands, where we start not only capturing consumer data, but also start serving content which is more relevant more contextual, and in the process, collect enriched data, which can be monetized or leveraged at a higher value or premium when it comes to advertising.”

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Twitter advertisers to know if ads seen by real users or bots

The platform has tied up with Integral Ad Science and DoubleVerify to ensure that the ads are seen by potential customers

By exchange4media Staff | Jan 27, 2023 11:26 AM   |   1 min read

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Twitter has decided to team up with ad verification companies Integral Ad Science and DoubleVerify to enusre that the ads are being seen by real people and not bots, media networks have reported.  

IAS officials were quoted as saying that the move was intended at giving marketers the "confidence to continue to invest in Twitter".

In another move to lure advertisers, Twitter had said end of last year that it would soon bring new controls to allow advertisers to prevent their ads from appearing above or below tweets with certain keywords.

Meanwhile, Elon Musk recently said that Twitter higher-priced subscription models will be completely free of ads.

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Recognition as a separate industry & more: All that creator economy wants from Budget 2023

Well-defined guidelines and relaxations in TDS for micro-influencers are some of the other demands of the industry

By Shantanu David | Jan 27, 2023 8:32 AM   |   5 min read

Aaj Tak becomes world's first news channel to cross 50 million subs on YouTube

The record-breaking milestone comes just three years after the channel crossed 10 million subscribers on the platform

By exchange4media Staff | Jan 25, 2023 9:50 PM   |   2 min read

aaj tak

Earlier this year, Aaj Tak became the first news channel globally to cross 50 million subscribers. Ms. Kalli Purie, Vice Chairperson, India Today Group, met Mr. Gautam Anand, Managing Director of APAC - YouTube, in Singapore to commemorate the special achievement. 
 
“Thank you so much, YouTube! This is just amazing. The team is already planning its way to 100 million so YouTube had better start designing the next button,” Ms Purie quipped to Mr Anand. “Trust has always been the foundation for audience engagement at AajTak. It’s no different with our YouTube channel, but on a much wider scale with hundreds of videos getting uploaded every day. We place equal emphasis on having new audiences discover our channel while ensuring loyal viewers revisit, and invest in figuring out what works on YouTube – whether this is a nuanced understanding of thumbnails or producing hero content frequently.” 
 
Aaj Tak started its digital journey by launching its YouTube channel in the year 2009, and started streaming news live on YouTube for the first time in 2017. The massive popularity gained by the channel subsequently led to its Diamond play button from YouTube in 2019 for crossing 10 million subscribers. Now, just three years later, Aaj Tak is the first news channel to reach 50 million subscribers on YouTube. 
 
“Constant experimentation with new formats like Shorts and investment into our Community page has really paid off, and consistently breaking stories has helped create a very loyal fanbase,” explained Ms. Purie. “Events like the Presidential Elections of 2022, Solar Eclipse and the Cricket World Cup just kept encouraging us to do better and better.”
 
YouTube has been at the forefront of India's mobile revolution, by powering the content and creator ecosystem and by propelling the massive upsurge of video streaming in the world's largest democracy. AajTak has also fast evolved its offering to meet new consumer needs, with the introduction of Shorts, and other constantly emerging insights on LIVE Streams. The channel now has a universe of committed audiences across TV, web, app and social platforms through compelling storytelling that’s tailored to individual platforms.
 

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'India will be one of the most powerful start-up ecosystems in the world'

A panel discussion at the e4m DNPA Digital Media Conference 2023 deliberated on 'Challenges before start-ups in the current digital ecosystem'

By exchange4media Staff | Jan 25, 2023 5:16 PM   |   4 min read

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India boasts one of the largest start-up ecosystems, enabling the dream of the country becoming a several-million-dollar economy. However, despite government measures to boost the start-ups – in terms of investments and profitability – there are challenges.

The topic of 'Challenges before Start-Ups in current digital ecosystem-Possibilities and Choices' was discussed during a session at the e4m DNPA Digital Media Conference 2023. The panel comprised Ajay Data, MD, Data Group of Industries; Murugavel Janakiraman, CEO, Bharat Matrimony; Ritesh Malik, Director, ADIF & Founder- Plaksha University; Rohan Verma, CEO and Executive Director, Map My India. The session was chaired by Ruhail Amin, Senior Editor, Businessworld & exchange4media.

Speaking about the challenges facing start-ups, Verma said, “Honestly, I think it is very clear that the entrepreneurial talent in India, especially in the digital space, is extremely high. I see no lack of capability. As we have said multiple times, the key challenge has been there because of monopolistic activities that have been suppressing the Indian digital ecosystem. That is the key challenge of our times and I'm pleased that some things are changing with regard to that. 

Malik presented his observations about the challenges that have cropped up in the last few years in the start-up ecosystem: “It took 125 years for Silicon Valley to become what it is. In India, we are leap-frogging the technology era. I think we are going to be one of the most intensely powerful start-up ecosystems and technology ecosystems.

Citing the success of the UPI system in India, he added: "Our mobile payment infrastructure is way ahead of developed nations. Just think of what we will do with the entire Ayushman Bharat digital health mission. We will be one of the most technology-savvy citizen programmes in the world. So the good part is, for the first time, the government is focussing. I think we are standing on a large opportunity. Having said that, technology regulation is important. Unfortunately, it is always falling behind the actual technological innovation. In my opinion, we need to develop a special ministry whose job would be to ensure that another East India Company does not happen again and that Indians are not to be taken for a ride and that our data remains ours; that we are not just a large digital democracy for other large monopoly companies to come, use, generate revenue but also to make sure that our MSME does not get squeezed.”

Singla noted, “Even while we are sitting here, we talk about start-up and start-up ecosystem, but Amar Ujala is a hyper-local newspaper and has a presence in Tier II and Tier III cities. There, education and awareness are still required. From a media perspective, there is a good amount of innovation that is still seen as a challenge. I would say that there is a lot of room for identifying the right business sustainability model.”

Speaking on the broader challenges that need to be addressed in the start-up ecosystem, Data said, “It is extremely important that all entities work together to ensure – whether it is mentoring or education or incubation centres or investments or subsidies or government support – that the frictions between things have to be reduced. And the knowledge about the availability of those resources has to be made very simpler and easy.”

Janakiraman, who joined virtually, spoke from a sectoral standpoint and touched upon the issues that need to be overcome to render a robust start-up ecosystem. He said, “Digital start-ups can significantly contribute to country growth. Today, Indian start-ups are not only limiting themselves to country boundaries but looking at global opportunities. The Internet, 15 years ago, was free and open. Anybody could set up an Internet business or a dotcom; Internet was not controlled by any organisation. Today, the shift has happened, we all know that. The majority of the traffic is happening through mobile apps. So, more than 90 per cent of the traffic happens through the two dominant players – Google and Apple. What are the implications? Today, they are not simply platform providers or access providers; today, they are the platforms as well as players. The challenge is that when the platform becomes a player, their interest changes. Because they are commercial entities and their primary objective is to make money. And because they are both platform and player, they start abusing dominance and that is not good for Indian start-ups nor Indian consumers.”

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