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Computer science graduates should become internet entrepreneurs: Ajit Balakrishnan

Ajit Balakrishnan, chairman and CEO of Rediff.com, has appealed the computer science graduates in India to set themselves as an internet entrepreneur. Speaking at the 4th India Digital Summit organized by Internet and Mobile Association of India on 3rd and 4th December 2009 in Mumbai, Balakrishnan pointed out that while globally successful internet companies are set up by computer science graduates, in India most of the internet companies are started by management graduates.

Ajit Balakrishnan, chairman and CEO of Rediff.com, has appealed the computer science graduates in India to set themselves as an internet entrepreneur. Speaking at the 4th India Digital Summit organized by Internet and Mobile Association of India on 3rd and 4th December 2009 in Mumbai, Balakrishnan pointed out that while globally successful internet companies are set up by computer science graduates, in India most of the internet companies are started by management graduates.

Balakrishnan also said that while entrepreneurs in India complain about less VCs available to them, VCs complain about the lack of enough entrepreneurs in the country. He further pointed out that the Indian internet industry’s revenue realization is less than 10 per cent of countries which have similar internet user base. According to Balakrishnan these are the three paradoxes which need to be resolved before India can create ten internet companies as a one billion Dollar company.

Speaking at the same event, Ambareesh Murthy, vice chairman, IAMAI and country manager, eBay India, described customer centricity as the key to internet growth. “We as, internet players, have to carefully look at the customer’s interest in order to ensure more widespread use of the medium. This could be achieved through a better, easy and secured consumer experience,” Murthy said.

Arun Tadanki, managing director, Yahoo India, said, “Online is no more a new medium for Indian advertisers. The number of online users has substantially outpaced the number of print readers and we need to reach out to advertisers in order to make them aware of the usefulness of this medium.” Subho Ray, president, IAMAI, added, “With more than 50 million internet users we need to come up with the innovative ideas to increase the depth of user engagement, in order to create the successful business models.”

Sharing his experience of interacting with 1.75 lakh school students who use internet, Rakshit Tandon, special police officer, UP Police, mentioned that, “The lack of awareness of some common tips of internet usage is limiting the overall user experience on internet.” Tandon further said that more than half of the school students have had some internet related complaints or some bad experience regarding threat to their data, identity etc.

Kit Desai, strategic commercial director, EMEA/Asia, AdTech, suggested that there is a strong need to establish standards and guidelines for reporting outcomes; and bringing in more accountability in order to expand the online media business in India.

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