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Some of the Indian online businesses that became the industry’s favourites in 2009

by Satrajit Sen

In an attempt to find out which new websites or online business models were able to attract notice of the Indian internet industry stalwarts in the year 2009, AlooTechie talked to some of the industry leaders to know their opinions on the same.

by Satrajit Sen

In an attempt to find out which new websites or online business models were able to attract notice of the Indian internet industry stalwarts in the year 2009, AlooTechie talked to some of the industry leaders to know their opinions on the same.

Deep Kalra, founder and CEO, MakeMyTrip.com, said that the emergence of an ecommerce startup for books, named Flipkart.com has been the most noteworthy in 2009. According to Kalra, the site has got an excellent inventory of books, is user-friendly and intuitive and the system is backed up by reliable delivery. “Finally a non-travel ecommerce website in India that we can be proud of,” Kalra added.

Faisal I Farooqui, founder and CEO, MouthShut.com said that it is difficult to point out one website launch that can be marked as noteworthy, as in the Web 2.0 environment, it takes time for a website to evolve as a service.

“Twitter came into notice in 2009 but it was launched in 2007. So, it took two years to gain momentum. In a same way, MouthShut.com was launched in 2001 and people came to know about it in a large scale at around 2004. Hence, it is difficult to point out one newly launched website that could become noteworthy in the near future. However, in 2009, the already established web businesses like MakeMyTrip.com, Shaadi.com and if you allow me to be modest, MouthShut.com have gained further momentum,” said Farooqui.

According to Dinesh Agarwal, founder and CEO, IndiaMart.com, in India, the emergence of free consumer classified sites like ClickIndia, OLX and Quikr have finally got their models right and have caught up well this year. “Though Craigslist has been popular in US both in free and paid modes, older Indian startups who had followed a similar model have struggled for the last three-four years without much success. It’s only after ClickIndia had shown the way in the last one year, new launches like OLX and Quikr are now cultivating this category of business for internet consumers,” added Agarwal.

Dinesh Agarwal also pointed out that PubMatic which helps in optimizing the ad network revenue for a lot of online publishers is likely to help entrepreneurship in the same way as Google AdSense has been helping. He further said that IndiaMart’s initiative to turn a long followed business model of paid tender notification service upside-down to a free ad supported model is also noteworthy as it will help a lot of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to use this medium more frequently.

Sanjay Trehan, head, MSN India, felt that the year 2009 did not see any spectacular new product launches or releases in the digital space. “In that way, it could be called a year of consolidation,” Trehan said, adding, “India pedals on to the illegal download bandwagon, emerging as the fourth largest downloader of pirated real media content in the world. I would look at the initial success of video ad networks like Vdopia and Jivox as good trends.” Trehan further said that the online initiative launched by the Income Tax Department of the Government of India needs to be given credit for enabling us to pay our taxes online and see tax credits in our accounts online.

According to Murugavel Janakiraman, founder and CEO, Consim Info (formerly BharatMatrimony group), his company’s initiative of launching over 300 matrimony sites (CommunityMatrimony.com) has to be the biggest thing happening in the online industry in 2009. “I don’t think any other company in the world running this many number of commercial sites under single entity,” Janakiraman said.

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