Thursday, November 19, 2009

Seeking an idea for change and partners to join

Very true....
Seeking such an idea that will impact and change the lives of those impoverished millions in my country. I am trying to organize my ideas along with acquiring feedback from vast pool of like-minded socially driven, techno-entrepreneurs with keen interest in market exploration.

It is said that information empowers and can bring in change.
In India, empowerment revolution started out in 1992 during Congress rule with Dr.Manmohan Singh at helm of Finance Ministry. Although, opening up industrial-sector to private players was a desperate act to save India's coffers from going zilch, it acted as a blessing in disguise. Entry of new players in the market guaranteed that government-run bureaucratic organizations are sidelined (slacky baaboos ..they deserved it). But the best thing that these new players brought in was freshness - freshness of thoughts, freshness of perspective and fresh was like a whiff of fresh-brewed coffee that lingers in your senses for long time (becoming poetic here...btw, I hate coffee, but love its smell).....
These ideas were targeted towards specific needs of Indian customers and these needs were being fulfilled in the most unorthodox manner. With limited financial resources at his hand, Indian customer has never made it to the list of top-10 favorite customers of multinational companies. India's major woe, its ever-increasing population, became main reason for these multi-cos to set-up their shops in India. In burgeoning population of India, they saw immense potential for quick expansion. One of the major sectors that benefited from open-market phenomena was Information Technology sector. With rapid strides made in the expansion of infrastructure for IT and Telecom, India has now become a major market for technological products and services. Urban customer has been lured now the spotlight is on that guy from farm and rural areas, which still remains untapped but has an immense potential.

What enabled this change? Customer enlightenment through tools for information. Information was always there, but its access was a prerogative of a limited few. Coming from a middle class family and from a small town in Himachal, one of the many changes that I have observed are listed below:
- I graduated from engineering college in 2002. Till then I did not have any cell-phone. Had to wait in line at STD booths on chilly nights in winter....haaaa that seems like an eternity now....
- My younger sister wrapped-up her undergrad degree in 2005. She owned a cell-phone since 2003, her first year of undergrad.
- My first younger cousin wrapped-up his undergrad degree in 2007. He owned a cell-phone since he was in his Senior Secondary school.
- My second cousin is in Senior Secondary school and he owns a cell-phone since high school.
- My niece will be in 7th Standard, and I am sure that she will have a cell-phone before she finishes her high school and will move to iphone soon.

In case of my cousins and my sister, they were all staying away from their family. Although, I stayed away from my home-town during my undergrad, I could not afford a cell-phone because it was not financially viable for me at that time. It is the cost of technology that drives the penetration of technology in India and other cost-sensitive markets and this trend will continue in time to come.

Idea time!!!
I am analyzing market gaps in Indian market primarily and in US (secondary). Both the markets are diametrically opposite to each other, but I believe that low-cost and acceptable quality will sell anywhere in the world.

For India, I am striving to drive for some ideas in following areas:
- Cell-phone driven infrastructure/health/education/agricultural services.
- Web-based services to ease the life of urbanites with access to web-technology.

For US:
- Web-based/ Mobile-based/ Location based

Hence, I am looking for some like-minded folks to jump-in and join the entrepreneurial band-wagon....

For my next blog, I will try to crunch in some numbers related to cell-phone penetration in India. Also, I will try to search and list some of the innovative services and techno-products targeted towards Indian customer.

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