Times Internet Relaunches iTimes.com

times-internetLast week  Times Internet re-launched iTimes.com, India’s first interest-based social network. iTimes.com enables users to create new interests or follow their favourite interests. The site has shifted its focus from general social networking towards interest networking centered around relevant topics and content. The new-release of iTimes.com is live with over 5000 interests.

Commenting on this, Satyan Gajwani, CEO, Times Internet said,”Times Internet has over 32 million visitors every month who interact with our varied content offerings. Itimes.com is oriented around building communities around the topics people care to read about. It’s an interesting proposition and we hope that it will engage users and help create and curate relevant content.”

Individuals can use it as a platform to build a following, share knowledge and to disseminate information on topics or interests. With a live leader board that crowns users as “Interest Masters, it encourages active contributions in the form of discussions, photos, videos, blogs and polls.

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List of Hosted eCommerce Platforms in India With Support for Indian Payment Gateways

eCommerce in India has seen a tremendous  growth and more and more brands/entrepreneurs are getting into the eCommerce bandwagon. The biggest challenge to start up is cost and management of technology . Not everyone wants to or can get into managing a team or spend lot of money on developing a site from scratch. The hosted model is basically a managed services model, best for anyone who wants to get started very quickly in a very less budget (paid monthly or quarterly or yearly)  , who doesn’t want to bother about technology operations, everything is managed by the platform provider. You can just focus on marketing and sales.

A hosted platform provides all  the features necessary for your online store, from Logistics support to integration of payment gateways and shipping modules at a much better cost. Specially for start-ups, who don’t have a lot of cash to throw around.

Here is a growing list of eCommere platforms in India which supports Indian Payment gateways and Logistics.





Comparison of the Hosted eCommerce Platforms in India

Hosted eCommerce Platforms Comparison

If you know more hosted platforms which supports Indian Payment gateways , do put it on the comments section and I will be happy to update it.

If you are looking to set up a eCommerce store and don’t know how to go about it ? which will be the best model ?
Get in touch with me

A list of eCommerce/Online Shopping sites in India can be found here





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Twitter Introduces Twitter Archive Feature

twitterRecently popular micro-blogging network Twitter has introduced the ‘Twitter Archive’ feature that will enable its users to keep a digital scrapbook of all their tweets. The Twitter Archive feature will make it easier for people to review all their activity on Twitter’s trend-setting messaging service.

Announcing this, the blog stated,”Today, we’re introducing the ability to download your Twitter archive, so you’ll get all your Tweets (including Retweets) going back to the beginning. Once you have your Twitter archive, you can view your Tweets by month, or search your archive to find Tweets with certain words, phrases, hashtags or @usernames. You can even engage with your old Tweets just as you would with current ones.”

Twitter users will have to go to their settings, scroll down to the bottom to check for the option to request their Twitter archive. Users have to then click the Twitter Archive option . After this, the user will receive an email with instructions on how to access the archive when it’s ready for download. For Twitter’s earliest users, the records date back to 2006 when Twitter started.

However, the option is initially rolled out to a small percentage of users whose language is set to English. Over the coming weeks and months, it will be available to all users around the world, for all the languages Twitter offers. Users can share their favorites using #TwitterArchive.

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Global Smartphone Shipments To Reach 1.37 Billion By 2017 End

smartphoneAccording to a new Analysys Mason forecast, the number of Windows Phone-powered devices shipping worldwide in 2017 will match the number of iOS units shipped by Apple in 2012.

The forecast states that though Windows Phone will grow faster than any other smartphone operating system over the next five years, growing from 11 million units in 2011 to 136 million units by 2017, the Microsoft platform will still account for only 9 percent of global smartphone shipments at the end of the forecast period, behind iOS at 23 percent. Analysys Mason further adds that, Google’s Android will account for 58 percent of all smartphones shipped worldwide by the end of 2013, but its growth will remain stagnant for the remainder of the forecast period in the absence of other platforms from which it can capture additional market share.

The firm further forecasts that in the next five years, the total smartphone connections will grow nearly threefold, reaching 3.4 billion in 2017. Smartphone shipments will grow from 700 million in 2012 (around 41.2 percent of total handset shipments) to 1.37 billion by the end of 2017 (70 percent of total shipments). Analysys Mason also believes that smartphone upgrades will drive three out of every four smartphone purchases by 2017, compared to less than half of all purchases in 2012.

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Maxus India Partners With RockeTalk To Launch Nokia’s 360 Degrees ‘Trendify’ Campaign

rocketalkMaxus India has partnered with RockeTalk, to launch Nokia’s 360 degrees ‘Trendify’ campaign as an in-app mobile media property and activity for an audience of nearly 1 Crore.

Trendify on RockeTalk aims to offer its audience, millions of videos, photos, voice and music content that are trending in India: to consume, share and further trendify. It will enable users to discover trends daily, as they are made and participate in shaping them. Unlike Twitter, where trend discovery is limited to a tweet or hash-tag, Trendify will enable users to actually create and consume multimedia around the trends, real-time. This activity is supported by daily competitions where users get to play trend-tellers, predict what will top the charts the next day and winners get recognition.

To deep integrate the concept, the ‘share’ function of RockeTalk will be rechristened as “share and trendify”. This will enhance the social experience of RockeTalk users by allowing them to ‘trendify’ content units and ‘tags’ when they share and vice-versa.

Through the ‘share and trendify’ button, more than 5 million people are expected to actively participate in trendifying videos, photos and voice content, and at least half that number actively competing for the top Trendifier prizes. Nearly one Crore Indians will be reached and will consume the Trendified streams.


Commenting on the impact of this concept, Unny Radhakrishnan, Digital Head (South Asia), Maxus India, said,”For the user, this is not a one-off competition or contest but a habit forming activity, a new way of consuming content. Besides the unprecedented scale of social reach it will provide, the campaign on RockeTalk is expected to be able to create high value daily engagement by users around Trendify and Nokia 510. These ‘engaged users’ are expected to yield over 4 million minutes of cumulative brand time, which is staggering.”

Nokia Lumia 510, positioned as the trendify phone, will have in the RockeTalkTrendify a digital surrogate space, a lateral marketing space on mobile without in-your-face advertising.

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Upcoming Event: Mobile Number Portability Forum, 11-12 February 2013, Dubai

Check out this upcoming event , Mobile Number Portability Forum, 11-12 February 2013, Dubai. Top Telecom operators in the Middle East will be attending this forum.

Mobile Number Portability , DUbai

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By 2015, 33 % Consumer Brands To Integrate Payment Into Their Branded Mobile Apps

Mobile-AppsAccording to a recent forecast by Gartner, 33 percent of consumer brands will integrate payment into their branded mobile apps by 2015. The report said that this trend will unfold so that brands can sell directly and enhance the customer experience. This trend will be more pronounced for brands with retail outlets, such as those in the fashion, food and drink, grocery and entertainment sectors.

Sandy Shen, research director at Gartner said,”Many consumer brands have launched branded apps that focus on marketing activities such as offering product information, checking loyalty points, and collecting coupons and offers. A few early adopters have integrated payment functions into their apps. Brands need to help consumers make purchasing decisions in an efficient and personalized way.” He further added, “Branded apps should be good shopping apps in the first place, and payment is only the final step before making the sale. To achieve this, they will use a combination of mobile apps, text messages and Web browsers to engage customers and increase sales. In developed markets, apps will lead the way, whereas in emerging markets text messages are likely to dominate initially.”

The report also said that consumers might prefer to use an aggregator app — a single app from which they can access multiple brands. Such apps can be online marketplace apps or specialist apps dealing with location information, promotional offers and travel. Branded companies’ apps will have to compete with these aggregator apps in terms of richness of offering and user experience. Only those that deliver compelling value and user experience will last.

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Mobile Advertising To Account For 4.4 Per Cent Of Total Global Ad Spend In 2017

mobile-adsA recent report by Berg Insight reveals that the total value of the global mobile marketing and advertising market will grow from € 3.8 billion in 2011 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 31 percent to € 19.7 billion in 2017. This will then correspond to 15.5 percent of the total online advertising market or 4.4 percent of the total global ad spend for all media.

According to the report, the mobile advertising expenditure will increase rapidly, which resonates well with the continuously increasing share of time people spend on the mobile channel at the expense of traditional media.

Rickard Andersson, Telecom Analyst, Berg Insight, said,”The unique targeting possibilities and new creative ad units suitable for mobile devices will spur mobile ad spend to increase severalfold in the medium-term.” He also added that advertisers today are keen on exploring opportunities with real-time bidding enabling automation in the ad buying process.

The report further revealed that, the mobile marketing value chain is still developing with a large number of players dedicated to different activities related to mobile advertising. Since the value chain is fragmented and the industry has not yet reached maturity, many different roles are involved.

At present, major mobile OS providers like Google and Apple already hold major market shares offering their AdMob and iAd platforms. Microsoft and Yahoo! are also in fierce competition over market shares in the mobile advertising space. Facebook has moreover made a first inroad into the mobile ad market and may surface as an important player if combining advanced user targeting with innovative mobile ad formats. There is further a wide range of specialised mobile actors. Examples include the major independent ad networks Millennial Media and InMobi, the ad exchange Smaato and the operator-centric advertising solution provider Amobee which is now part of Singtel. The mobile advertising industry continues to demonstrate a high level of acquisition activity and further consolidation is expected to bring about an ecosystem consisting of a few dominant digital advertising networks spanning all types of devices.

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PayU India Introduces Interactive Voice Response (IVR) Facility

payuPayU India, a flagship company of Naspers Group, has launched its Interactive Voice Response (IVR) facility, which will enable enterprises to accept payments from customers via telephone.  The PayU IVR facility aims at providing business owners with a cost-effective way to acquire new customers beyond the online customer base.

Commenting on this, Nitin Gupta, co-founder and country head, PayU India said,”Through our online payment gateway offering, we are already helping the merchants to reach the internet using population which is roughly around 150 million in India. However PayU’s IVR offering opens new channels for merchant’s business growth as it helps them to tap a consumer base of more than 700 million mobile and landline phone users in India.”

He added that, in implementing IVR, the telesales executive will simply inform the caller that he or she can complete their payment process via an interactive voice response feature. He further added,”After the customer’s consent, the executive connects him with PayU’s IVR payment facility. At this juncture, the call is controlled by an automated interactive voice response system.  This gives the customer, a much needed security to transact comfortably. Once the customer confirms the transaction amount and his/her phone number, he/she can proceed to enter the credit card information. The payment process gets over as soon as the customer punches in the one-time password (OTP) procured from the card issuing bank.”

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By 2015, Internet Services To Add $100 Billion To India's GDP

india-internetAccording to a recent report ‘Online and Upcoming: The Internet’s impact on India’, by Mckinsey & Company, by 2015, Internet-linked services and its penetration will generate $100 billion or 3.3 per cent to India’s gross domestic product (GDP).

The report said that Internet facilitates about six million direct and indirect jobs at present, this could grow to 22 million by 2015. However, for this to happen, India must follow an inclusive path of Internet expansion.

The report reveals that India will be second only to China in terms of citizens using the Internet by 2015. Currently India has a user base of 120 million, which is expected to grow to 370 million by 2015. China has the largest Internet user base in the world with 480 million users followed by the US with 245 million users as of 2011. By 2015 China is expected to have 583 million users, while the US is expected to have 279 million users. According to the report, the global Internet user base is expected to grow from 2,300 million users in 2011 to 2,662 million by 2015.

The report also found that while India scores well on the availability of human and financial capital, it rates poorly on Internet infrastructure, engagement, the e-commerce platform, ease of Internet entrepreneurship and the impact of e-Governance.

Anu Madgavkar, Senior Fellow, McKinsey Global Institute, said,”Low-cost, high-speed connectivity needs to be extended to semi-urban and rural India. Today, Internet penetration among India’s rural population is just one-twelfth that of the urban population.”

The report also stated that, India can achieve broad-based Internet impact by aiming for digital inclusion of nearly 40 per cent of its population to reach a user base of 500 million by 2015, rather than the likely target of 330-370 million.

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