In Jan 2006, we started without freezing on the name for our site! It was only in Feb 2006, we finalized the name – Oneindia.in. Everyone loved the choice of the name then, they love it now.
It was an exciting phase for the team. The feeling of a startup is always exciting and can be scary too. It is natural to feel the butterflies in your stomach. In India, Online advertising revenues in 2006 were not very big and we were in a very specialized space – Indian languages. Advertisers were still not accustomed to advertising on language sites during that period.
We also launched our online classified site – click.in with Indian language support, the first one to do so. This was done with a futuristic view and we were sure the language users in India would need this service. We got to work with few Europeans on this initial phase and we had a good learning experience with them.
Just like any other internet venture, we too had to go through the phase of raising funds from VCs. Not always easy. None of them were buying our passion for Indian languages. None of them were sure if the Indian language space on the internet was for real. A lot of convincing had to be done. We never succeeded in that effort. This only increased our resolve to do better on our own. Thanks to the dependable team we had we marched ahead.
On the people front a lot of things changed within the organization. Youngsters started getting married (so lesser number of hours in the office, at least in the first year of their marriage!), we saw girls turning into moms (suddenly a lot more responsibility on the home front) and few hit their 40s (ahem! wonder who!).
We did go through many rough patches but always worked hard to fight those tough situations. We always wanted to achieve a lot more at work but had some financial constraints. Come early 2010 we had some good news for every member in the organization. In April 2010 we were acquired by Rajesh Jain's Netcore. The management of Netcore has worked with us on various issues in a very pro-active manner. The association of the two companies has been very fruitful. We moved to a new office space in Oct 2010 which has very good infrastructure and facilities. This will help us improve our efficiency in a big way.
Internet Penetration Glass
We would like to be serving a lot more internet users in India but our internet penetration has been still slow. We cannot be depressed with the empty part of the internet-penetration glass. We at Oneindia.in see the empty part of internet-penetration glass as an 'opportunity'. The empty part will get fuller with broadband wireless, which is expected to be operational by end of 2011 or early 2012.
India has seen a phenomenal growth in mobile penetration. Oneindia has substantial presence in the mobile space – both in the wap space and SMS space. Indic would have been consumed a lot more on mobile if it had Indian language font support. Unfortunately very few phones support Indic. No sweat, we are taking care of mobiles that don't support Indic. We launched our product on Newshunt in Sep 2010 and it has been very successful.
Indic usage in India
We are by far the only portal which has been bold to experiment Indian languages (Indic) in the digital space. Our Indic versions of cricket scorecards has been very popular amongst our readers. We believe every offering in the digital space needs to be in Indic.
When people see success one can expect to see competition arriving. Few big media houses have already announced their Indic plans. We welcome them to this awesome Indic bandwagon.
The 10th anniversary of Wikipedia is fast approaching (Jan 15, 2011). Wikipedia has been talking about the need of Indic content for some time now. We see many Wikipedians in India active in the Indic space.
Let 2011 be the year of Indic in the online space. I look forward to your continued support and guidance to grow Oneindia.in further. We would love to hear back from you on how we could improve ourselves to serve you a lot better.
With Best Wishes from the entire Oneindia.in Team,
B G Mahesh, CEO