Farewell to 18
The news is not exactly breaking or shocking for that matter and the hints were strewn all over the place for the past couple of weeks and this is how it goes: On the 10th of September I resigned from my post as Principal Architect with Web18, which is the online division of Network 18. It has been a very exciting and fruitful two plus years, but now it is time to move on. It was not the easiest of decisions for me to arrive at — there is a considerable amount of my effort that has gone into building of a lot of what is public now and it is a move that is pretty much against the turn of the tide — but one of the most important factors to acknowledge in such matters is dissonance and there has been a fair bit of that in my case.
Web18, of course, is headed for a new, vibrant and exciting future with a slew of amazing products that the proceeding days and months will get to see. Personally, I had to take a call to see if this is what I wanted and what turned the deal was the feeling that has been lingering within me for a while now: that my heart was no longer in it, this is not what I want to do and this is not how I want to do it. I have for most parts been a start up guy: putting systems, businesses and people in place to turn new products and organisations around and I have not felt that way for a while now.
The coming 2-5 years are going to be very critical in the internet space in India and a key factor that will determine someone’s contribution to it is to see where you place yourself in the market when the big wave hits us. In terms of products, innovation, access and scale, what we are seeing now are nothing more than the remnants from the first wave and a frenzied search for anything that will help investors realize that potential. In such a situation, being in a gargantuan company need not be the ideal positioning to ride the wave. In fact, from what I’ve seen, very few companies have the wherewithal to make that muscle work for them. In most cases the same strengths work against them as weaknesses depriving them of quick reaction times, nimbleness and other desirable features.
That leaves me with the part where I get to say where I am headed for. I will be hopping over to another media network, INX, to try my hand at building out an organisation all over again, as Head of Delivery for the online parts of the business. Of course, there are questions that will naturally arise from my choice of destination. I have the next couple of years to find answers to that, but for now, I need to give my considerably beaten up mind and body some R&R before I join the gig and that’s the only plan for the next couple of days.