Archive for the ‘India’ Category
I normally tend to ignore studies done by market research firms since they are only an imperfect indicator of the market and it becomes your best buddy only when you have to selectively quote numbers during a Powerpoint presentation. A while ago, I had seen a report on Adotas (which quoted a Business Standard piece on a study by Thomas Wiesel) that mobile advertising in India will surpass traditional online advertising in 2009. Now, that is a tall claim for anyone to make, for various reasons that can fit easily in another post.
And as usual, I had ignored the post after giving it the regular ‘raised-eyebrow-followed-by-a-smirk’ treatment. That was till Russell started posting his mobile-specific website, Mowser’s, numbers. If you look at his numbers, it is a bit of a shocker. India leads the way in page views for the month of October with 611,319 page views, followed by South Africa at 303,380.
I do not quite know how to interpret this, but it is a whopper that we are at least 2x in terms of number of mobile page views, compared to any other country. Now, there is a possibility that Russell’s numbers are skewed, but if it is true I’ll have to start tracking one more segment.
Delays at Indian airports are so routine that we have mostly accepted as a fact of life and the situation is no different either on the budget or the full fare carriers. One of the most hopeless airports in terms of delays is the one at our so-called IT capital – Bangalore. In the past six months, when I have been flying to and from the city fairly regularly, there has not been a single instance where a flight has taken off on time.
Normally, you lose about 10 – 20 minutes after the boarding is announced because of overcrowding and other infrastructure-related issues. Then you have to wait (im)patiently for the engine start, following which you wait in the slot that has been assigned to you for take off. By the time you are airborne, you are already at least 15 minutes late. Unfortunately, for me, the nightmare does not end there.
Skies above Delhi, anytime of the day or night, is like a vortex of aircrafts in their different stages of descent. Losing another 10 – 20 minutes looking down at the tangled web of lights down below is the norm these days and by the time you get out of the airport, you have comfortably lost over an hour from your scheduled arrival time. To make matters worse, these days the airport arrival board does is often not regularly updated in case of a delayed flight, which means you spend another 15 minutes trying to spot your driver who does not know you have finally arrived.
But hey, there is hope. We have now institutionalized the delays to such an extent that soon we will going get hotels in the terminals that will enable business people to conduct their meetings. In any case, the common refrain in such circumstances is usually a jab at our status as a developing and crowded nation and the conversation usually veers to how different it is in the west and other foreign countries.
Well, apparently, the affairs in the realm of air travel anywhere ain’t all that rosy as it is made out to be. This report, in the NYT, details how more than 100 domestic flights are officially late by at least 15 minutes 70 per cent or more of the time. It is so bad in some cases that they had to go to church and light a few candles, when all else failed to get some of the consistently chronically late flights to be on time. I guess we are not the only nation that turns to faith to work out matters that are meant to be covered by anything but that.
At least that’s what a report in The Hindu Business Line claims. Strangely, the body of the story does not say much, other than what is already known: the T-Online Venture Fund infusion and Intel Capital’s involvement in Jajah. In fact, the story in itself reads like a rehashed PR pitch and it is kind of crappy that you can lead with a grand headline (which is kosher is you are a blogger though!) and not follow it up in the body.
Any kind of telephony over IP is a major minefield in India and it will be chased down tooth-and-nail by both the regulators and the existing regular telephony players. The legal side of matters is also quite confusing in this regard. But this should be an interesting one to watch, since various parties have for long been trying to get even voice chat in popular instant messaging platforms shut down. The Jajah website does identify users by the originating country’s IP address and for now for unregistered users the service is available only in the landline-to-landline combo.
Smoke House Grill is not the ideal place to do gigs, so it came as a surprise to me when I heard that Ma Fazia and Woody were playing there on the 23rd. Since I could not find any of the usual suspects to tag along, I went for the gig, post couple of rounds of beer at the seriously icky Press Club and as expected found a mostly unappreciative crowd not giving too much of a damn about what was being played.
See, the problem with SHG is that it is not your average clubbing joint. It is more of a place where the rich lads, uncles and similar beings drop by to get that Manhattan feel in sadda Dilli. Mind you, there is nothing wrong with the joint (if the price point does not impale you first). SHG is by far one of the better done up restaurants in Delhi, backed up by pretty decent service and food, but it just ain’t the place for gigs.
The music, though, was mind blowing. Ma spun (contrary to my perception of her playing only mostly psy) some ambient and plenty of house (nuffink outright commercial though) and flashes of electro. At the same time Woody dazzled with his saxophone and the flute, bringing in songs with the flute and doing either side of the breakdown with his sax, embellished by a faint smattering of reverb that made it dreamy and prominent at the same time. For the faithful, this was one not to have missed and sadly most did miss it.
Last time I was the SHG, the resident DJ was playing mostly lounge and chill out tracks, but this time around, after Ma and Woody packed up, he played some spanking hard house tracks and once again, no full blown commercial on the decks! Admittedly, I’ve not been clubbing for a while now, but what is it with the gigs now playing stuff what you would have expected a Peter Rauhofer to play? But I have no complaints, keep the good stuff flowing!