Start-up City Conference Feb 25th 2012 – PANEL 1

Panel1 – New Paths to Online Revenue: Journey of Internet Entrepreneurs 
C.R. Chandrasekar, CEO, FundsIndia

Adhil Shetty, Founder & CEO,

Prashant Jain, Director, CtrlS Datacenters

Ravichandran L, Founder & CEO, (Moderator)

Adhil from BankBazaar spoke first

  • 100 million internet users in India (really ? Does my mom who occasionally participates in  video chat with my niece qualify as one?)
  • What do you monetize ? Is is based on value proposition –> save time and/or save Money. In India save money seems to triumph anything else
  • Started BankBazaar.comin 2008 takes care of Credit products online
  • Invest in platform + integrate with supply chain –> key strength of
  • Lead generation for financial institution is a me too product, so choose to own the entire value chain and complete the entire transaction end to end –> so monetize what you save for Institutions!
  • Need to control supply chain, because you cannot hand over the transaction and walk-off. Financial instutions routinely screw-up paper work, so need to  control this and hence they are owning transaction end to end
  • Reconcile and collect from financial institutions is effort intensive
  • Key metric –> How many transaction per month

Next C.R. Chandrasekar of  FundsIndia spoke

  • He has prior experience of cutting fat out of 401K plans admin process, so has relevant industry experience to do this
  • Started this with Srikanth in 2008, situated in Guindy and has 25 employees.
  • handles 20000 unique customers Delhi, Bangalore, Mumbai and then Chennai are top 4 customer
  • there is a huge untapped market for online financial transaction –> only 8%  online user do financial transaction in India compared with 24% for East Asian countries
  • Models to choose from –> Charge Customer, Freemium and totally Free
  • We choose Free model, how do we make money ? Mutual funds pay us as we are highly cost efficient channel for them!
  • Trust is important and we  strive to be seen as Neutral middle man in the investment transaction ?
  • 36 Investment houses want to advertise to our customers, so we let them advertise on our newsletter
  • there was no eco-system in Chennai when we started but there is quite a bit of start-ups now
  • One thought can other online guys who are in non competing sectors cross sell

Prashant Jain,  CtrlS Datacenters Spoke next

  • Started Chennaibazar, Hyderabadbazar and other online portal
  • by 2000 there was almost 200 competitors. when they tried to innovate with a photograph of the receiving person (they had to invest in digital camera as it was expensive then), competition offered video!
  • Were finding it hard to retain customer, had a loyal customer so was able to monetize some by doing a newsletter
  • Chennaibazar is still around and it was sold again for 2.5 crores
  • now he runs a web hosting company which is largest out of India
  • If you want to invest in customer acquisition thing of the following –> Avg Revenue per customer, you make money only when they return and do second or third transaction
  • Repeat customers provide value every day
  • Freemium  hod do you tip-off customer from to paid
  • Free guys want to monetize with newsletter and email blast but it works only with engaged customer!
  • Subcriber Model is not mature in India – we have account team which is larger than sales team (as its effort intensive to reconcile and collect money!)

Overall moderate kept talking about his views which was not wrong but nothing he said struck a cord with me!

Overall I was energized by this session, the founders are working to reduce the friction and inefficiency in existing real world transactions, these will improve productivity of those related activity and make Indian economic engine grow faster. I will switch to FundsIndia soon and will use Bankbazar for my next loan application


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