Indian Internet dilemma!



I know each one of you is expecting an IPL post here, but I believe that you will be reading this post only if- 1. You are not watching IPL or 2. You are not watching IPL over youtube :).

It’s amazing how this internet industry has transformed and has changed many lives. No one could have ever imagined watching live cricket match (IPL is telecasted live with a 5 min delay on youtube) over internet and that too in ‘India’.

I can confidently say that Indian internet audience is quite matured now- they make friends over Facebook, converse over Twitter, watch/upload Videos, Book tickets, do Shopping and banking, review restaurants and what not?

But this post is not about matured internet audience. Audience is matured since they use matured products and 80% of such matured products (I need not to quote here) come from US or other western countries. The point I’m trying to raise here is-

Indian Internet audience is smart enough to discard off any web product which is not world class and hence Indian web companies (product based) find it extremely difficult to create a product which can live up to their expectations.

For past some days I was working on creating a new design for our product, and stumbled upon by many ideas. Many of those ideas came after looking at various other famous websites- some of them were from US, some from Israel and a few from Spain. During this process I understood that I had tremendous pressure for designing something which looks ‘classy’ and web 2.0ish, simply because consumers won’t buy anything which is less in functionality than “” or in looks than “”.
When it comes to real web development, India as a market is still amateur. We lack designers who can design another or developers who can write as effective codes as their counterparts in Silicon Valley. And I’m talking this from the point of view of a startup. We do have ‘some’ good web designers and developers but they charge huge and cater to a niche market.

So what’s the dilemma I’m talking about here?

Dilemma 1:

What I have seen lately is that so many companies and freelancers start working for Clients without having sufficient experience in the market. For e.g. Yesterday I saw a work profile which said “graduated in 2009, worked for a viral marketing company, left it and currently doing freelancing in SEO and viral marketing!” And that too when this guy’s own website has a rank of over 7 million. No offense here, but my point is- will you ever hire this guy to do SEO for your website?

Also if you want to outsource your work as a startup to some web development firm, you have loads and loads of choices. Really?Yes, you do have but don’t get too excited, as none of them will be able to do the kind of work you’re looking for! Some of them may be cheap and you will think that you can afford them, but at the end you will end up burning your pocket without getting any real value.

Dilemma 2:

Internet is not seen as a Career in India-

It’s hilarious to see college students (tier B and below) thinking of getting a Job at Oracle or Microsoft after doing part time courses in “Oracle DB” or “Visual Basic”.

And when these students pass out they are either placed at “Wipro” or “Infosys” or struggle and later join some “web development” firms. The problem lies here- Students from tier A college join likes of Oracle, tier B either join likes of “TCS” or any decent web firm and tier C or below struggles and then joins a web firm which may be running solely on the basis of a single client. It’s not that there is no good career in Web development, in fact, if you look at west many of the students from technical background choose ‘web’ as a career. Our problem lies in the course structure.

There is no subject related to ‘social media marketing’, ‘PHP’, ‘blogging’ or ‘SEO’ in our colleges, and the truth is 80% of engineers later work directly or indirectly on these platforms only.

It’s time that our education system goes for an overhaul and makes the course structure better oriented towards ‘latest’ technologies. And for those who call themselves an SEO or Social Media expert, I would suggest them to work for some startups first, take them to new heights and then work as a freelancer. What’s your take on this?

PS: All opinions are personal and I don’t intend to target any particular person or web development firm here :).

1 Comment
  1. Anuradha Manna says

    I agree with ‘Dilemma 2’ as I can personally identify with this (though the scenario is much better now than 4 years back for sure)!

    I work as an SEM professional and just trying to make people understand what I do for a living is quite a mammoth task! Explaining what Google is and how people can market/advertise their product online is difficult with the low internet penetration (atleast in the older generation of parents). Its almost as if they expect me to say that I will transition to offline marketing/advertising to have a more meaningful career!

    Rabi, in my opinion, till the education system goes for a complete overhaul, the only way to understand these ‘latest technologies’ would be to actually start working in the online marketing industry and learn about its intricacies from scratch! Burn thy fingers I say!

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