The Indian Internet and its Survivors of Change

(l-r: Dippak Khurana, Co-Founder & CEO, Vserv & VMAX; Sachin Bansal, Exec.Chairman & Co-Founder, Flipkart; Hitesh Oberoi, Co-Promoter, MD and CEO at Info Edge India Ltd.; Vinodh Bhat, Co-founder, President & Chief Strategy Officer at Saavn and Bipinpreet Singh, Founder & CEO, Mobikwik)

It’s been over 20 years since the digital revolution started in India and since then it has only disrupted every space that it has touched. Today, mobile has unleashed a massive wave of digital adoption and is enabling every possible industry to look towards digital as the way forward. However, this journey has not been an easy one.

The Indian Internet ecosystem has seen its share of ups and downs. Many businesses broke onto the scene like a wild-fire only to go out like a candle flame. However, there are shining examples of others who weathered a lot of storms and successfully navigated through the ecosystem to shape up their own industry.

It is the faces of such inspiring Indian Internet businesses that made for an esteemed group of panelists at the opening panel discussion on the ‘Emerging Challenges of Indian Internet Companies’ at the recently held IAMAI India Digital Summit 2017.

The panelists included Sachin Bansal, Exec. Chairman & Co-Founder, Flipkart; Hitesh Oberoi, Co-Promoter, MD and CEO at Info Edge India Ltd.; Vinodh Bhat, Co-founder, President & Chief Strategy Officer at Saavn and Bipinpreet Singh, Founder & CEO, Mobikwik. Their stories of weathering many storms that hit the ecosystem, innovations that shaped their industry and life-changing decisions made for a power-packed panel discussion.

Dippak Khurana, Co-Founder & CEO, Vserv & VMAX who was moderating the discussion, started off by talking about how companies such as those represented by the panelists disrupted India’s Internet economy during its early days. Describing them as Survivors of Change, Dippak asked the panelists to share their thoughts on what 2016 meant for them.

The panelists shared several interesting insights and anecdotes over the course of the discussion. Hitesh Oberoi was of the view that 2016 had served as a reality check for many and he felt that people are now getting a lot more real about what it takes to build a company, the size of the Indian market and the opportunities.

Sachin Bansal shared a similar view and said that 2016 was similar to 2012 in many ways. After 2011, a lot of funding was flowing into the ecosystem very rapidly. In 2012 there were lot of companies sold out, shut down and market started picking up 2013 onwards. 2014-15 saw scale and 2016 was the cooling off period. This is a cycle that markets go through.

Bipinpreet Singh talked about how its sheer persistence and focus on core business had helped Mobikwik fight off competition from all quarters including other wallets, banks, E-commerce companies, cab aggregators and even the government itself.

According to Vinodh Bhat, Saavn’s decision to focus data analytics is what helped them understand users better, which in turn had resulted in better business and marketing decisions.

The panelists shared many other interesting stories of how their decisions and various events shaped the journey of their company in the Indian Internet ecosystem. Watch the full video here –

 

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