Monday, December 10, 2007

Getting deep into India online

About 5 years ago, I was in India, looking at the IT media market for one of my clients. One of the most interesting discussions I had was with IT Nation, a VC-backed IT media start-up. They've actually branched back into print magazines, but one of the key pieces of thinking then was that an online-led approach would give them access to small metropolitan markets that were uneconomical to serve in print.

I remember this when I read this piece today on As you can see from the chart, the share of Internet use of the top 8 cities has shrunk from 77% in 2000 (when there were just 5 mn users in India) to 38% (when there are 46 million). According to this research, the 'tiny' cities with less than 500,000 inhabitants now make up 29% of India's Internet users. There are, as always, some health warnings with these numbers and I don't know how many <500,000 cities there are in India (any volunteers out there with that information?). But, it's pretty clear to me that as a B2B or technology publisher in India, you're not likely to be touching these people with print titles, let alone F2F. Online is the only way.

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