First Indian body of portals eyes 100 M users by 2007
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First Indian body of portals eyes 100 M users by 2007

By SiliconIndia   |   Friday, 25 June 2004, 07:00 Hrs
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MUMBAI: In a first ever move towards strengthening online traffic and business realisation, key Internet portals – HindustanTimes.com, Indiatimes.com, MSN.co.in, Rediff.com, Sify.com, Yahoo.co.in and the online media agency Mediaturf - came together on Thursday to announces the formal launch of Internet & Online Association.

IOA, the strategic alliance between the leaders -- and often competitors -- in the Internet community was necessitated in order to enable the members partake a larger share in a burgeoning economy.

The non-profit organisation, which was set up in January 2004, will aim to give maximum leverage to expanding and communicating the InternetÂ’s true potential for business and individuals.

IOA chairman and Sify.com's VV Kannan said: “As an industry we depend on advertising and if we can achieve a 100 million Indians on the Net, then a lot of e-commerce, online services like health, education, banking and all can be foreseen.”

“More and more marketers are using the Internet and we see the potential for a Rs 100 crore online advertising business in the next 12 months. With the increase in penetration, this can grow to a few hundred in the next two-three years,” he added.

Said IOA president Preeti Desai: "The IOA aims to target 100 million users by 2007 with the inherent objective to empower Indians by setting up standards that encourage transparency, protect privacy and a healthy online environment thereby resulting to gain consumer confidence.”

“Internet economy is unlike any traditional economy. It is a collaborative economy, which is more open, more accountable, has a higher level of delivery with less costs and therefore it is a very empowering medium,” said HindustanTimes.com CEO Sanjay Trehan.

Laying emphasis on the relevance of the Net, particularly for India, Trehan said, “There is the need to evangelise not only the consumers, but also the advertising industry and for the purpose, a process of liaison with the Government is critical to our operation. Therefore the role of IOA is very broad-based.”

“Internet literacy is the future of India and in order to reach the masses, we needed a platform and therefore the formation of IOA. We need to come together to collaborate with individual portals to create a strong online market in India,” said Kannan.

Besides Kannan as chairman, IOA will have Yahoo.co.in's Neville Taraporewalla and Mediaturf's Ramani as joint vice-chairmen. Indiatimes.com's Upen Rai will be secretary while Rediff.com's Aninda Shome will be the treasurer of the association.

IOA has outlined a six-fold strategy to achieve 100 million Internet users. The association intends to: mass-communicating the time and cost savings generated by using the Net; delivering best in-class research, strategic inputs to the industry and its shareholders; adopt global standards and guidelines to increase customer confidence and marketing and promoting the industry by white papers, organising events and media campaigns.

It also intends to develop educational material to raise the level of knowledge among members and users and partner with the Government and trade bodies to inform and shape policies and legislation that affect the industry.



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