Twitter mania! Indian CEOs bet on it to build brands

By Sikta Samantaray   |   Thursday, 26 November 2009, 09:38 Hrs   |    4 Comments
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Twitter mania! Indian CEOs bet on it to build brands
Bangalore: "5:32 PM Nov 9th - Which version are you using? Please try with version

11:02 AM Nov 12th - Yeah, this one is the best version so far.

7:55 PM Nov 12th - Don't forget to upgrade to v lots of fixes in it. :).

10:20 PM Nov 14th - Go to configuration -> updates and click on check for updates button.

1:34 PM Nov 15th- Open Call Graph Browser from toolbar and go to configuration."

These thoughts, which move seamlessly from uncertainty to strategic thinking in just under 100 words, are the tweets of Rajiv Poddar, Founder of Call Graph, who is trying to make his followers on Twitter, to understand the new plugin for the transcription tool of his company.

Poddar is not alone. The use of 140 characters or about 25 words, which make a 'tweet' is now gaining a major ground among the Indian technology leaders. Top honchos like Infosys CEO Kris Gopalakrishnan, Aricent's CEO Sudip Nandy and Piramal Group's Director-Strategic Alliances and Communications Swati Piramal are few names, who have taken to this latest trend. It is a tool which is helping the CEOs to hear what their customers say about their brand.

Bhupendra Khanal, CEO, InRev System says, "It was virtually impossible to make a brand of my own after starting the company in a short time. Product building, serving clients and earning revenue all take time. But thanks to Twitter, it is not so anymore. I twitted a few times on what would people like to see in economic reporting portal, F-Cube, and in 10 minutes got 10 replies. Wow! We started working on providing those facilities. Secondly, I asked for suggestions on InRev TwitIn, a Twitter account management service, and got 21 suggestions in a day. We worked on those lines and brought the service. It instantly became a hit and surprised everyone including ourselves."

With this mass text-messaging service through Twitter, India is now counted as a third-biggest "follower" with 1.4 million users (Facebook has around eight million users while Orkut has around 16 million users), and corporate leaders are embracing it with gusto. To expand their business and reach out to the target market, these chieftains prefer Twitter over other social networking sites. Vishal Borker, CEO of NextBit Computing, who has been using Twitter for over a year, says, "Twitter is more suited for the purposes of business than other networking sites. While, Twitter, Facebook, Orkut and all social networks are poised to be great marketing tools, Twitter has definite advantages when it comes to getting your message across to a serious bunch of people."

Holding onto similar convictions is Pulkit Gaur, the Founder and CTO of Gridbots Technologies, who says, "I personally think that Twitter is one of the best tools for viral marketing and reaching out to people. On Facebook or Orkut, there are limited visitors so it is good for social networking, whereas there is no limit of traffic on twitter account as any news item can become viral, and this makes twitter a good app for business networking."

Besides promoting their applications, few entrepreneurs also love to discuss about technology or tools of other companies, which they think, can be useful for their followers. "Flash Professional CS5 will enable you to build applications for iPhone. Accenture Teams with P&G to Transform P&G Web Technology Infrastructure and Digital Marketing Capability," tweets Sujal Patel, Founder, President and CEO of Isilon Systems.

The 'tweets' have been a major discussion zone not only for entrepreneurs, but also for major IT companies like TCS and Infosys Technologies, who are on twitter. And, so are the politicians like the Minister of State for External Affairs Shashi Tharoor who courted controversy over his 'cattle class' remarks on Twitter, but still has nearly 3,50,000 followers (the highest in India). Twitter does not release the number of active users but it's estimated that there are over 50 million global tweeters currently. In comparison, Facebook has over 300 million users though it has been around for over six years.

However, it has not been a smooth expedition for Twitter. The critics have singled out Twitter as a little more than distraction. But on the on other hand, also agree that it is a "brilliant" application, and say that Twitter, like other web apps, "still has that role of breaking experience, culture into the smallest possible bits and constantly interrupting us."

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