India and the Internet:SimplyMarry.com

What prompted you to enter the internet media space, and what qualities do you think made you succeed in it.

I just loved the internet since I started using it, somehow I always felt this is the medium for me. I created a portal long time back and then joined an internet firm. The best thing about the medium is that the product, marketing, content and sales are close-knit than in any other medium. Another great part of it being it’s flexibility, you can create lot of designs of experiments at almost zero cost, and implied risk.

Whatever little success I have had is because of my passion for the field, which has given me a sound understanding of behaviour of web consumption. I think consumer behaviour is the key here, which has to driven by great data interpretation skills, which is basically the level of understanding of the medium.

What’s your most challenging project ever (anonmous details)

My most challenging project has been the C2C engine success challenge. This is a case of concurrent profiles, threshold traffic, registered traffic, returning traffic and overall site engagement metrics. Now this is tough t build and tough to break as well, still very tough to build. The returning traffic is a component of current traffic, which makes it a chicken and egg story in C2C domain. This is the toughest part, the “engagement metrics” forecasting is the key, and you can never be precise on this, the engine needs to be fueled on scientific data analysis, industry trends, consumer research and believe it or not, lot of heuristics. And if you go wrong, you can waste millions of dollars for

stakeholders. Luckily for me, I did well in my current assignment, being business head for Simplymarry.com, a C2C matchmaking engine in India.

What advice would you give to some one fresh from college who is trying to take to make a career in internet marketing

Have passion for internet, the growth, the challenge and the money is here for you. The best of all, you do not need any great formal qualification, just the passion and a decent IQ will pull you through.

What challenges and opportunities do you see in Internet in India in next one year ? and in next five years?

The internet connections(and the speed), is the biggest challenge, with only 40 million connections, we are still behind. The growth rate is close to 35%, which is good but not very exciting. I think PC penetration is another issue, which needs to be addressed. The key here lies with government, broadband internet providers and PC manufacturers. But unfortunately things are slow, as compare to what we saw in China. I think in long term the challenge is to leverage internet connectivity into strong business models. The e-commerce, online stores, local fulfillment(click + brick) models need to be in vogue. Another thing is convergence of hardware in terms of mobile and PC, and server based delivery. Just like Japan, we can be the next big nation on GPRS and other ways of connectivity on mobile.

Whats the most admired company in your opinion in Internet in India and in the World and what reasons do you think makes it so..

The company I admire the most from India in internet space is Rediff.com. They have kept the business honest and competitive, I appreciate their courage on coming our with features purely with Indian audience in mind. They have done their basics right and somehow come out as good service providers for the Indian consumers.

Biography

Sandeep Amar has an overall corporate experience of over 11 years in Online media, Print media, broadcasting and Financial domain in India. Sandeep is an MBA from FMS, Delhi, and graduate from Hansraj College, Delhi University,India. He is also a black belt in six sigma. Sandeep is co-author of a book on quantitative techniques by the name "Crack the CAT". Sandeep Amar leads the matchmaking portal simplymarry.com, a Times Group company in India. HPrior to this he worked with Citigroup in India as Assistant Vice President – E-Business, here he was taking care of Internet Marketing, Lead Management Systems, Lead fulfillment and the portal of Citifinancial in India.He also served as Asst. Vice President – Marketing in ZEE Telefilms and as Manager – Brand and Business, for economictimes.com.

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