Looks like India.com may be another horizontal in the making, or perhaps a collection of verticals. To this end, the company appears to have hired Ramananda Sengupta, previously Chief Editor at Sify.com, as Editor in Chief. India.com is a Joint Venture between the Zee group, and Mail.com (which, incidentally, recently sold off its email business). Earlier this year, the company had announced the JV, hiring Arvindra Kanwal as CEO. We haven’t been able to get a confirmation of what the company intends to do, eventually: calls to Kanwal haven’t been picked up or returned. We’ve contacted Sengupta for comments on India.com’s strategy.
Judging by their website, India.com is currently hiring in content – both as a part of their editorial team, as well as freelance content writers, for Cricket, Education, Auto, Movies, Vernacular (Indic) Portals, as well as Autos, Technology and Gadgets. The website is also transitioning its india.com email users to a new email account, so it appears as if email will also be a part of the plan. It appears as if original content is a part of the mix, which is a strategy that Yahoo India has also adopted, but India.com could have an advantage if it gets access to content from the Zee group – Zee TV, Zee News, Zee Business, among other properties.
Strangely enough, there might be an overlap with Zee other online properties: Ayurveda, Zee News, Zee Business, Spice Zee and Zee Cric. There is also DMCL, which has been under maintenance for a while, alongwith its other properties Page3Flicks, although DMCL’s flagship property MyPopKorn is still live. Zee is now taking the joint venture route to digital – apart from the Mail.com Media JV for Internet, they also have a mobile content streaming joint venture with Geodesic.
Kanwal has been associated with India.com in the past, according to his LinkedIn profile, running four verticals – Travel, Personal Finance, Music and Shopping, as well as Mail, Chat, Message Boards, Radio etc during the heady days of 2000-2001.
P.s: If you know what India.com is up to and when it intends to launch, do drop us an anonymous tip-off.