Today, with ecommerce offerings and even Facebook, people in the last few years have found many strong reasons to be online. More than ecommerce, which has been an important enabler, it's the Internet access part which is really revolutionizing the businesses. A lot of that has also come from Facebook, but ecommerce is teaching people to transact online, which is really good for our business.
CIO: When we last spoke to you in 2006, you told us about launching Makaan.com and Mauj Mobile. How are you juggling between these four different businesses?
Anupam Mittal: In my life, I have met some wonderfully talented people who have helped me build strong management teams for all our businesses. They are growing really well. With the support of people like Badri Sanjeevi, President and CEO at Mauj Mobile, Aditya Verma, CEO at Makaan.com and Gourav Rakshit, CEO at Shaadi.com -- I know that I have incredibly talented people to lean on and manage all my businesses effectively. Otherwise it wouldn't have been possible to manage so many startups together. Building one company is hard enough, imagining building three or four.
When I started these companies, the growth of Internet in India was pretty diminutive, but I had faith because you never know where the next million users will come from. That's why I invested in multiple categories in the dotcom space. But if I were to start again, I would focus only on one and build on it.
CIO: The fact that you have been called the most engaging brand on Facebook, did launching Fropper.com teach you anything about social media engagement?
Anupam Mittal: For us, today's world is changing quickly. We can't just do TV campaigns anymore. The truth is people don't care about brands anymore. Instead they are interested in what the brand can do for them. People care about what their friends think of that brand, and they care about the responsibility a brand takes where social issues are concerned. So I think brand is moving away from being a product to becoming a philosophy.
So one of the lessons that we learned early on was to never try to sell our product on social media. We only use social media as an expression of our philosophy and personality and not to sell products. That takes care of itself. As soon as people realize that you're trying to sell them something, people will run away.
For us, social media is an expression of that philosophy. So if we can use social media to cultivate the philosophy or the principles what we stand for, and hopefully we can get like-minded people to like our brand - that's good for business in the long term, for our users, products, and brands. It's a win-win situation if we use it properly.
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