Sify adds local colour with city portals

By , agencyfaqs! | In Advertising | January 24, 2001
Satyam Infoway has launched city-specific web sites with an eye to build communities across cities

agencyfaqs! News Bureau

Satyam Infoway is planning to go local in a big way. After introducing language channels, the company has launched city-specific web sites with an eye to build communities across cities. Beginning with four city-specific sites for Delhi, Mumbai, Calcutta and Bangalore - which were launched on January 23 - Sify will expand its network to add eight cities over the next two months. "As we see it, the future of the Net lies in personalisation and localisation," Raj Raman, vice-president,, told agencyfaqs! on the day of the launch.

He said that within a year of their launch, the seven language channels - Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Kannada, Hindi, Bangla and Gujarati - have started contributing as much as 30 per cent of the traffic to The company is hopeful that the city-specific channels would, in some time, attract an equal volume of traffic to

"That would be made possible by the depth and range of content that we would offer on each and every city on the web sites," said Sanjeev Verma, group business manager, Satyam Infoway. The company claims to have aggregated content from "various sources and databases" and has spend close 40 per cent of its total marketing investment in the last two quarters on developing the city channels.

These city-specific sites are targeted both at the residents as well as the tourists. And that will differentiate Sifycities from other city portals like cafemumbai, cafekolkata or, for that matter, the 123 series of city portals. "For city residents we will provide news on issues of interest and events as also information on how to locate doctors, hospitals or other essential services. For tourists, we will provide information like maps, hotels, shopping and travel guides," explained Verma. Across the four cities, Sifycities has 22,000 listings, which include 5,000 restaurants.

"The great thing about the medium is the ability to update it on a continuous basis. One could get similar information in a print publication, but the information can become dated by the time it reaches you. Also, one doesn't have to worry about space constraints like in a print product. So there's no limit to the volume of information we can provide," adds Raj Raman.

To popularise the city sites, Satyam Infoway plans to leverage "the expertise of HTA" and has worked out a series of below-the line activities. "We are looking at three specific ways to popularise these sites. One, we could associate ourselves entertainment; two, with culture; and three with city-specific events. The opportunity is enormous. We also plan to leverage iWays, our branded Net cafes, for this exercise," said Raman. The company hopes to pump in about 20 - 25 per cent of its marketing budget into such activities.

© 2001 agencyfaqs!