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Targeting the NRIs

By , agencyfaqs! | In | October 21, 2000
As surveys show that as many as 70 per cent surfers at India-centric portals are NRIs, companies are gearing up to provide segment-specific services

Sabil Francis
agencyfaqs!
NEW DELHI, October 21

Many Indians surf. To keep in touch with India.
Some companies have spotted a market opportunity in that. RightServe is creating databanks of NRIs, and Indiataj.com, an India-centric portal, has an "Indian Roots" section for NRIs who want future generations to be familiar with them.

Targeting NRIs makes good marketing sense. A survey conducted by industry watcher Indian Industry Information Research and Analysis (INFAC) in February 2000 showed that general interest and business sites drew maximum traffic on the Net. Seventy per cent of such traffic was from NRIs.

So how does it work?

RightServe makes custom-built solutions to serve its clients. For example, one of the them, XM builders, a prominent real estate developer in south India, asked RightServe to draw up an Internet advertising plan in the third quarter of this year. The target audience was NRIs based in the Middle East, U.K., USA, Singapore, Hong Kong and Australia. XM believed in the reach of the Net. "They saw the Net as a viable media vehicle which cut costs, targeted clusters of audience or communities, prevented wastage and banner burnout and in the end, improved returns on investment," says Sanjeev Gadre, business manager, Hughes Software Systems, who helped create RightServe.

RightServe was then able to successfully market XM builders, based on the "silos" that it had of the target audience. The cost effectiveness and superior targeting of Internet advertising also helped.

Then there is the future.

Every year countless Americans fly to Europe and pore over long forgotten maps trying to trace the ancestor who made it to America, perhaps cramped in the hold of a rickety ship. Indiataj is confident that Indian Americans will be doing the same generations from now. Except that they will log on to the Net to trace the family tree. The portal enables Indians to create online digital biographies, including family trees, with family photo albums and memorabilia converted into museum quality graphics.

Users on this portal can even leave messages, photographs and wills for their progeny that can be retrieved from the site generations later. "It's extremely popular," quips Sunita Vohra, managing director, Indiataj.

And for those Indians who miss their sleepy villages amid the glittering lights of New York, the site can tell them the name of the movie playing at the local theatre. Early this month, the site became accessible through WAP-enabled mobile phones. Now mobile users with wireless devices can easily access the site's extensive section on travel and tourism. "If you want to know which movie has been released in which city and where it is running, well, you just have to press a few buttons on your WAP cell phone to figure it all out," says Vohra.

Asia is rising. Even global software major Microsoft had its strongest growth in Asia this year, where revenue rose 19 per cent, to $ 708 million. The company said that much of the growth reflected language-specific versions of Office 2000 and its corporate NT and Windows 2000 operating systems. It could be the shape of the future.

And in the year 2100 an Indian-American might log on to find out about his great-great grandfather, the young software engineer who, armed with a software degree from NIIT in the year 2000 landed in an ancient supersonic jet at the long-closed John F. Kennedy airport.

That is, if Indiataj is still around.

© 2000 agencyfaqs!