Thursday, March 30, 2006

Doing Business in India

As the story of the growing (some would say "Miraculous" ) economic boom in India spreads, I'm getting calls and emails from friends and associates far and wide. Everyone wants to know whats going, whats changed and if the market is too hot to enter. Ok, so even the most conservative of equity mutual funds have grown 50% year on year last 4 years. The property market has doubled in the same period. So have salaries. And there are jobs for everyone; and money for anyone who wants to set-up a business. A friend of mine raised $18 million last month; another raised $7 million. Yet another, who is a real estate developer has just purchased a 2000 acre island off Bombay and is developing that into a complex of luxury homes. A travel agent in Delhi ordered a 100 Airbus ..... and so on & on......

So how do you get in?

, read these reports from E&Y: One is suitably called Doing Business in India; and the other is about Conducting Private Equity Transactions in India. Both these reports should give you an introduction on the state of affairs here.

, fimalirise yourself with news and business headlines from India. Some good sources are: Times of India, Business Standard, MyIRIS, Google News India.

Third, start correspondence with Indian head hunters, investment bankers, your consulate and trade bodies.

Fourth, read Shantaram :)

Fifth, get out of your ac office and make a trip down here. Goto Bombay, Pune, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Delhi. It will give you a feel of the place (chaoitic) and the mood of the people. Try and time it with a trade show or conference.

Sixth, If you have time, check out Dubai & Bangkok, and you'll get a sense of the whole region and how it all plays out.

Good Luck

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Google Finance - Made in India

Google Finance is the 1st visible release from the India Dev Centre in Bangalore. Apparently created by Navneet Loiwal & A C Narendran in the 20% self time that Google gives programmers (surprising how Google credits everything to the 20% time nowdays...nothing happening during billable time :)) and developed in "record time".

If you check out the Google Jobs section, there are pages and pages of positions open in their India offices. So expect to see lots more products coming from there.

I also heard some whispers that a major rewite of parts of the Google search engine were underway at Hyderabad...keep watching this space.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Mobber - Web 2.0 Chat - site visitor to visitor

Just added Mobber to this blog, go see it at the bottom and sign-up. Mobber allows you to see who else is on this site and have a real time chat with them. Super Cool.

I love these Web 2.0 ideas, the innovations out there just blow me away. These innovations are a paradim shift in the way we communicate; and the way businesses reach out to customers. They make things so much simpler and cheaper. Awesome.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Welcome Indian SEZs with investment of $23,000 Million!

India yesterday cleared 140 Special Economic Zones with a proposed investment of $23,000 Million. Wow! This is going to drive the already super charged Indian economy into Turbo drive.

Think about it, the implications go way beyond the $23,000 million infrastructure investment:

  • This is going to create new privately run cities and industrial zones, where more than likely the administration is going to be superb.
  • Here foreigners can buy housing and set up companies Tax Free for 10 years. This is going to lead to massive migration from Europe to occupy these well run, low cost, great weather cities.
  • Indian business can move from poorly run govenment cities like Bombay & Banglore to these new private cities.
  • The investments in non infrastructure, like buildings, factories and everthing that goes into filling them up is likely to be a several times multiple of the infrastructure investment.
Yours Truly has been predicting here that India & Asia is the "new world", and these are the surest signs towards this.

Here is another related story on some of the plans of one of India's large business houses.

Harvard to open 3rd research centre in Asia

Next week Harvard opens its 3rd research centre in Asia, in Bombay. This is significant, considering it only has 1 in Europe, 1 in South America and 1 in California. Why does Asia get 3? Its booming and it's the future. These are all signs of what I have been reporting here as the huge influx towards Asia.

Read the full story here:

Friday, March 17, 2006

Asia, the new world

Another sign of the growing Asia-Asia global role, Indian & Chinese bilateral trade will exceed $20 billion in '07.

India has made huge efforts to grow relations within Asia, showing remarkable maturity in policy. Some examples:
  • Free Trade Agreement with Thailand signed last year
  • Free Trade Agreement with ASEAN to be signed by year end
  • Open Skies agreement allowing unlimted flight with South East Asian countries
All this means freer movement of people & products in the region.

What does this mean for the world? We already know that Asia is an incredibly low cost place to live and produce goods. It has great weather year round and generally provides a fabulous lifestyle. One only has to visit Bangkok, Phuket, Kula Lampur and Dubai to see the huge number of European expats who have made these places home. Soon, other Asian cities will improve their infrstructure and attract more & more expats. Did you know there are over 65,000 Americans living in India? And 3 months back I read a Business Week story that carried a survey showing that over 2 million Brits wanted to buy a home in Asia.

Yet another story carried today.

What has so far been a minor trickle is bound to become a flood. I predict that we are going to see massive migration of people from Europe to the Asian region starting now and continuing for alteast 40 years. This will make Asia the global leader in talent.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Whats the Internet India story?

As many of you now know, InternetWorldStats reported that the total no. of Internet users in India crossed 50 Million in Dec '05. Just today, PwC released a research report which estimates Internet Advertising will grow at a CAGR of 50% to increase over 7 fold from the current $22 m/pa to $170/pa by 2010.

Yet, many still still doubt this. Infact, a fellow Indian blogger has recently posted that he estimates the regular Internet users in India at around 5M.

So whats going on?

I am afraid the doomsayers are wrong and the Indian Internet story is booming. Lets not talk about household connectivity, but lets talk instead of connectivity, most of which is happening in offices. In each and every office I have been to in India, and this includes small time property agents, sharebrokers, travel agents, car garages, etc., I have seen that the staff have access to the Internet. From checking cricket scores to chatting and surfing media sites, I always find it enlightening when I sneak a peak at the monitors I'm passing by.

And like most things in India, the Internet in India is being delivered through the unorganized sector: your unfriendly neighbourhood cablewalla (cable operator). These guys get a 1 or 2 MBPS line from an Exxat or Hathway and supply 30 - 40 people at Rs. 500/month, no guarantee for uptime. Thats good enough for surfing in a country where even the power is not guaranteed 24hrs a day in most places!

Further, I have always maintained that all statistics miss out the unorganized sector in India. Take the case of flowers. By classic statistical methodology, flowers are sold through florists as bouquets or arrangement. So according to APEDA, India is one of the lowest flower consuming countries in the world. Wrong. Indians use flowers everyday, from daily puja (prayer) to women wearing it in their hair everyday. The Indian style of using flowers as compared to the West is different: In India flowers are consumed without stem, and the heads are woven together to form a haar (leis) or gajra (wrist or hair band). These haars & gajras are sold through temple shops; or delivered by vendors to peoples homes every morning; or sold on traffic signals. Net result: India has amongst the highest hectares of flower cultivation per capita of population, worldwide !

InternetWorldSats obtains it's Internet usage data from Nielsens, which uses a comprehensive methdology, including accounting for all the hardware equipment sold in a country like routers, lan cards, monitors, mice (is that plural for a computer mouse?), cable wires, mother boards, etc. Again, with most computer hardware supply in the unorganized sector in India, this is great methodology.

For those of you who are interested, you can chew over reports released by the Internet & Mobile Association in India at Don't miss the report that shows 4.6 M Indians use online banking, and please, observe their methodology before you discount it.

Welcome friends from WebmasterWorld

Now that I have added this blog's address to my profile in WebmasterWorld, many of you have emailed me. Thanks for your support and I hope that I am able to give you a good "India View". Keep those mails coming.

Those of you wondering what the above means, I am a "Senior" member on WebMasterWorld, an (influential) online forum where the dot com guys hang out. Go check it out:

Monday, March 13, 2006

Dubai ports deal

Leno: Did you hear about this, now to get even with us the United Arab Emirates … they are talking about not buying any American-made products. Oooh. Yea, we got them there too: We don't make any, they're all made in China & India

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Finding blogs using Google Blogsearch

Are you still reading the papers everyday or watching TV news channels to get your news? Well I've got news (!) for you: you're a dinosaur. They call it mass media for a reason: it's for the masses! If you want cutting edge, raw, non censored news & information, you need to read blogs on various subjects from around the world.

To search for Blogs you have to use Google's specialized Blog Search Engine:

Try some of these searches:

India Internet

Gmail Talk - the new messenger within Gmail

Bush Visits India

India Stocks

European Economy

Iran Next Steps


Reading blogs on a daily basis

Now that I have started this blog, I'd like to share with you how you can read this blog and the thousands of other blogs out there. The best tool I have found till date is Here you can set-up this page and all the content from the blogs you want to read, or any other publication for that matter. See my page above.

1st you need to sign in with your Gmail account. After that, you can add content from the Blooggers you like, for example, to add this blog click in Add Content on the top right hand corner and feed in

Another way to add to your Google page is click the "Add to Google" button you'll find on blogs like this one.

Go on now, give it a try
, its a great way to track news and niche publications. This way you will always be able to keep an eye on news that is meaningful to you.


before I settled for BombayCurry, I wanted to call this blog BombayHigh, but it was taken.
Go see for yourself whats on

Why this blog

While there are many blogs from India, and even from Mumbai (Bombay), I am yet to find one which provides a holistic perspective from Bombay on technology, youth, the Asian region and how India is shaping up in light of the dramtic awakening going on all over Asia.

So here goes......