Guest Post by Salman Munir
Attack of the India Dot Com
IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m not sure about other cities, but in Lahore I have came across 2 huge billboards of Shaadi.com, the mega famous Indian matrimonial website. The board, although with Indian Models, proudly mentions Ã¢â‚¬Å“Now in PakistanÃ¢â‚¬Â with some Million member figure. They give info of their presence in Karachi with a local office. But if they are truly replicating their model, I guess we would see some franchise offices in Lahore and other parts of Country for sure. IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve seen their paper ad too (IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m sure it was Dawn) but wasnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t able to save it for scan and share here. Their website too is pretty welcoming to Pakistan now, must be detecting my IP.
Last week, I received calls from Monster Gulf and the star Indian job board Naukri.com, both operating in India inviting me to get an account with them. Call it co-incidence but it truly seems like finally we are under the Dot Com magnifying glass.
So what it meansÃ¢â‚¬Â¦.
I think itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s good news for the local Dot Com industry. With competition comes maturity and attitude to survive and fight back. Companies like Monster donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t enter market without research. The agent who was conversing with me, knew about recent opportunities my recruitment company has in the GCC region and places we have advertised. NaukriÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s call was also pretty decent.
One thing, which we (PakistaniÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s) still have to come across, is a decent local web mail account that we are proud of carrying rather than the usual hotmail, gmail or yahoo. Due to my profession, I come across many Indian national CVs and boy they are damn sure in one department, their email has to be rediff or something ending with Ã¢â‚¬Å“inÃ¢â‚¬Â. We missed that opportunity!
The community at G&W is pretty much open to Dot Com and most of us must have ordered a book or some gadget from the local online stores like shophive.com. But, there is a huge population out there who considers e-commerce a far off American dream kind of thing, definitely not for Pakistan. Rather, they think it must be a scam or a new MLM scheme to lure naÃƒÂ¯ve customers into a trap. Someone has to start exploring the idea of educating the local audience about the advantages. There should be some body checking the validity of their legitimacy and letting the customer be at ease while ordering.
Summarizing it all, I think its interesting time for the local Dot Com industry. Lets see besides Shahrukh, Aishwariya and other Indian delights, what the India Dot Com brings out to us. Stay tuned!Ã‚Â