THE NEW GLOBAL WE.

Applying American Ideas to Indian Situations Experiment

Posted in Business, New, People by Harsha on April 9, 2008

This is really simple. It just does not work.

By the way, if you’re looking for any ideas with serious dotbomb potential, look at SearchMyCampus.com. How would I know? Well, I’ve had a dotbomb of my own back in the day, albeit wiping only a small portion of my family’s savings. Here are some snippets that might help:

Hello world! Our First Attempt at Blogging
Tuesday, January 8th, 2008

Brief recap: SearchMyCampus as you can see in the About Us section, is an online campus noticeboard for students across various campuses. The idea for this just happened to hit Peyush (founder and CEO) while he was wandering the streets of Montreal, Canada looking for a place to stay during his time at university (a couple of nights sleeping on a park bench with only some stray dogs for company does that to a guy).

We’re getting good feedback (coz, well, all said and done, it is a pretty brilliant idea) and some criticism too which we’re trying to incorporate in our future development

The Program Manager/CEO’s first post is just precious, as is the title for his post – “Share it and I bet you will find it!”.

Here is another quote:

It doesn’t matter who you are or where you’re from. (Wasn’t there a Backstreet Boys song that went something like that? Hmm) We’re pretty flexible about timings and hours too. What we’re looking for are people who are just as passionate about the site as we are, and committed to taking it to the next level.

The ultimate objective of SearchMyCampus.com is to enable students in colleges to mutually fulfill their needs, without the need for intermediaries.

(well, isn’t the site an intermediary in itself? And is this a business or a charity for local students, who live with their parents – yes, that’s how it is in India)

Despite your growing cynicism from reading this post, you should know that the intentions of the CEO are pure. However, just because one slept on a parkbench in cold Canada because one couldn’t quickly find a place to live (this is rhetoric because NO Canadian university worth its salt would allow an international student in harm’s way), it does not mean that the same problem exists in India.

One problem that is directly, immediately and financially worth addressing for students in India, is test preparation. Competition is rife in this space but therein lies the opportunity, right? If so many players are in the market, then it could mean that the opportunity is huge. It could also mean, and this is especially true of India where customer service concepts don’t exist (at least for Indians serving Indians) that customer needs are not being met satisfactorily, and hence you can set out to develop a better service. Think about it Peyush. “Build it and they will come” is a fool’s dream. Of course, I have been dead wrong in the past.

Quotes taken from these posts.

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2 Responses

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  1. Jennifer Lancey said, on April 9, 2008 at 1:42 pm

    Hello there. I was sent a link to your blog by a friend a while ago. I have been reading a long for a while now. Just wanted to say HI. Thanks for putting in all the hard work.

    Jennifer Lancey

  2. Vidha said, on April 9, 2008 at 2:27 pm

    Hi Harsha,

    I just read your post but I didn’t quite get why you think its a bad idea. Is it because it hasn’t been done yet in India? or because students in India live at home so they don’t need tutors or books or jobs? I’m from Delhi and the number of students that come from other cities to go to university here is pretty significant. They all need housing.

    And yes, the site is an intermediary, but because we don’t charge students, it doesn’t hurt their already meagre resources unlike property dealers and other similar middlemen.

    I’m curious though, how did you come across our website? You don’t seem to be living in India?

    And sure test preparation help is a need too, but that doesn’t mean this is a lesser need right?

    And yea he didnt actually live on a park bench, he just had trouble getting accommodation.

    Thanks for the review though:)

    Vidha


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