by Vijay Shekhar
We all know mobile internet is now mainstream. if you count mobile as big, everything on mobile Internet will be bigger than (desktop) Internet.
In tech industry where winner takes it all, Social was one big surprise for old internet companies. All traction matrix of social surprised us all.
For social networks, the surprise was not long after. Today, mobile is eating their lunch. Mobile only messengers have become full platforms of messaging, content and all digital goods consumption.
When I met Pratyush for their first fund raise, I was sure of their business being bang in middle of great opportunity and thinking if it should be an investment or a full business for us. Today, we know that we can have the same great team building this business together at One97.
Welcome plusTXT, pioneer language messenger for India. We are thrilled to announce that Pratyush and Lohit, Lokesh and Parag are joining One97 to build a great business together. We will integrate it for a quarter and push the envelope to surprise our consumers with great innovations.
Hello World !
by Sangeetha Iyer
Rahul Saini doesn’t quite look like an arch-typical lead designer of One97. Dressed in jeans and blue shirt, he has the persona of a rockstar. Of course, a star he is… in designing just about everything in One97.
A veteran in One97 at a young age, Rahul is a “unique brand ambassador of the company” and is the one responsible for creating the brand of One97. “Though I always like to work behind the scenes, my main focus has always been to make the One97 brand more visible and visually stronger. Overtime, our designs have evolved into something hip and sophisticated.”
Rahul’s workday is anything but typical. He flashes a smile and says, “ I like to start my day with the last thing I did the previous day. But otherwise, I take things as they come and we don’t have any set routine. Sometimes we keep changing designs and sometimes it just clicks.”
Rahul is the kind of a leader who is unflappable and believes in inspiring his team to come up with original ideas. His strategy with his team is very simple – he gives them the necessary freedom and encourages them “to stay two steps ahead of competition”.
“I am very pleased that my team doesn’t copy designs and tries never-before-done things. All of us keep going back and forth in terms of drafts so that we only retain the best designs. We have an encouraging atmosphere here and we support one another even when things are not working out with someone. We are like one big family and we find success together.”
Hailing from Delhi, becoming a lead designer was a happy accident for Rahul. “I am blessed to have finally found my way into this. I had the right mentors in the early stage of my life who became my torchbearers. Since I was connected with the finest designers in India, I had to be part of the designing world.”
Without a doubt, Rahul seems totally in sync with what he has achieved for One97 and for himself. But it was his interest in mobile technology that proved to be the turning point in his career.
“Now looking back, I can say with confidence I was meant to do only this. For me, it is all about improvement and innovation. One97 as a company has provided me with the right working environment. We don’t rest until we achieve what we set out to – and that has resulted in One97 becoming the number 1 player in the mobile Internet space in India,” he says proudly but quickly adds, “At the end of the day, it is all about incubating creative ideas through trial and error. Vijay Shekar Sharma (MD of One97) is the one who pushes each one of us beyond the envelope and makes us achieve bigger things.”
With his brand-new innovation, VideoPind, he has indeed done that. As an early stage start-up incubated in One97, Rahul is the brains behind this fascinating app which has already become one of the most popular apps on the AppStore.
Talk about VideoPind and there is a sparkle of conviction in Rahul’s eyes. As he walks me through his new product, I can sense his sincerity and passion. “VideoPind intends to give its users the best videos with the finest user experience. So essentially, it acts as a filter that removes all the clutter and provides an incredible platform for browsing videos on your mobile phone.”
To say the least, Rahul’s job goes well beyond just developing new apps – he is involved in creating environmental graphics within One97 and is also responsible for all their offerings to the end user. In addition to the above, he has also initiated (and created) the iconic One97 calendar series. Since its launch four years back, the calendars have become such a roaring success that every year their numbers are increasing manifold.
When Rahul is not playing with design and technology, he is absolutely at peace rock climbing with his friends. “We are a group of people who love this sport. I think rock climbing is similar to life. One has to be aware of what is ahead or else you lose it,” he says matter-of-factly.
Apart from rock climbing, Rahul enjoys participating in everything in One97. He believes, “the culture of One97 is so vibrant and colourful just like their off-the-office events. We celebrate many things – right from the annual function and rafting trips to music events and festival days. For instance, Diwali is spectacular here, all the teams decorate their workspace as they please. Like any game, one team is chosen the winner. It all adds to the fantastic team spirit we have at One97”.
That is one of the many things that Rahul is proud about in One97. But if there is one thing that Rahul Saini doesn’t understand at all, it is mediocrity. For him, it is all about striving for excellence, setting a benchmark and attaining insurmountable heights… as a team! Connect with Rahul on Facebook
by rahul saini
Saas and Bahu serials made me sick and watching cartoon again and again was not a choice. When you have a family and limited choices on TV, all you turn to is the internet. That’s what I used to do, Facebook or some news sites were my major source of entertainment, and discovering videos were limited to some shared stuff on facebook or jumping onto Youtube to find something interesting, but it was not that easy.
There is a plethora of videos shared and uploaded eveyday, with loads of junk and low quality stuff, so finding the right one was a pain and that’s when the ticking began. When news and articles can be curated, then why can’t videos be as well. Hence, VideoPind was born, in my desperation to find good quality videos and that too on various subjects. I jumped upto Vijay seeking his view, only to find the same frustation at his end as well. Finding a common ground, we built up our debate and we soon realised that perhaps the answer could be in curation and channelization of videos available on the web. We began out first stint on the prototyping of VideoPind (Called push video that time). We started with an app on the blackberry, since we are the blackberry boys, but we soon realized that the best platform is actually iPad and iPhone – we began by building a prototype on the iPad and by the first look of it we loved it. (Don’t worry we will have a app for BB also soon!)
Giving ourselves just three months time we leaped in and then three months down the line we had a beautiful product in our hands, working for both iPhone and iPad (Android came in a little later) and we were ready to test launch it. It was finally submitted to the iTunes store and launched within a week and a month later the Android app also got live.
So here we are with the first version of the app ready to be played around with, loved, used and abused. With our primary focus on curation engine and a neat and interactive experience, we have launched this version, but what’s in store in the next version is something you must look forward to, it will really blow you away and experiencing videos will never be the same again.
Until then, enjoy what’s in store now.
Get them from here
iPad Users, click here
iPhone Users, click here
Android Users, click here
by Abhishek Rajan
In 2009, RBI had mandated additional security for online credit/debit card transactions in India. This was achieved through the introduction of 3D Secure password that was required to be registered for every credit/debit card to enable its use for online payments on ecommerce websites.
This meant that in addition to the 16-digit card number, 4 digit expiry date and 3-digit CVV number, the card holders were required to enter the additional 3d Secure password to authorize their online transactions. Users could easily register for this 3D Secure password on the website of their card issuing bank or on the websites of MasterCard and VISA.
Continue Reading →
One97’s ‘TalktoMe’ product won the ‘Digital Innovation of the Year’ in IAMAI’s Digital Awards 2010.
TalktoMe, in association with Airtel, allows customers to talk LIVE to their favorite Movie Stars/Celebrities and also listen to the LIVE Conversations while they wait for their turn to talk to the Celebrity. This service is seen as a groundbreaking product in Entertainment and Celebrity business.
There was stiff competition with over 300 nominations over various categories.
This is shaping to be an excellent end to 2010 and a great beginning for 2011. Let’s continue this momentum!
Our less than a month old baby, the One97 Mobility Fund has been able to garner media attention with ease. India’s renowned weekly business magazine, Businessworld recently commented on the efforts by One97 and other established mobile VAS companies that are giving a leg-up to young entrepreneurs wanting to fulfill their ambitions in our mobile ki duniya. Continue Reading →