The growth of Chinese internet companies shows that India too will see the rise of internet businesses. The key the Economist says is
- In the West, internet companies replaced traditional companies offering the same service. But in China (and I would argue this is applicable in India too), they are addressing un-addressed markets - so it will be easier to grow since the consumer is comparing the service with not having the service at all.
- Broadband has reached home before organized brick and mortar retailers reach near their home.
You can read the Economist China internet story at http://www.economist.com/node/21524821
I postulate that the same thing will happen in India too. We will see the rise of several internet/mobile commerce companies in India. One additional Indian dynamic that will help the growth of Indian internet/mobile commerce companies is that India has extremely poor transport infrastructure. Owing to which a lot of people will prefer to shop from home. Some internet services that are currently not available/fully available in India and could serve as a huge business opportunity to entrepreneurs ...
-web search in non-English languages
-mobile phone based search in non-English languages
-an online book store + reader combination. Infibeam has a good reader but they do not have the range of titles and they do not carry enough Indian language titles.
- a text book store - for kids to buy text books.
-a good online music store - where do i go to buy songs and download onto a player. I doubt if everyone wants pirated mp3's on USB sticks. I suspect there are several people who will pay for good quality music downloads that plays well on a good music player. Apple iTunes does not have enough Indian content.
-an English language teaching place integrating internet + mobile + plain old land line phones
- an online counselling business - using internet + mobile + call center for advising kids on which school/college/course to study and how to get internships.
- an online store to buy consumer electronics - with the range of electronics available the e-zones and chromas never carry all the stuff. Ideal for an online retailer.
- i would argue that shoes will work too - just like the american company that amazon acquired some time ago - cant remember their name.