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Bridging the digital divide in India - An idea

I discovered Sramana Mitra's blog recently. She has accomplished a lot at a very young age. People with similar educational backgrounds in India end up working in MNCs or Public Sector at high salaries, where as, the enabling environment in the US has helped her become a serail entrepreneur and Strategy Consultant.

After reading Sramana's Concept Arbitrage series of blog posts, and a few articles on her site, I started thinking about an idea for bridging the digital divide. Nothing really new. It is about convergence of mobile and television, where in one can use the mobile phone as the CPU, the TV set as a monitor, and use a key board and mouse as well if required.

Most of our rural areas (in India) are witnessing the mobile revolution faster than the PC revolution.In fact, according to some industry reports, non-voice traffic (music and picture downloads) is many times higher than expected, in India's rural areas. And with technologies like System-in-Package (SiP) being used in models like Samsung D600, the convergence I am talking about is feasible. We need to work out the economics of it, though I am sure that it would prove to be cheaper and faster than providing computers to the villagers.

I have posted my idea as a query on Sramana's blog site. Lets see what she says.

Comments

Amit said…
Kumar, I saw your post on Sramana Mitra's blog. It said:

"Coming to the trends, yes, there is not only a clear shortage of seed stage investors, the budding /potential entrepreneurs also lack awareness about ‘who the investors are and how to reach them’. Another problem:There is a perception that VCs are accessible to IIT/IIM graduates alone. Most of the entrepreneurs seem to be NRIs who have returned to India (and thus have some seed capital of their own to invest). Some of the Indian IT biggies like TCS, Infy etc., have literally hundreds of associates with entreprenural skills and ideas, but they are content to use the talent to sell IT services outsourcing. They could simply use the large cash chest/s and incubate good ideas. They don’t seem to have the inclination to upset the status quo."

Did you do some research to arrive at this? I would be happy if you could share some insight on this. I am at amitdce at gmail dot com
Kumar Narasimha said…
Amit,

I have been reading up on the VC scene in India, esp Bangalore for the past 6 months or so.I currently work for one of the IT biggies mentioned in my post, and so, I know about the thought processes of these organizations.If you have any specific questions, please let me know.
Cheers,
Kumar

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