dcsimg
RealTime IT News

Yahoo! Examines India Portal Idea

Megaportal Yahoo! Inc is looking to enter India with Web properties and resources, according to informed sources in the industry.

Sources indicated that Yahoo! might spin an exclusive Indian Web site and weave a net of partnerships here.

The portal giant might go in for localized versions, if business potentials are right and the market is deserving, sources maintained.

The Internet's largest and most popular portal with 40 million viewers a month, Yahoo! Inc is reportedly also in talks with Indian companies for alliances or tie-ups to source its software and back-up requirements.

Though there are no official statements in this regard from the company in question, market sources indicate a serious overture being made by Yahoo! to gain entry into India, "which is a very important market and which has been carefully monitored for some time now."

"There are several factors that are taken into consideration before entering into a new market--Internet, PC penetration, online advertising market, potential growth of Internet usage and so on," sources added. And indications are that Yahoo! is doing just that.

Currently, Yahoo serves users in India off the Yahoo! Asia site as well as through the main Yahoo! site. They do not have a stand alone site for India.

Once the alliances materialize, Yahoo! India will be part of Yahoo! Inc's 18 international Web properties outside the US.

Top sources in Indian information technology companies said talks on Yahoo! Inc's entry into India are still at a nascent stage and studies on market potential are being worked out.

"But it is very serious. Everything points to a possible entry," sources said. The sources added that among the few in the race for emerging partnerships is an IT and entertainment company headquartered in New Delhi.

It is also reported that Yahoo! chief Timothy Koogle is keen to expand Yahoo's operation in Asia as part of his plans to make his company a multimedia and e-commerce leader.

According to a leading IT entrepreneur, familiar with plans of Yahoo!, critical to the firm's entry would be forecast and estimates of Internet business and growth of e-commerce in India.

Since there is no independent agency like Forrester Research that makes forecasts or surveys markets for Internet penetration, online advertising and revenues, the market research could take longer than necessary.

Entrants into India will have to depend a lot on guess estimates, which could be damaging, she added.

Yahoo! Inc with revenues of $114.7 million and a market capitalization of $31.9 billion has grown from a mere search engine to a megaportal.

It already operates localized web properties in the region of Japan, Korea, Singapore, Taiwan and China. Other parts of Asia are served by Yahoo! Asia.