Kazaa…Skype…

and now Joost. The tag team of Niklas Zennström and Janus Friis have created yet another disrupting technology.

Their first was Kazaa. Although Napster was one of the first peer-to-peer file sharing applications. Kazaa was using a protocol that could connect to many computers to download the same file and spread into one of the largest file sharing networks.

Their second hit was Skype. It was the first truly user friendly VoIP client, it just worked right out of the box, no configuring firewalls, ports, etc…When you called other Skype users it would connect and the voice quality is amazing for using such a small amount of bandwidth (4-5 kbps) per call.

Now comes Joost, which promises to change the way you watch TV, free of the schedules and restrictions that come with traditional television. Combining the best of TV with the best of the internet.

On vacation

Yes it’s true, I’ll be on vacation for the next 3 weeks on my honeymoon. After a gap of a month between the wedding and the honeymoon, we are really ready to get the fu!#$ out of Bombay for a well deserved break.

I’ll have several pre-written blog entries that will be appearing over the next 3 weeks on technology and the building of this blog. Stay tuned.

Why the fight for Hutch?

Due to the lack of any real business news in India, all the newspapers continue to plaster the headlines with day to day updates on the Hutch buyout. The numbers being thrown around for Hutch are hugh – USD 20 billion, justified? Compare the ARPU’s (average revenue per user) between US carriers and Indian carriers:

The merger in 2005 between Sprint and Nextel was around USD 36 billion and was supposed to result in a wireless powerhouse with a strong ARPU. Sprint expects revenue to hit between $41 billion to $42 billion for 2007. The company anticipates reporting $41 billion in revenue for 2006. When the merger was proposed, Nextel’s ARPU was USD 69 (Rs. 3105) while Sprint’s was USD 63 (Rs. 2835), Verizon’s USD 52 (Rs. 2340) and Cingular’s USD 50 (Rs. 2250).

The ARPU numbers for the Indian wireless carriers are much less, even when you talk about the numbers of users in India they are still much less then US carriers. The latest July-September 2006 quarter figure for Airtel’ ARPU is USD 9.73 (Rs. 438) while Hutch’s ARPU is USD 9.33 (Rs 420). You do the math.

Hutch is the brand name of Hutchison Essar, which is a joint venture between the Ruia’s Essar Group and Hutchison Telecom which is a part of Hutchison Whampoa.

Gandhi video causing an uproar

The Times of India has a front page article about the above video causing an outrage with the Indian government, in particular the I&B (Information and Broadcasting) Ministry. So much so they want to ban YouTube, hahahahaha. I love how these officials throw around such retarded ideas, first they wanted to ban Orkut (unsuccessfully), then they shutdown blogger.com for a couple days till the outrage was unbearable. Then there was the Google Earth episode, where the government wanted Google to stop photographing India because of terrorism issues, which is a valid point. But then a couple weeks ago Bombay had a major pre-planned water outage to fix some water pipes and they printed out the ENTIRE map of the water supply system of Bombay in the Times of India, doh!!

Anyways the video is lame, it’s done by Gautham Prasad a comedian by profession.

Wedding in Rajasthan

Wow!!!, was the word I kept on saying and hearing from others at the wedding of Ritu and Rick. It was definitely a fairly tale wedding, albeit Rick didn’t ride in on a white horse but instead an elephant. It was 3 days of sheer fun and livin’ large at the Samode Palace and Bagh.

Pics

Indian IPO's

logo_cairn.gifIndian investors for many months have been grabbing every IPO that has come out but as of late – that ain’t the case. I wouldn’t call myself a doomsday guy, but having been in the thick of the “internet revolution” of 1999-2000, history does repeat itself. There have been a few IPO’s I have been tracking and true to form most are dogs. I like to call these three the past, present and future:

Past – Parsvnath Developers, came out two weeks ago and no where near it’s initial price
Present – Cairn India, hit the street on Tuesday – Jan 9 and of course lagging. In fact, the issue was not oversubscribed as first reported and the 3 banks that were leading the road show had to chip in money
Future – Shoba Developers, waiting for the carnage to begin

My favorite (in a sarcastic tone) is Cairn India, they claim to be a part of the Scottish company Cairn Energy PLC. But after reading through the Red Herring document it seems they just put together some wild assumptions about some oil exploration, threw together a management team and honestly couldn’t even copy their parent company’s logo correctly. As of today it was the largest IPO in India, so they did manage to get a lot of money in the door. But my guess is that a large part was due to the marketing of Cairn. A month prior to the book building process (a way to determine the final price and volume), you couldn’t look at a billboard or a TV show without seeing their advertisement’s. They did a great job of also planting rosy stories in the newspapers like they were on the verge of discovering massive amounts of oil, but of course their Red Herring document spoke the truth – discoveries were still many years off if ANY.