Indian Domain Market Part 1: An Overview


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To try and describe India and its domain market in 1 post would be impossible.  In this post I am going to try and give some general information about India and also some of my big picture thoughts and observations.

India is a land of vast extremes on both ends of the spectrum. Their tourism ads say "Incredible India" and it truly is. The best way I can describe it is with a scene I saw on the way to visit a Hindu mountain temple. There was a BMW and a farmer on his cow drawn cart with his goods both stuck in traffic because of the elephants up ahead blocking the roadway. There is immense wealth brought in by the IT sector and also tourism and large businesses and there is also vast poverty in India. Some parts of India are poorer than subsarhan Africa and this was easily visible on the sides of roads and trash filled alleys.

Stats about India

A population of 1.18 Billion people making it the 2nd largest behind China, it is also the 7th largest country by land mass. The official languages are English and Hindi but many local languages are also spoken, the more educated wealthy Indians seemed to speak English better and more frequently then members of the lower class. Almost all of the domain names that I saw were in English even if the ad was in Hindi the domain would still be in English. 42% of people live below the poverty line, but India with its 5.8% GDP has had one of the fastest growing economies in the world. On average the average income per person in India is less than $2,500 per year.

Now about the internet. Overall India's infrastructure is still developing but in the major cities I found the internet coverage to be great. In Delhi the speed was fast and when I went to stay at the school and on trips I had a USB data card which had decent speed. India's mobile market has started massive price wars so everyone has a cell phone at a super cheap price over 50% of people in India have phones meaning 601.22 million people and the number is growing fast. In 2009 178.25 million new cell phones were added. These phone companie have also made data cards affordable to many people which will increase internet coverage in rural areas where many people still live and are not connected to the web.

India has the 4th largest number of internet users in the world, but still the usage in rural areas is very low and the overall usage compared with the population is lower than the rest of the world.

So from most of this information there is huge potential in the Indian domain market especially with large companies moving into the market and the large number of people, but the poverty, corruption, government, and other factors hold down the current values and markets for the names.

On to domains; I was looking at many advertisements to see which domain extensions and what domains were used. Dot Com was the most used domain extension, but not by much (exact stats and many more number to come in later post and the ebook.) Dot In was next and the numbers were not very far off from the dot com numbers. The .in domain extension has been accepted by the people of India as their domain extension which is the total opposite scenario that what has happened with the .us in America. The .in is not considered second tire to the .com; it is a alternative that is on the same level' which is great news for the .in investor. Dot .Co.in was next, but compared with the .in the usage was small, it only seemed that big international companies were using them which was very interesting to see.  Some examples of this were Dell.co.in, Hyundai.co.in, and Nokia.co.in. Someone needs to educate them on using the domains that the people in a country use. Maybe they should read my blog :)

Also on many ads I did not see domain names at all which surprised me at first. In the US in most ads there is a domain name somewhere, but in India I would say less than half had domains especally when one looks at signs and billboards that littered the streets and cities. After spending time in the country I realized that some of the companies products were not targeted towards the internet using population they were aimed at the lower class citizens. As time goes on the lower class will have easier access to the internet and thus these companies will begin to use websites. Another reason for domains not being featured on ads was that unlike in America there is a lack of major brand name stores that control cities and small townships.  In India many of the cities are filled with family owned hotels, stores, street stalls, repair shops, ect.... These mom and pop shops as we call them have not fully embraced the internet yet and may not see the need too, yet. Like anything though as more customers get online the stores too will have to follow.

There are a few markets I see that have potential right now. Education, travel, health, high end merchants, and mobile internet. Education because every other sign is for a college or some sort of education instution. People in India take huge pride in education and the companies because they have to target the younger more web savvy generation are using domains now. Travel because people in record numbers are going to India, its a great destination people speak English and its very cheap. Health and healthcare because India has some of the best healthcare centers in the world and people come from all over to utilize the doctors and hospitals. Lastly mobile because the phones used in India do not have full html web browsers like the iphone or my droid phone so mobile websites could be a big hit.

More about the younger generation, India is a very young country and the youth that I spent time with were very connected with the internet much more than the adults. Every time we went out in the city they would go to a computer cafe where everyone could go surf the net. As this generation grows older they will become the leaders and store owners and they will bring with them their knowledge of the internet and many I believe will try to utilize it to their advantage.

Right now at 101domain .in and .co.in domains are only $3.99 and at godaddy they are 7.99 which is less than .com domains. There are no requirements for a presence in the country. If you decide to invest in them be careful about words that are different they speak English, but use some words differently Indian English is more British than American usage from what I saw with words like centre being used. Also remember the reseller market for .in domains right now is very poor and even the end user market is bad. If you sell to a person in India they earn in the rupee which is around 50 to 1 with the US dollar and you are not going to get a huge payday from many people just because the market is not established. Investments in the Indian domain market are long term from most right now. There are still great domain for reg fee or to be picked up on the aftermarket.

This is the first post of a series I am going to do over the next week and the I am going to give away a free eBook that goes into much greater detail. Please I would love any feedback good and bad about part 1 of many.

Related posts:

  1. Off to India and My Plans for a Report On the Indian Domain Market
  2. India Part II: A View from The Youth
  3. What to do with Your Unused Domain Names: Part I

Comments

7 Responses to “Indian Domain Market Part 1: An Overview”

  1. Article on Domain Market - Indian Domain Names Forum
    August 10th, 2010 @ 10:13 am

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    [...] on Domain Market A great read here from Teen Domainer on the Indian Domain Market: Indian Domain Market Part 1: An Overview : Teen Domainer [...]

  2. JS
    August 10th, 2010 @ 10:21 am

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    Good post. I understand that you were mostly in northern India during your trip, where most people speak Hindi. The way I see it, India is a little bit like the European Union : several states, each with their own official language(s). There is a lot of diversity throughout India and I don’t think that someone can go out and target India as whole with a single domain, (at least, it should be very difficult).

    As you mentioned, some Indians speak english but most do not (and probably never will). As a result, it is my opinion that India’s internet growth lies not in anything that is english.

    + As for mobile internet in India, see HP’s “Big Bet”

    Keep it up

  3. Scott Alliy
    August 10th, 2010 @ 12:40 pm

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    Brian,

    Sounds like your trip India made a real impression on you. Well thought out and written article. Thanks for the valuable input about your experiences in India and about the population and Internet usage.

    BTW Welcome Home

  4. Forecaster
    August 10th, 2010 @ 3:10 pm

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    Good starter on the Indian market.

    With the 3G and BWA auctions just concluded and the companies preparing for a major launch by Nov/December 2010, net penetration is going to shoot up.

    Your bets on Mobile, education, health are right on the dot.

    It took .ca more than 5 years to gain acceptance. Same is the case with co.uk. Now, there is another sleeping giant waking up – .in from India

    What is your view on this cctld which is from a billion population country, one of the 2 countries showing positive and more than 8% GDP after China in the world, has the highest English speaking population in Asia.

    Recent 3G auctions and Wimax, LTE auctions (Broadband Wireless Auctions) garnered close to US $25billion for the Government. The winning companies in these auctions have set a broadband target of 150 million subscribers by 2012 from the present 10 million. Even the mobile sales crossed more than 500 million and show no signs of relenting (As per reports now every Second Indian owns a cellphone)

    In India, I am noticing demand for recent trends like:

    A) Group buying
    B) Mobile Ads
    C) Social Media
    D) Lcation based services
    E) Mobile Payments

    Recent article in Mashable.com has more insights on the above sunrise trends…

    http://mashable.com/2010/07/05/5-social-media-trends/

  5. TeenDomainer
    August 11th, 2010 @ 5:25 am

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    Thanks for the positive feedback everyone, India has huge upside I can’t wait to see where the market goes.

  6. India Part II: A View from The Youth : Teen Domainer
    August 19th, 2010 @ 10:02 am

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    [...] the phones, every guy I was with had a nice phone. In my previous article about India I mentioned how everyone even the servants had basic cell phones but these phone were not basic [...]

  7. joseph joy
    June 10th, 2011 @ 1:10 pm

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    hi,

    iam an indian, after reading the artice i felt u only have a first impression of the country.

    it will take approx 10 years from now, for the domain name prices to be like 1 million dollars.

    but dont think the potential is less infact it will be bigger than the US market i assure you.

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