Discounting a short — less than 24 hours trip in which I did not go anywhere except from airport to the meeting place and back — this is my fist trip this year to India. I arrived here from Singapore. Mumbai International airport is going through lots of construction/renovation work. Logistic definitely seems to be improving rapidly. Immigration was a breeze and by the time I got to baggage claim, bags were already coming on the belt. So the whole process was very fast and hassle free. The biggest surprise, however, was the bathroom. Finally modern stench free bathrooms were a welcome change.
I spent most of my time in Mumbai with Rajesh. This a good start to the trip because Rajesh knows and understands Indian scene very well. So I got he best possible update on the situation in India. The most exciting thing, from my perspective and from Rajeshâ€™s opinions, remains proliferation of mobile. Though this is recognized well and people talk about bringing Internet like environment on mobiles, most of the current thinking is related to using standard Internet functionality to mobiles. A good change is use of SMS to provide services — and Rajesh is taking lead in this space through mytoday.com. He has the base of about 2M users already. It reminded me about his success with Indiaworld.com. I see some interesting parallel between his that vision and the vision behind mytoday — the key driver is aggregation of services (information) from various places to offer once stop place to get what people want. In Indiaworld.com it was aggregating news to provide all news from different Newspapers at one place. In mytoday.com, it uses sms to send what people like once a day. The basic difference is that earlier was pull by users and now it is push, based on usersâ€™ subscriptions, on mobiles.
Rajesh is very supportive of utilizing Seraja backend for building various eventweb related applications. I am hoping, and things seem to be progressing real well, on doing this under EMME project in ESL. Hopefully once this takes good shape, we can also start proving this to history and other applications. This will provide an environment to build powerful applications of EventWeb.