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In blogs, start-ups find a voice of their own
May, 31st 2008

Emerging businesses are getting their voices heard in cyberspace. If Nasscoms Emerge blog fulfills the need for knowledge of emerging companies in IT, Milagrow looks at a more holistic approach with a thrust on manufacturing. While desistartups.in has a one-stop-shop approach, Alibaba.coms Aliblogs has tied up with Infomedia to design a blog for small and medium businesses (SMBs). Suddenly, SMBs are all over the blogosphere.

Nasscom experts say blogs in India are at a nascent stage but herald huge potential, especially the ones on SMBs. The association has recently launched its own SMB blog, Nasscom Emerge, where IT start-ups can tank up. It aims to target more than two million software professional in India. Today, India has three million SMBs, which comprise roughly 80% of the industrial sector.

Nasscom vice-president Sangeeta Gupta says the Emerge blog gets more than 6,000 page views per month. There is a huge potential in this sector as people are actively looking out for such blogs that act as a guide and provide information on relevant topics, she adds. Emerge discusses subjects like innovation, talent management, building a product company and others.

Milagrow is another blog that is specially dedicated to SMBs and discusses issues related to retail, manufacturing, services and IT, besides others. Rajiv Karwal, Milagrows founder director, also agrees there is potential for corporate blogging in India. Karwal is also penning a book on the same.

 We realised that there are many missing links as far as micro and small and medium enterprises are concerned in the entire country. We are a solution provider for SMBs and help them from strategy to execution, creation of incubators to act as corporate angles. We provided our members a free newsletter and blogging was a natural extension to that, said Mr Karwal.

He adds, We had 350,000 visitors in our blogs over the past six months. People come to blogs for business queries, HR, industry enquiries. Seeing the potential, we have also started a free service to provide legal tips to our members.
Desistartups.in is yet another such blog. London-based Prabhu Subramanian is all of 24 and he has carved out a blog for small and microcompanies dotting the country.

Having worked in a US-based start-up, he was involved in everything right from hiring till managing some of the projects. Indian start-ups face a number of issues, right from setting up a company, hiring, business and financial planning, finding investors and customers. It is well known that only a start-up can understand another start-up and I decided to bootstrap with the desistartups idea, says Subramanian.

Today, desistartups.in has emerged as a successful blog with decent hits, and Subramanian also has a few sponsors, like Pring00.com and Chennai Mobiles.

But to make start-ups work, he wanted to disperse a Wikipedia approach. Search engines and government websites are clearly not helping much. What if the information here is available in a single place, constantly updated and maintained by a community, instead of owned by a single company? he asks.

Next, Mr Subramanian plans on mentoring as a separate blog component. What if every start-up gets proper mentors/advisories to guide them all the way through? What if every start-up gets funding at the right time? he asks. Today, desistartups.in runs with a small group of five people, and is poised to be in the black soon.

Meanwhile, Alibaba.com, the worlds leading B2B e-commerce company, and Infomedia India, Indias largest Yellow Pages and special interest publishing company, made a multi-year strategic partnership recently, designed to benefit SMBs in India.

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