Monthly Archives: June 2012
Check out this picture I took at the Bharath Big Cinemas movie theater inside a mall in Mangalore, India in May 2012. This multiplex was showing movies in a whopping SIX LANGUAGES simultaneously: English (Avengers), Kannada, Hindi, Telugu, Tulu, and Malayalam.
This is one of the things I love about South India. For thousands of years it’s been a fantastic and mostly peaceful blend of languages, cultures, and religions. Nowadays that includes American culture too. You probably noticed the Pepsi and popcorn ad right in the center and top profiling the “tickets and morning combo” to help you “wake up!”
Now that’s a breakfast of champions.
An Indian thread has run through Facebook since before its existence as we know it. The original team of Harvard students who bandied about prior incarnations of the social networking site in the early 2000’s included Indian-Americans like Divya Narendra and Sanjay Mavinkurve. The importance of the role they played is subject to controversy as evidenced by massive lawsuits and a Hollywood blockbuster. But both men have now moved on to other endeavors.
Facebook meanwhile is fresh off its long-awaited IPO, so it’s a good time to take stock of where the company has been and where it’s going. India is already a core piece of the Facebook puzzle for operations and market potential. The company has over 45m Indian users, opened a hub in Hyderabad in 2010, and the expansion has continued since. India figures to increase in importance for any social marketing site. However, India presents multiple serious problems for Facebook, some unique and others a microcosm of troubles writ large.
Mahanth S. Joishy, Editor-in-Chief
The Avengers are not the only action heroes around. Bill Gates, Ratan Tata, Azim Premji, and other philanthropists are participating in a top-secret conclave in Bangalore today to discuss the best ways to harness their private wealth for charitable development work. The meeting was set up at the initiative of Indian billionaire Premji for a change, marking an unmistakable shift from the way things used to be (see article attached below which I wrote in May 2011).