Reliance ADAG launches networking site

MUMBAI: BigAdda, a part of Reliance-ADAG, today announced the launch of India’s first youth networking site Apart from blogs and scribbles, enables networking and self-expression by creating, uploading and sharing of videos, photos in a public, yet private space.

Reliance Entertainment president Rajesh Sawhney said, “According to the 2007 NASSCOM report, it is estimated that by 2010 there will be 20 million broadband subscribers, up from one million and there will be 100 million internet users as compared to 40 million today. The number of internet users has witnessed an upswing, and so has their need to socialise online and gain acceptance in the virtual world. Virtual hang-out plays a key role, because it gives them the space to be amongst friends and peers, while sharing an image of their own, which they would like to project. aims to evolve a youth community, inclusive and aspirational and create a youth culture that will be cool and aspirational for them.”

The site has been operational in its Alpha stage since 15 May, 2007. “While there were no initial investment costs to set up the portal since everything was in-house, spends of Rs 4-5 crore (Rs 40 – 50 million) have been incurred to advertise its launch, which they hope to break even within three years,” informs BigAdda chief operating officer Siddhartha Roy. BigAdda plans to garner a user base of 10 million customers by 2010 and have already taken a significant step in this direction by acquiring over a 100,000 customers.

The company also plans to introduce a music vertical for uploading, streaming and sharing of user playlists. Web Instant Messenger (IM) and wireless interface would also be introduced within the next six weeks. The source of revenue for the site will be through advertising and wireless interface.

Quoting a recent example of piracy curb, Roy said, “A particular person had uploaded an Indian Idol episode. So as soon as we got a call from Sony’s senior officials we pulled it off immediately.”

As communities are a key driver for growth in the networking business BigAdda has associated with five youth icons to drive their communities online. These include photographer Atul Kasbekar, music director Shankar Mahadevan, golfer Irina Brar, filmmaker Madhur Bhandarkar and actress Dia Mirza. 

“Music, fashion, movies and sports are something that cuts across all segments and age groups. The idea was to create a platform where the fans/users can talk/share with their icon. Going forward, we plan to increase our community drivers and supplement it with innovative marketing and promotional activities,” added Sawhney.

“As a society, we are at a moment of transition when social relationships may no longer be restricted to face-to-face interactions in our own immediate surroundings, but also include a large number of relationships conducted over vast geographic distances. Photos, videos and music are the key drivers of online consumption today. Hence, we wanted to let our users upload content of their choice, as one of the many features on, as it gets to showcase and express their personality. In just six weeks of the site being in the test phase, has over 12000 videos with over 5,000 television advertisements,” Roy concluded.