Jay Shankar, Bloomberg
Bangalore: Yahoo! Inc., the world’s most visited Web site, sees India as the “next big opportunity,” as growth in the number of telephone users drive Internet and broadband connections, the company’s co-founder David Filo said today.
“In India there is a critical mass of talent accumulated over the years,” Filo said in the southern city of Bangalore, where the company’s research and development centre is based. “From a staff of 30 people four years ago, we have crossed 1,000 in India.”
India, the world’s fastest growing wireless market, expects the number of phone users to increase more than threefold to 650 million by 2012, the government said on 27 February. Almost 80% of the 196.7 million telephone users are mobile-phone users.
“Yahoo! has 500 million users. Growth is coming from places like India,” Filo said. “The potential market is huge over the next 20 years.”
Internet and broadband connections will increase to 40 million and 20 million by 2010, the government has said. India has six times as many mobile-phone users as personal computers.
“Personal computer penetration is growing in India,” said George Zacharias, managing director of Yahoo! India. “In India the advertising market is about $3 billion (Rs12,275 crore) and growing at 20% a year. Online advertising is worth $60 million and growing at 50% a year. We are well positioned to grab a share of that.”
Filo, who created the Yahoo search engine with Jerry Yang in 1994, ranks at 369 in the Forbes list of global billionaires with a net worth of 2.5 billion dollars.