No one uses voicemail in India and the concept of missed calls

As you might have read, cell phones are being adopted at an incredible pace in India. Everyone has a cell phone and is always using it. One thing I realized very soon after getting to India was that no one has voice mail for their cell phone. And people don’t even get the concept of voicemail and its advantages. After vigorously evangelizing voicemail for a few days, I started getting used to not having voicemail, and even appreciating the advantages of not having voicemail.

Gleaned from my various discussions about voicemail, the Indian point of view seems to be:
-You can always send a SMS instead of a voicemail.
-SMS is less intrusive, people can respond if and when they want to. Or not respond.
-When people make a call, they want to talk to you directly – they are looking for synchronous voice communication. Voicemail does not help with that – even a long, chatty message does not. You might as well SMS and set up a time to talk.

Continue reading

Uzanto Open House in Delhi on Dec 1st

Its kind of a last minute thing. Pretty much the entire Uzanto / Slideshare team is together in Delhi right now. As many of you know, that’s out of the ordinary for us. Generally, we are a distributed team based in two continents. Apart from that, its the beginning of the holiday season. The weather is beautiful in Delhi nowadays. And there are many other reasons to get together with friends… So come by for an informal evening of food, drinks and socializing. This will be between 6 and 9 PM at the Uzanto offices in South Delhi. If you read this blog and are in Delhi, then we would love to meet you. If you are involved with the geek scene in Delhi / care about design/usability, then come by. Just add yourself to the wiki so that we know how much food to order.

Heading to India and Singapore

I am heading to India on the 21st. I will be in Delhi till the 30th. I will stop in Singapore on the way back for both family and work. I have not been back to India for a year and half, so this trip was long overdue. Apart from catching up with friends and family, I am really looking forward to working on Slideshare with the rest of the team. We have been hiring and I yet to meet (in person) some of our team members, so this will be great. I will be rather busy, but do ping me if you are in Delhi and want to meet up.

Looking forward to enjoying some gorgeous Delhi November weather and eating lots of Indian food!

BarCampDelhi is on right now!

I am reading about it on Gaurav’s blog and watching the pictures on the Flickr photostream for the tag barcampdelhi. You can also follow it through a Technorati search. Please add any other links as comments. The wiki does not seem to be updated with the talk information yet, but hopefully it will be later in the day.

Update: March 4th, 9.00 AM
More pictures at http://www.1clickblog.com/barcamp/
More coverage at HCI@work, jonathanboutelle.com.

BarCamp goes to India – BarCampDelhi is on March 4th

barcampdelhiHere is the description from their website:

BarCampDelhi is BarCamp’s first foray into Asia and we are proud to be the torch-bearers.

BarCamp is a new kind of technology ‘unconference’- organized by attendees, for attendees. It’s an open, welcoming, once-a-year event for geeks to hang out with wifi and smash their brains together. It’s about love and geekery and having a focal point for great ideas.

The theme of BarCampDelhi will be “Next Generation Internet: Web 2.0, mobile computing, and other cool stuff”.

Go to the BarCampDelhi website or to Amit’s website to learn more.

I am personally very excited that there will be a Delhi BarCamp. Let me count the reasons…

Delhi is the city I am most connected to in India – Its the city I have been attached to since childhood. I love the city, love the history, the vitality.

So far, tech in India has mostly been a South and West thing. In the South we have Bangalore, Madras, Hyderabad. And Mumbai and Pune in the West. Delhi has many BPO’s. But far fewer of high tech companies.

We (Uzanto) made a leap of faith when we decided to setup in Delhi. Apart from pragmatic reasons such as the fact that I know Delhi best, we figured that Delhi has good tech people. Its just that they need to go to the South to find good jobs. If you do interesting work (especially when you are building cool products), and are a good place to work – you will be able to find good people. So far, that has been true. We have been able to find good people in Delhi and look forward to growing there. And its been great to see other startups like Tekriti .

Continue reading

No one uses voicemail in India and the concept of missed calls

As you might have read, cell phones are being adopted at an incredible pace in India. My own observation: everyone has a cell phone and is always using it. One thing I realized very soon after getting to India was that no one has voice mail for their cell phone. And people don’t even get the concept of voicemail and its advantages. After vigorously evangelizing voicemail for a few days, I started getting used to not having voicemail, and even appreciating the advantages of not having voicemail.

Gleaned from my various discussions about voicemail, the Indian point of view seems to be:

-You can always send a SMS instead of a voicemail.
-SMS is less intrusive, people can respond if and when they want to. Or not respond.
-When people make a call, they want to talk to you directly – they are looking for synchronous voice communication. Voicemail does not help with that – even a long, chatty message does not. You might as well SMS and set up a time to talk.

Continue reading