Our First Digital Performance Summit in India
Our first Digital Performance Summit in India was a huge success. Get our CEO's perspective of the state of the Internet in that region and more.
Still jet-lagged, I wanted to capture my experience from a recent trip to Bangalore while it’s still fresh in my mind.
We opened a Catchpoint office in Bangalore about two years ago, initially with a simple mission in mind: Build a business presence in India and be a launch pad for the rest of the APAC region.
Last week was our first organized Digital Performance Summit in India. Because we are still new in the country, I had limited expectations for the event. It turned out to be a huge success from a community building perspective, however, as knowledge sharing and technology tends to challenge diversity.
I was told that events like this are uncommon where companies, sometimes rival, share their successes and failures allowing everyone to learn from these individual stories.
The backend, outsourcing country of 20 years ago is no more. The new India is full of talent; the creativity and startup scene is vibrant and exciting. I met some of the smartest people I’ve ever encountered in my life—full of energy, wisdom, and a forward-looking, problem-solving attitude.
I also noticed a new, very clear trend during my time at the event. There’s a significant culture shift from the “build everything in-house” approach to a focus on partnering with the right vendors as a new culture norm.
From a tech perspective, these companies like Flipkart, InMobi, and Rediff are solving problems for a local market of 1.2 billion people. Such problems are completely unique to this country.
The challenges they face vary from poor Internet connectivity, to a mobile Internet world on mostly 2 or 3g, to an Internet infrastructure that was developed to make access to the outside Internet fast at the expense of local connectivity. ISP peering is non-existent, and network saturation is on the daily menu.
I have learned so much from the Summit’s ten or so presenters. Here are some of my key takeaways:
- End-user monitoring is on everyone’s minds in India. It’s safe to say that every single company there understands its importance and is working on solving its problems.
- DNS is a major struggle in this country with many folks using Google public DNS, thus sometimes skewing data since not everyone supports EDNS Subnet.
- Network latency is an issue as major cloud providers are located in Singapore and HK. When are Microsoft, Google, and AWS going to open in India?
- Mobile carriers are implementing devices in an attempt to optimize bandwidth without the knowledge or consent of content providers, which sometimes causes the websites to break.
- Mobile-first is not always working as a strategy and people are going back to having both desktop and mobile sites.
We will be sharing some of the content in more detail over the next few weeks, and I hope some of the attendees of our Performance Summit will come to the US soon to share how they have solved some of their unique issues.
Our India-based Manager of Technical Services Nithyanand Mehta also covered this event in a blog post. You can check it out here.