Networking is about providing real value to users

From the Linkedin perspective, what are your India
We are seeing tremendous growth in this market. India is the fastest growing
market in the world. As a company, we are growing at 180% y-o-y, and so we are
here to understand what our users are doing; to understand how we can serve
advertisers and corporates better. We are bullish about the Indian market, and
we have made huge investments here.

In recent times, theres an emerging trend of
networking portal business. Do you think its more of a rat race?
I dont think that is the case here. Linkedin started in 2003, and at that
time there were a lot of other companies in both social and professional
networking space. Many of them havent been that much successful, and so
networking is not just about sayingI have a networking site, and so come and
join it. It is about how you provide real value and understanding that will
bring users to the site. Providing real value sounds easier than doing it in

Which are the revenue streams for Linkedin?
We have diverse revenue streams, right now. These include advertising,
subscriptions of software solutions where we sell special solutions to
corporates as SaaS packages to enable them post job vacancies and source fairly
high-end candidates. Diversity of business revenues is very important when you
consider an Internet company. Most of the Internet companies have advertising as
the only means of revenues and when you get your growth in markets other than
the US or Western Europe, then you run into trouble because your cost structure
doesnt change; in fact it goes off.

What are your views about social networking sites and
their localization as per the users culture and geographies?
Definitely, understanding the needs and what the local market wants is very
important for anyone to be successful. And more importantly, I believe in
building features for them, understanding what they want and how I can make them
frictionless for them. The good and the bad news about online businesses is that
users can come easily to you, but they can leave you even faster! So unless you
dont have real value, you will not be able to keep the users for a long time.

What will be the next big thing for networking portals?
One of the things in social networking portals is that you find the
explosion of data because people are constantly doing something or the other on
the network. So social networks can make use of that data in order to provide
additional value to users, and secondly make that data available to users so
that they become smarter too.

Pankaj Maru/CMN

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