|HOME | INFOTECH | HEADLINES|
September 22, 1999
India's Netizens meets offlineNeena Haridas at Pragati Maidan
If you claim to be on the 'Who's Who' of the Internet in India then you got to have at least a toehold within this 1,250,000 square feet area at Pragati Maidan that houses 100 exhibitors from across the world.
It is also an opportunity for doing the most vociferous sales pitch and showing off your tech savvy. The nine-hour show kicked off with keynote addresses followed by presentations from industry leaders and question-answer sessions.
The presentations covered the gamut of Internet issues including ISPs, e-commerce, software, business models, call centres etc.
Though there are four different tracks, the focus more than less in most of these tracks is on e-business. The general message is on creating awareness about the Net economy, be it panel discussions, keynotes or presentations, all deal with the importance of India realising the potential of e-commerce.
Notwithstanding the highest order of technology on show, the ubiquitous faux pas were inevitable. Prominent keynote speakers failed to turn up. Even the first speaker R B Chandrashekhar, chairman, Exodus, was missing.
Bo Peabody, founder of Tripod, rescheduled his keynote address for the last day of the IIW '99.
Dr N Ravi of WorldTel, UK, was not present to give his opinions on 'building Internet community centres' and Daniel Paul, vice-president, Talkcity, thought it was enough to depute his colleague Bruce Dembecki to do all the talking.
As one of the organisers consoled himself, these are "busy, big chaps, you know, they end up with last-minute commitments". Maybe, but considering that the event is of such major scale and that its planning began over a year ago! And all this coupled with non-performing projectors, Thinkpad with a mind of their own and crashing Internet connection in the much hyped media centre.
The props in the media centre such as TV sets and fax machines just did not feel like working today.
Forget the non-performers. There was Dewang Mehta, the omnipresent IT man (and apparently the most eligible bachelor in the industry, as announced on stage by the moderator, despite his wig) yet again tried his tried-and-tested jokes and innuendos on the technologically challenged politicians to pep up the audience.
Department of Electronics Secretary Ravindra Gupta too appreciated Mehta's "know-all-ness" and suggested that any doubts whatsoever on IT be "kindly" routed to Mehta.
Of course, Mehta got even by taking a dig at the government red-tapism and bureaucracy. It was a field day for a whole lot of small entrepreneurs too who think Internet is the answer to all those unanswered questions.
Their stalls were supported with promotions that included human beings disguised as mouse, clowns and chessboards handing out pamphlets that promised not just jobs in the US of A but even the Moon.
One could see the delegates and speakers trudging their heavy bags of brochures and pamphlets to one session after the other. The day ended with panel discussions on e-commerce and cyber laws. In the latter discussion, the moderator found the audience shooting questions that some of the panellists could not answer. He handled the situation with just one line: "Let's move on, we run short of time."
BOOK SHOP | MUSIC SHOP | GIFT SHOP | HOTEL RESERVATIONS | WORLD CUP 99
EDUCATION | PERSONAL HOMEPAGES | FREE EMAIL | FEEDBACK