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Railways is the B2C boss

Parvathy Ullatil in Mumbai | June 25, 2004 09:36 IST

The Indian Railways has emerged the highest online revenue generator in the domestic B2C e-commerce industry, while the Department of Tourism, with its various member bodies, has been voted one of the top online advertisers in the country.

The Railways manage Rs 8-10 crore (Rs 80-100 million) of online bookings every month. This may not be much when compared with the total ticketing done by the Railways. But considering the size of the Indian online commerce market, which is only about Rs 200-250 crore (Rs 2-2.5 billion), the Railways get a big slice of the pie.

"The online ad spend aimed at the audience of English dailies was around Rs 42 crore (Rs 420 million) in 2003, compared with the Rs 1,800 crore (Rs 18 billion) spend on advertising in the English dailies. This is expected to go up to Rs 74 crore (Rs 740 million) this year.

The online medium's share of total ad spends is expected to go up from 0.5 per cent to 2.5 per cent by 2007," said V Ramani, CEO of the online media agency, Mediaturf Worldwide.

The total market for online advertising is expected to go up to Rs 100 crore (Rs 1 billion) in the next 12 months according to V V Kannan, chairman, Internet & Association.

The Department of Tourism, with its various member bodies such as Kerala Tourism Development Corporation, Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation, Goa State Tourism Corporation, is one of the largest online spenders.

Citibank, ICICI group, Maruti, HLL and IBM make up the list of other big online advertisers with the topmost spender shelling out around Rs 5 crore (Rs 50 million) to Rs 5.5 crore (Rs 55 million) per year.

With e-commerce still waiting to take off and paid services not being very popular, advertising still account for 60 per cent to 80 per cent of any internet portal's total revenues.

Meanwhile, the Internet and Online Association, the industry body formed by key Indian portals, said that it aims at getting 100 million internet users in the country by 2007.

The association brings together key Indian portals like rediff.com, Yahoo.co.in, Sify.com, MSN.co.in, HT.com, Indiatimes.com and the online media agency Mediaturf Worldwide.

The IOA to act as a liaison between the government, industry and customers.

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