Surya Mantha CEO, Web18
Moneycontrol.com, one of the most successful ventures of Network18 Group, is celebrating its 10th anniversary. What did it take to become Asia’s largest personal finance portal – Surya Mantha, CEO, Web18 shares the mood within whole group on this occasion with BestMediaInfo.com.
Q) Moneycontrol.com was born in the era of the dotcom boom and now after 10 years it is the clear market leader. Did it also witness ups and downs like other businesses and products do or did it keeep going upward on the graph?
Well 2001 – 02 was quite a lean period, but we made some important strategic decisions which turned out to be right. These were - to invest into the product, improve it and get the feedback from the users and build exactly what they wanted. After the market again turned and economy improved, somewhere around mid 2003, people were back on the internet and with the rebounding of the market, Moneycontrol has not look back ever since.
Q) It’s a big day for Web18 as you are celebrating the 10th anniversary of Moneycontrol.com. Can you please share the sentiments within the whole group on this occasion?
Not only Web18 but whole the Network18 group is extremely excited about this. Network18 is a leader in every business that it entered. The Internet is one of the most competitive spaces because there are few barriers to entry and there are lots of global players in this space. Despite all odds Moneycontrol has emerged as a clear leader in its space. It’s a matter of huge pride for us and it is our ambition and our constant effort to make sure that other portals within the Web18 family achieve the same leadership and success.
Q) The best way to celebrate any proud moment is to work more efficiently. This seems quite true looking at your month long plans with lot of activities online. How would you appreciate and cheer your team for their great effort and spirit?
Well, along with hard work we are organizing fun things like parties here, which seems to make them want to work even harder.
Q) Your month long celebrations will see a number of celebrities and business tycoons active online which is bound to attract many more eyeballs. Is there any opportunity for visitors and investors also to participate?
We are hoping and expect all our current users and lots of new users to come and read the columns and blogs written by the leaders in corporate and business world as well as participate in the live chat which we are organizing almost every day for almost 4 weeks. We are also organizing some very interesting contest and games for our users. We have a very popular stock market game called moneybhai which engages our visitors even in normal time on regular basis. You may be interested to know that a huge number of traders come and test out their trading strategy before taking the plunge into the market. We will promote this game over the month and we have various attractive prizes.
Q) A couple of important announcements on the occasion include the start of NewsCenter. How is this going to help visitors to make a difference?
The point is Moneycontrol is a huge site in terms of broad and deep information sharing. And when the entire product is successful, a number of users through our portal, focus on stock market, get company information and manage their portfolios. We want money control to be a one stop shop for all their needs and somewhere news is also very important. The entire Network18 group generates news in every sector of finance. So NewsCenter will be an effort to bring all the important and useful news in a well packaged way. In addition to being a place for portfolio management and stock market information, Moneycontrol now becomes a one stop shop for all type of news and information.
Q) You are introducing Intuit® Money Manager for your consumers. In what manner the investors would be benefited?
Intuit® is the largest personal finance specialist in the world having a very deep understanding in personal finance since over 20 years. We are doing the same here in India since the last 10 years. This new tool will give a 360 degree view of the present network so that at on one place the user gets a complete, accurate and comprehensive picture of the network to be benefited at large.
Q) Stock market is nothing but sentiments and Moneycontrol has a big responsibility after getting attached to millions of sentiments. Can you name a few things which have kept it efficiently attached to investors’ sentiments?
Our responsibility is to present the best information in the best possible way so that users can make informed decisions for the ventures. With best of analysis on actual market scenario, we are just doing our job to enable our users to manage their personal finance more efficiently.
Q) Moneycontrol has kept it changing and adding lot of tools for investors. What other areas can see more improvements?
I may not be able to disclose may things here but yes, we will keep our efforts on for enhancing our tools for users.
Q) Moneycontrol is already Asia’s numero uno in its space. What next?
We have an active user base around 5 million users in India which is not even 5% of the overall potential if you count internet and mobile users across the country. So we have tremendous headroom to grow.