Friday, August 13, 2004

Time flies ...

Its been almost a year since The Association of Public Internet Access Provider was established.
The primary reason was to offer a voice to many struggling micro entrepreneurs in India in operating the community Internet Browsing center's or call it Cyber Cafes or Telecenters.
The nascent Industry which in the USA & Europe as seen as a mix of entertainment and technology had a completely different meaning for the less developed countries . Cyber Cafe sans the Coffee has been the most popular way of offering high cost of Internet access economically by way of a shared access on pay per usage basis.
The Beatles in their book " The Beatles in Rishikesh " shares their surprise of Internet Cafes

I also love the visual variety in India, as one occasionally drives around Brahma bulls as they wander or sit in the roadway, or the juxtaposition of ancient and new, as internet cyber-cafes nestle in beside ancient temples to the Gods. And while I stopped counting long ago....

At the peak of the dot com boom it was not surprising to locate as many Cyber cafes as the barber shop ! The inquisitive for technology may have waned but not the entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurs in all the less developed countries have shared the same vision in making Internet ubiquitous. I have been able to get in contact with cyber Cafe owners in interiors of India , China, Philippines, Ethiopia, Indonesia and many more . Every where the story is same . The hopes of a catching a Innovative business opportunity : E-commerce et al but struggling to sustain the operation today & top it off with continuous regulatory pressures, Socially misunderstood. I have been receiving emails from numerous operators with almost the same sort of queries. I hope through this blog I shall try to communicate many of the commonly faced issues.

Wish me luck !

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