Indian Portals Join in "Special Type" of Alliance
By John Alderman, Fri Apr 02 05:45:00 GMT 2004

Rediff, an India-based news site, portal and phenomenon of the Indian community's global connection has just signed an alliance with Yahoo! India to promote each other's content for Internet and mobile.

Shares in Rediff surged 33% reported Dow Jones.

Rediff's chief Ajit Balakrishnan calls it a "special type of business alliance between two competitors," according to India’s Financial Express.

The alliance gives Yahoo access to Rediff's strong online shopping offerings, and helps Rediff strengthen its mobile services.Yahoo! Mobile, the Financial Express points out, has a strong presence with over 50 carriers in 26 countries.

I've been a fan of Rediff since 1997, when I saw it as a company that was doing amazing things to connect a base of users that had been dispersed globally. I don’t remember figures, but certainly a large portion of Indian Internet users at that point were living in other countries.

On the occasion of India’s 50th anniversary of Independence from Britain, I wrote a story that mentioned the company’s unique appeal. One of the things that interested me was how it drew inspiration from the Indians that were living abroad. It had become a great agent to reverse the effects of brain drain that might otherwise have affected India, as many of its educated left for jobs in other places. Now as India’s technologically savvy provide a big momentum for the country, I think that the kind of momentum that carried Rediff was very important.