Over the weekend, I booked a trip (air + hotel), paid my bills, checked my bank and brokerage accounts, bought movie tickets, booked my mother-in-law’s bus tickets, ordered a couple of movies for renting and gifted something for my friends newborn. And the best part – all without stepping out of my home. That’s the beauty of online services which I had so grown used to in the US as a consumer and was initially concerned I might miss after my move to India.
But, I’m glad to say that I feel that India “is happening” when it comes to online services. This is from the perspective of an avid consumer who enjoys trying out new technologies/services that improves efficiencies. Let’s face it – if I were to step out of the door and get those tasks listed above completed by making physical stops, it would take me more than a week. For a specific example, I went to a reputed bus operator to book a long-distance bus ticket and it literally took me 2 hours door to door (20 minutes in front of the guy who was more keen on answering phone calls than completing my transaction). The same thing I was able to do in less than 5 minutes online (in spite of the payment gateway dropping my transaction the first time – payment gateways need to fix this issue, seriously).
Just for the fun of it, I wanted to list out various online services I used in the US and equivalent ones in India. The table below captures my first draft list. I have used most of the Indian services listed and have been satisfied with the quality. The only sites I haven’t used but have received feedback from others who have are the dating/matrimony sites – for some reason my wife does not approve of me spending time on these sites even if I tell her its for work J
*Full Disclosure: These are portfolio companies of Accel Partners
As I mentioned, this is just my first draft list and I’m sure I missed many. What are your favorite categories/sub-categories/sites that I missed?