Times of India group to “nurture & incubate” Internet & mobile start-ups

The Bennett, Coleman & Co Ltd, popularly known as the Times of India group, has decided to tweak its strategy for the online market (Internet).

The group, which has always been pushing its ‘indiatimes.com’ brand, has now decided to co-opt other dotcoms in a partnership that it hopes will benefit both parties equally.

Realizing that the vision needed for success in India’s diverse online market-place may not be available in a single company, the group has decided to float an incubation program for Internet and mobile companies.

Times Internet will not only invest in promising tech-start ups, but also provide some of its un-rivalled marketing muscle for the growth of the unit. According to industry sources, it has already been making such investments in the past few months.

“T-Labs will work with the startups and provide them support at each and every step. It will not only help them in defining and detailing their concept into a business plan, but will also help in implementing of the idea and refining the product by leveraging its vast infrastructure, user base and experience,” it said in a statement.

“We have always believed that entrepreneurship will script the next big Indian growth story, and T Labs is a major step towards giving a concrete shape to the startup ecosystem of the country. Our mentorship and quality leadership would ensure that the products of these budding entrepreneurs would compete with the very best in internet and mobile industry,” said Rishi Khiani, former CEO of Web 18 and now head of Times Internet.

The Times group is known for its often radical approaches towards journalism. The company has been criticised for experiments such as “private treaties” and “media net” which promised publicity, sometimes in the news section of supplements, in return for giving it a stake or a simple payment.

However, of late, the group’s various publications and channels have so rattled the government with their uncompromising and often aggressive coverage that many senior government ministers openly talk of “private treaties” when asked about allegations of corruption against the government.