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A look at India's Internet Infancy

Submitted by Karthik on 6 May, 2013 - 10:02

The Indian Express has a rather nostalgic (for some) story on the early days of the Internet in India.

Among the people Bhargava met at his show-and-tell sessions was Rajesh Jain, a Mumbai-based entrepreneur, considered to be the creator of India's first search engine, the Indian equivalent of the popular Yahoo! search engine Under the umbrella of IndiaWorld, he also created subject-specific websites like Khel (cricket), Dhan (finance), Bawarchi (food) and Itihaas (history) among others. "IndiaWorld was formally launched from a server in the US on March 13, 1995," Jain wrote on his blog. "Emails were sent out to friends, postings were made in newsgroups, and we anxiously waited for people to start accessing the site. As the emails started pouring in, we knew we were on to a winner here. One smart thing we had done was to ensure a lot of archived content: this way, when people came in, they had plenty to see," he wrote. It was one of the few websites that was updated in real time. Jain got the idea to set up IndiaWorld after surfing the internet at a friend's house in the US in September 1994. The vision, Jain wrote in another blogpost, was to help connect the NRI community with their friends and relatives back home and, later, branch out into e-commerce and e-publishing. But in 1999, Jain sold the company to Satyam Infoway Ltd.

For those of you who grew up in the Broadband age, here's what life was like in India pre-2003 or so: