Today’s post is a continuation of my interview with one of the core group members of Inclusive Planet, Director of Marketing Ujjvala Ballal. I asked Ujjvala about IP’s plans for future expansion and monetization.
First, here are some quick facts about Inclusive Planet:
Beta platform Launched: End of October 2009.
Number of members: About 3,700
Representing: 81 countries
Accessible files shared: Over 20,000
Conversations between members: Over 4,000
Turkish version launched: April 2010
Turkish members: 300
Latin American version: Ready to launch
The founders of InclusivePlanet have charted a three-year course for growth and value that includes global outreach and advocacy.
The interview continues:
LL: Tell me about IP’s plans for growth.
IP: Our three-year plan
Year 1 – till March 31 2011:
We want to connect around 15000 members worldwide with strong English, Spanish and Turkish bases. We want to tie up with at least 4-5 strong international partners, and reach a critical mass in at least one region – in order to pilot at least one of our monetisation plans.
Year 2 – till March 31 2012:
We want to connect 600,000+ members worldwide with a strong presence in 5-6 languages, have at least 6-8 strong international partners and break even in at least one region. We want to move up a value chain in at least one area – relationships, learning, employment, travel, etc.
Year 3 – till March 31 2013:
We want to have 2 million + members worldwide with a strong presence in 8-10 languages and have at least 10-12 strong international partners. By this time, we want to distribute 10% of our stock amongst the member community, and we hope to break even as an organisation. Inclusive Planet aims to have a strong mobile presence in countries that have poor computer Internet penetration.
LL: So, how do you plan to monetize Inclusive Planet?
IP: We seek to monetise two aspects. The expertise we have as a result of creating and managing inclusiveplanet.com and inclusiveplanet.com itself.
Firstly, the expertise:
We are helping IT firms; site designers and end users themselves create more accessible platforms. Our expertise in designing systems for the print-impaired is being conveyed through consulting services that we are already delivering to national institutes and to private IT /ITES players. In addition we offer the product creators the world’s most sophisticated testing area – inclusiveplanet.com’s community!
As the member base increases Inclusive Planet will be in a position to offer organisations across the world unprecedented access to the print-impaired community along with tremendous intelligence about the needs and wants of the community. We will offer advertising and Retail of third-party products and services catering to the print-impaired. We will enable content publishers to sell their content (e-books etc.) to a large content- consuming community with expressed interests.
We are also interested in facilitating e-bay type user-commerce – for example, print-impaired persons with products, expertise and knowledge acquired for themselves could sell this to other print-impaired people. Additionally, we will climb the value chain by providing services linked to popular content, for example learning services with educational content, dating and matrimonial services with relationship content.
Finally, Ballal points out that “In order for the business model to succeed we need to achieve scale. Without scale our access route would not be attractive enough for companies wishing to market to the print-impaired. Also, without scale the numbers of potential consumers of paid services would be insufficient.”
Watch for part 3 of my interview with Inclusive Planet’s marketing and community relations guru, Ujjvala Ballal. We’ll talk about advocacy and accessibility policy, and how Inclusive Planet plans to make an impact.