You’re reading it here first … AOL President and COO Ron Grant is going to be in India next week for the launch of AOL’s India portal. The portal is expected to launch next Thursday. AOL has been on the lookout for alliances with traditional media companies over the past few months, and, per sources, they’re going to focus on audio and video content, apart from offering email, messenger and e-commerce. The company has registered both domains – aol.in and aol.co.in, though both are presently cloaked.
Notably, our sources tell us AOL is going to target the younger demographic – between 14-18 years old. That may be expanded to include the 18-24 target group later. Interestingly, a focus on the younger demographic puts AOL India in competition with UTV’s youth venture Bindass, which has its own plans for new media based around their TV channel of the same name. AOL was also looking to hire Indian bloggers to blog for them, but apparently that’s now fallen through.
Last August, we broke the story of AOL planning to launch a portal. Maneesh Dhir, who was made EVP-International for AOL in Jan, heads the company’s operations in India, reporting directly to Grant.