You’re probably reading his here first – BCCL owned Times Business Solutions is preparing to launch a professional networking site called Peer Power. The DNS points to Indiatimes servers and the domain registration was last updated earlier this month. I just filled up an invitation form, and am awaiting a (moderated) approval.
Rajat Gandhi, GM of TBSL confirmed to contentSutra that Peer Power is intended to be an exclusive professional network; the site is in closed beta right now. Entry into this network will be by invitation only and they’re going to target a senior level profile. TBSL is currently in the process of formulating a set of rules for invitation, and the site is expected to be launched within the next 6-8 weeks. But why an exclusive site – why not a site that can leverage TimesJobs? Gandhi says that the idea is to create a business networking site – not just a job site – to help senior executives profit from the network. It’s intended to be a business exchange, and shouldn’t be seen with the prism of TimesJobs; it’s a standalone business. Something on the lines of A Small World? A Small World is too exclusive, and only for rich and famous.
Gandhi wouldn’t comment on rollout plans yet, or whether the business reach of the Economic Times will be put to use. He says that marketing plans haven’t been finalized yet.
There have been other attempts at business networking websites in India:
— Rediff (NSDQ: REDF) Connexions, which claims to have over 1.4 million users and 18000 groups
— TechTribe, funded by Canaan Partners, The Entrepreneurs’ Fund III (TEF3) and Miven Venture Partners; 1500-2000 job referrals/week (source).
— Brijj from Info Edge (BOM: 532777), which claims to have 600-700,000 registrations, but not much engagement (details)
— ApnaCircle.com from Sabeer Bhatia – is a social and career networking site, and a part of the BCCL Private Treaties portfolio.
Another exclusive business networking site that I know of is Doostang; last time I was invited by a friend a few months ago, it wasn’t open to users from India.