Replication Wars – Naukri vs Bixee

by Thiyagarajan Maruthavanan (Rajan)

Sooner or later they had to surface in India and here they are: Naukri vs Bixee (Hat tip:- Amit). Replication wars a big business in itself in the valley arising out of ill defined property rights.  It does not benefit either of the companies except the lawyers involved whose coffers get filled obscenly.

Amit points this among a few other examples as the total inadequacy of Indian legal framework to handle this. I subscribe to his view on all others except this one particular example. This is a classic example of copyright inadequacy for the online world(yahoo, indeed, hotjobs they all scrape).
The immediate question to be considered in this case is that given the current scenario was a lawsuit the best approach for naukri.I think not !!!  As one reader of the article pointed at the end “naukri has really shot themselves in the foot. They have no idea how this aggregation business works”. I must say that earlier I was quite impressed to read one of Sanjeev Bikchandani’s(CEO) very old article ( I guess it was dated way back somewhere 2000 – 2001,  not able to dish the link) where he talked about how naukri.com leveraged indirect network effects and FMA. I was like man getting it way back in 2000 is really cool when only few people had got the hang of it at that time.
But this recent move of naukri is plain dumb, the economics of this business is changing in a big way, can’t naukri take a cue from US to know the economics are changing (LinkedIn jobs, SimplyHired,etc etc).  Naukri should be innovating rather than wasting the money(KPCB funds ?? could be put to better use)  building iron gates to protect themselves which is going to be a totally futile exercise. If it were me I would have expanded the pie and would have closed a deal with bixee where I get a revenue share for what bixee shows the data that are originating from my database and would have given access of my data to bixee. One important thing to remember is that one very important thing that bixee does not have but naukri does is a big brand value which it has built over a long period of time and could have used this to negotiate with bixee. This way there is larger value creation and sizable share of it gets captured by naukri.

I was roaming in the corridors of ISB a few days ago trying to search a particular room when I asked someone to direct me there, he was’nt sure of it so I moved on and I could here someone call the person Sanjeev Bikchandani and a few seconds later it hit me that this is the person behind naukri.com. Maybe I should have filled him with my opinion on naukri’s strategy on this one 😀 or probably I should do it the next time. I doubt he is going to give to an ear to this kind of view at all 😀