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Concept Arbitrage: Hoovers, D&B, InfoUSA

Posted on Thursday, Oct 25th 2007

Okay, so while we’re on the Concept Arbitrage topic, I would also like to suggest that entrepreneurs in India start thinking about the business of “Information”.


You have a product that needs to be sold to hundreds and thousands of businesses all over India, across various industries. It could be anything from computers, to anti-virus, to accounting software … whatever.

How do you propose to generate the lead list for such a sales effort?

I can tell you how we do it in the US. Lists are available from various data sources. Companies like Hoovers, D&B, InfoUSA sell either subscriptions to data about companies, or lists. Magazines also sell lists, but don’t necessarily have as well-organized and thorough data available about names of people to contact inside an organization.

At any rate, we start with a name and a number, and then navigate our way through the process via telephone calls.

Now, in India, the equivalent of Hoovers, etc. does not yet exist. You need to build it.

And while you are at it, look into companies like Insideview, Jigsaw, and LinkedIn.

This segment is a part in the series : Concept Arbitrage

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Hi Sramana,

Great idea. There seems to be quite a lot of sales in the financial service information space here, primarily to PE/Financial institutions. However, the same segments are looking at getting data from smaller unlisted companies.

A friend of mine who work in a similar area had actually suggested looking at the idea closely.


Nik Friday, October 26, 2007 at 3:23 AM PT

Hi Sramana,

It might be possible that my insight is severely limited. But D&B has already setup shop in India and has been into business since 1995. How can a startup be able to carve a niche for itself when an established player has already entered the segment ?

Amritayan Tuesday, August 26, 2008 at 10:20 AM PT

You have to find a niche that they don’t address and build a business. Many companies have been built in established markets this way. Including in D&B’s market. Check Hoovers, OneSource, InsideView.

Sramana Mitra Tuesday, August 26, 2008 at 10:48 AM PT