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NZ attracts popular Indian online community site

New Zealand attracts popular Indian online community website

Auckland, December 15, 2000 -- Chequemail.com, the world's first website to "share" revenues with its online community, makes its international debut with a New Zealand and Australia launch today.

This launch marks the commencement of the fast-growing Indian e-mail service's global operations.

www.chequemail.com rewards its regular users by "sharing" a minimum 30 per cent of its revenues. To be eligible for the payouts users must log onto the mail service at least 30 times a month. As well as e-mail the website offers a plethora of community-building and unique personal services to its users such as discussion groups (e-groups), greetings, reminders, bookmarks, helpline and privileges.

Since it went live in October 1999 the site has registered over 200,000 users, making it India's fastest growing e-mail service. Leading international web research company Alexa Research, has ranked Chequemail.com as India's 7th most visited website for the month of October 2000.

Chequemail.com Director - Marketing Ambrish Desai, who is now based in Auckland to run the company's New Zealand and Australian operations, said the site had been a huge success in India, one of the world's top IT hubs, and he was confident of its success in its Down Under operations. A newly formed company, Chequemail.com (New Zealand/Australia) Ltd, will manage Chequemail's New Zealand and Australian operations.

"Our vision is to create the largest identifiable community of Internet users in the world," he said.

The company's decision to make its international debut in this continent, and to be based in New Zealand, was influenced by its strong belief in New Zealand's potential as an international e-commerce marketplace.

New Zealand had one of the world's highest 'Internet on PC' penetrations and the potential to replicate Ireland's highly successful economic model, he said. With its unpolluted environment, stunning scenery and small population New Zealand also offered a wonderful lifestyle for attracting migrants with IT skills.

Mr Desai, who has about five years experience in Internet projects, attributed Chequemail.com's success, during a period of slumping fortunes in the dotcom market and the demise of many top international players, to the site's decision to "share" its revenues with its users. By contrast many other Internet businesses had splashed out on huge marketing and promotional campaigns.

"The Chequemail.com concept of sharing revenues has instead generated positive word-of-mouth publicity and gained a brand loyalty that is uncommon in the dotcom industry".

"With this unique model of sharing revenues we have created a win-win situation for both our users and advertisers," Mr Desai said.

Chequemail.com's point of difference with other web sites was its ability to gather correct and verifiable data about its users such as their name, address and other broad psycho-graphic and demographic details. To be able to receive Chequemail.com payouts, which is in cheque form, users have to furnish correct details for proper delivery of cheques.

This system had allowed Chequemail.com to generate an authentic database of users. The company in turn used this clean and verifiable database to attract advertisements on the site.

To ensure ad messages reach its users effectively, Chequemail developed proprietary software in-house, which provided data mining as well as ad delivery services. Using this software, advertisers could target their messages to users both online and offline. "Our experience with advertisers has been enriching for both parties," he said. "Most of them come back to us every time they need to reach a specific target group."

Many international banks and tour operators also used the site to target potential customers, Mr Desai said.

Leading Indian government-owned financial institution, Industrial Credit and Investment Corporation of India's venture arm, ICICI Ventures Ltd, holds 30% equity in Chequemail.com. While the other directors viz. Manish Desai, Himanshu Ashar and Ambrish Desai own the rest of the company.

Prepared for Chequemail.com by Communicator.

Contacts: Ambrish Desai, Chequemail.com, 09 813 0745, 021 146 4511, ambrish@chequemail.com Anamika Vasil, Communicator, 09 360 1955, 021 494 005, vasil@communicator.co.nz


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