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An authority on businesses and
technologies related to electronic payment systems,
Bhaskar Gorti is the director, E-commerce business development (Verifone), Hewlett
Packard and looks after business development in ISP, telecom, and financial markets
world-wide. With the Indian market opening up, Gorti is concentrating on this market and
the new partners that are planning to offer E-business in India.

In an exclusive interview with Pravin Prashant, Bhaskar speaks about the market, HP’s plans, and the
products.

 

 

 

We are very
optimistic about the market in India as the rate of Internet penetration is high.

“The Key to
E-commerce is to Create the Demand and Convert that Demand into Revenue,”

Bhaskar Gorti, director, E-commerce
business development (Verifone), Hewlett Packard.

 

How are you
approaching the Indian market, which is yet to be explored in terms of E-commerce?

In India, we have a two-pronged approach.
One is on the infrastructure side, where we focus on corporates that are planning to build
Internet infrastructure. The primary focus is on mission-critical applications and
providing quality service. The other is on value-added services, which will ride on top of
those infrastructures.

The key to E-commerce is not just putting
a web page but creating the market demand and converting that demand in revenue terms.

What would be your first step of implementing E-commerce
in India?

India is in the first phase of
infrastructure deployment. We are talking to some players for deploying the financial
payment infrastructure. While the legislation is being worked out, we want our partners to
be ready anytime to offer services once the legislation gets over.

We already have seen a couple of banks
like ICICI offering Internet banking and so it is happening. We are banking on the
existing laws, which can be applied to Internet. But in future, we would like to see that
the government should promote these and not impose any new taxes.

What are the security aspects for promoting E-commerce?

Today, it is communication and application
security. Communication security is one that has been in the pipeline and application
security helps in managing access to the network.

What are the solutions that HP is providing to ISPs,
corporates, and end consumers?

For financial services and ISPs, we are in
the business of providing technologies to help them roll out new services and stay ahead
of competition. In a way, we remove barriers to provide services to our customers.

As systems are changing fast, one has to
deploy solutions fast by understanding the technology, integrating solutions, and coming
out with the best products that help in lowering the barrier and rolling out services.

We have around five-six technologies in
E-commerce. One such is the "Smart Internet" usage for ISPs where one can charge
based on the number of persons, amount of Internet time being utilized, amount of data
being downloaded, and other parameters. The second is the "Virtual Wall", which
the service providers can host to any financial institution providing Internet banking.

The focus is also on providing commercial
grade Internet service. In the communication industry, it is common to provide quality
service but it has not come in the Internet arena. Our technology takes care of all these
parameters in providing quality service.

How dependent are these products on the communication
layers?

These are quite independent of the
communication layers. One can use it over Internet, cable, and dedicated lines. So in the
seven-layer OSI model, it communicates to the next layer using standard technologies and
does not assume that you are going to the communication layers. The smart card technology
can even do the work offline.

What are the E-commerce laws applicable in the US and what
laws should be applicable in India?

In the US, there is a trusted third party,
which issues the certificate of authority, where the party is going to say who you are,
what the other party is, and about the transaction.

If tomorrow, one denies having bought it
from the concerned party, there is sure to be a problem. The trusted third party could be
independent of the government or could be within the government.

In India, the government can form a body
and the body will take care of cyber identity. The issue of taxation has to be solved.

In the US and the UK, all the states or
counties have different sales tax. The sales tax is according to the state in which the
consumer resides. So if something is bought in Delhi from a shop in Mumbai, the laws in
Delhi will govern it. Usually, it is the shipping address where the goods are shipped and
the sales tax is collected at this place. In the US, no new taxes have been imposed on
transactions made by Internet.

What are your products that can be directly supplied to
the consumer?

In the low end, we have PCs that have
Internet-ready keyboards, products that are smart card-ready, and printers that can be
directly connected to the web. By just carrying the smart card, which contains the
financial information one can use it in any system, which is smart card-ready. In the high
end, NT servers come bundled with all Internet packages and applications.

Will smart card technology take care of all the systems?

There are some regulatory issues. More
than that it is an open issue where one can use the same card for multiple systems. The
technology is still to be evolved, where they are going to accept smart cards of multiple
vendors rather than being vendor specific.

What are the security aspects of the
system and on what cryptography is it based?

Our systems are based on public
cryptography and we are primarily working on the "Virtual Wall" technology.

What are your global plans?

Right now, we are focussed on the products
that we have and are working through our partners to provide the service. The ISPs have
started deploying these services. We have around 30 installations around the world and we
want to bring these to the emerging markets here. We have a portfolio and wherever we need
to add, we have a strong partnership with independent software vendors. We focus on our
partners like Cambridge Technologies and i2 Technologies.

What are your plans for the Indian market?

We are very optimistic about the market in
India as the rate of Internet penetration is high. In India, we are focusing on banks and
telecom companies because these are the leaders in deploying solutions. Manufacturing
sector is another segment that will go in for E-commerce and will be linked to ISPs who
will provide virtual private network as value-added networks. The government sector has a
lot of potential. Besides the government’s consumption, its recommendations will be
helpful in supporting other departments and institutes. Education is another important
field because we feel campuses are the breeding grounds, as the next generation will adopt
these things much faster.

What are the products that are being developed in India?

Today, we
are developing all the payment technologies in India. Some parts of our E-business engines
are developed here and even large customized E-commerce projects are undertaken in India.

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