New Zoom Competitor in India

Jio which is owned by India’s wealthiest individual just released a new video chat a few days ago. It is almost a carbon replica of Zoom. There are no time limits for free users so I can see a number of smaller enterprises shifting if the service and quality is similar to Zoom.

Of course over time they will change that policy. Don’t think it’s much of an issue outside of India however India is a huge market for Zoom so will be interesting to see how this plays out. Jio will definitely push the “made in India angle” and likely point to Zoom security and China servers to try and attract new users.

Article is below

https://www.google.com/amp/s/techcrunch.com/2020/07/02/relia…

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Good find! If it’s free and works it could definitely catch on outside of India…It’s worth watching adoption in Asia more broadly.

“In a call with analysts earlier this year, Jio executives had described JioMeet as a platform that they think would some day have features to enable doctors to consult their patients, prescribe them medicine, and have a system in place to let them buy medicines online and get test results digitally.“

I’m really hoping that Zoom is also working on digital purchases of medicine or partnering with someone like Amazon to enable that. Could be so efficient.

My inclination when someone suggests that there is a new competitor for Zoom … or, for that matter, most of the companies discussed on this board … is to yawn and say “show me first”. I.e., Zoom has a bunch of existing competition … about many one can say “X has the advantage of Y”, e.g., Teams having the advantage of being the Microsoft solution. But, it is Zoom that is growing like a weed, not the others. So, clearly what Zoom is offering is a compelling value proposition which is frequently overcoming those supposed advantages.

Here we have a product announcement, no idea of how good the product actually is, and, except for the “made in India” aspect for customers in India, they same frequently cited issues like China and security which are not being compelling deciding issues with existing competitors.

So, show me that they can be a significant competitor and then I will start to wonder about Zoom.

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I agree. I am following the news about JioMeet and also have a couple of product experience feedback from my friends in India. It seems like, the product was rushed out of the door and presently the product team have lot to iron out the kinks.

One of my friends (a paid Zoom subscriber) switched over to JioMeet and tried to have a business meeting. The meeting lasted a full 5 minutes, before they ended up abandoning the platform and switching back to Zoom.

Not trying to say, they can’t match up with Zoom, but they certainly have a fair amount of runway in front of them before they really take off. Reliance Industries(conglomerate that launched the video conferencing platform - JioMeet) does have deep pockets and the wherewithal to become a formidable regional competitor at some point.

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So, show me that they can be a significant competitor and then I will start to wonder about Zoom.

Show me that Zoom can compete with WebEx. Oh, wait. They are.

An up-start like this isn’t a threat until it is. And it’s why I like stronger moats around my businesses. As I think this illustrates, anyone can hire some programmers and release a similar product. There really is no moat.

I’m not saying that this Indian competitor will amount to anything. It may fall flat on it’s face. One probably could have said that same thing about Zoom 9 years ago. But now it’s an industry leader.

If I were a ZM investor (I have no position) I would watch developments like this carefully, not dismissively. As I said, they may go nowhere. But bugs and glitches can be fixed. Zoom has done it. There is no reason (based on the article) to believe this up-start can’t do it too.

1poorguy

If I were a ZM investor (I have no position) I would watch developments like this carefully, not dismissively.

It is one thing to watch the company and market carefully … one should always do that no matter how impenetrable a moat one may think a company has … and another to panic each time a potential new competitor comes on the scene and has yet to demonstrate the ability to dominate even a small niche, much less take away major market share.

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I agree, don’t panic. If I left the impression that’s what I was saying, that was unintentional.

If I were a ZM investor, I would just add this to the “things to watch”. Keep tabs on it. Are they fixing their bugs? What are people saying about the interface? Is it achieving market penetration? Stuff like that.

As an example, an investor in INTC may have wanted to track the goings-on at AMD. I used to. What is AMD doing? How are their sales? I was in INTC at the time when they had the floating-point divide problem, and probably the biggest thing that saved them from AMD was a) AMD didn’t have the capacity to exploit INTC’s blunder, and b) they started having fire problems with their processor (i.e. it was causing fires). INTC had the huge advantage of an enormous moat in the form of capacity. To build-out fabs to enhance capacity is excruciatingly expensive. And they still do have that moat (note: no position in INTC or AMD at this point). But I watched AMD, and another company (I forget the name now) that had a “revolutionary” processor (that turned out to be a dud), etc. Just in case.

So don’t panic about the Indian competitor, but keep an eye on it. It could be the next Zoom. Or it could be the next MySpace. You don’t know, and there’s no moat to provide a security blanket.

1poorguy

So don’t panic about the Indian competitor, but keep an eye on it. It could be the next Zoom. Or it could be the next MySpace. You don’t know, and there’s no moat to provide a security blanket.

All true.
But Zoom has a big moat at this time (even though tiny upstarts are trying to fill in the moat).
And that moat is mind share. The average consumer, and especially business consumers that actually pay money for cloud services don’t spend a lot of time switching between products that hundreds or thousands of their employees have to use. Good enough and cheap enough for a product that has the network effect like Zoom tends to give it stickiness.
It will be very difficult for “another” video conferencing solution to take away the media mind share that Zoom now has. New competitors have to significantly exceed Zoom in cost or quality or some other measure to gain significant market share.

Mike

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"…As I think this illustrates, anyone can hire some programmers and release a similar product. There really is no moat.

I would strongly suggest you change this mindset about software. I’ve posted about this before. The short version is there is a lot of art mixed in with that science. This is like saying you can just hire some engineers and make Apple products so Apple has no moat… or anything else out in the world. Knock-off Gucci products exist but don’t have the same value.

Software is HARD. Zoom has a massive moat. If this kept you from buying Zoom shares than I am sorry you didn’t hear this sooner.

It is valid to say a new company can show up and disrupt things and become a serious threat (Zoom vs WebEx is the example you used and it IS valid). That said, as others here are pointing out, the new company has to be good, not just an attempt to copy features on paper with sub-par execution. I’m not saying this describes the company that started this thread. Only that it must deliver before we should care. Even the name-branding has me thinking this is going to be a serious uphill battle for this new startup.

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"And it’s why I like stronger moats around my businesses. As I think this illustrates, anyone can hire some programmers and release a similar product. There really is no moat.’

Aiming for a big moat is a great intent.

However I don’t think you appreciate the difficulty involved with developing a really robust consumer software. I’m working on an instrument that has a lot of autonomously controlled behaviors. I can’t tell you how much of a challenge the software development, verification and validation has been. It’s years behind schedule, many millions over budget, and the people working on this effort are superb. Software is HARD if it has got to be both clever and robust.

In terms of competitiveness: Zoom is heads and shoulders, and chest, and torso better than Teams (my wife’s work software), Webex (my work’s software), Skype and Adobe Connect (both of which I’ve got a lot of experience with). Every time I use anything other than Zoom, I am shocked by how much easier Zoom is to use. My 89 year old step dad thinks Zoom is easy to use.

Zoom has got a hell of a product, and that accomplishment represents a huge moat in my opinion. I’m also super impressed with how the company responded to their security issues. VERY few companies are as transparent in defining their problems, describing their solutions, and updating their customers as progress was achieved. This is a very well run organization with customer focus.

So please don’t think you can just hire programmers and make something wonderful happen. It’s just not so.

Best regards,
chemfool2

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