“New extensions mean that there will be a wider spectrum of options for marketers to connect with their customers”- Shashank Mehrotra – General Manager and Business Head, BigRock

Mr. Shashank Mehrotra – General Manager and Business Head, BigRock shares his views with technuter.com on domain registration and web hosting: 

General-Manager-and-Business-Head-BigRock-Shashank-MehrotraCould you please tell us about BigRock?

BigRock is one of India’s leading providers of web-presence solutions to small-businesses, professionals and individuals.  BigRock offers a complete suite of products that help businesses establish & grow their online presence. Our product portfolio includes – domain registration, web hosting, email hosting, servers, website design platforms and digital certificates. BigRock’s product platform represents 10+ years of investment in technology R&D and powers over 7 million domains.

What are latest industry trends in domain registration and web hosting?

Perhaps the most instrumental change that the industry is undergoing is the implementation of the new generic top level domain (gTLD) regime. In fact, the new regime will change the internet paradigm as we know it. As per ICANN, the launch of the new generic top level domain (gTLD) program will allow for more innovation, choice and change to the internet’s addressing system, earlierconstrained by only 22 gTLDs.This will help create a more vibrant and meaningful internet experience for consumers as brands will have a choice to use domain names that are more relevant for the brand.

In a world with over 2 billion internet users and growing diversity, choice and competition are paramount to the continued success and reach of the global network. The new gTLDs will not only address these demands but also bring forth new protection elements for consumers and brands alike, something that doesn’t exist today in the Domain Name System (DNS). This comprehensive and safer environment will open up a new world for online communities and also give brands the opportunity to explore a wider choice of connecting with customers. For example, a photographer could use .photography or an.album to highlight his work online.

What is the USP of ‘BigRock’ in contrast of other domain registration and web hosting provider in India?

At BigRock, we are highly focused on our customers’ journey and are also creating a number of initiatives across various target groups. We ensure that the process of creating a website is streamlined for users. Our mission is to offer world class Domain Registration & Web Hosting products to our customers. Leveraging years of expertise and cutting-edge technology, we offer a comprehensive suite of Domain Name and Web Hosting services such as domain name registration, Email hosting, VPS hosting and more. In addition, to helping you make the most of the web, we also offer various value-added services such as, DNS management, Premium Domain sales and SiteLock (a cloud-based malware detector that is specially designed to work for websites of SMBs)

Moreover, we acknowledge that nobody can understand the requisites of your website like you. Hence, to give you complete freedom to create extremely appealing and efficient websites, we offer a feature-laden easy to use‘Do It Yourself website builder’. All you need to do is explore the various templates and tools bundled with the solution and make the most of your creativity with the tools offered by the website. If you are looking specifically for a web design consultant to create a great website for you than our online web design marketplace, DesignXchange allows you to look for website designers within your city and budget in just a click.

Could you please tell us about gTLDs and its evolution?

With new gTLDs like .guru, .club, .shiksha, .desi, .xyzand many more entering the market almost every week, the domain name ecosystem hasbecome more interesting. Now customers can choose between www.yourcompanyname.ventures or www.yourcompanyname.enterprises or many more.

Between the year 1985-2012, the domain name industry saw a total of 22 gTLDs launched. Though a small number, they were the pioneers for the domain name industry. Riding on the success of these existing gTLDs, ICANN decided to expand the domain name industry with more new gTLDs. The sole purpose of this decision was to create more options for people to choose from and to make domains more relevant to the different types of businesses out there. For example if you are a photographer you can use .PHOTOGRAPHY, .CAMERA, .PHOTOS or even .GALLERY. People can now relate even more using the new gTLDs.

The acceptance was just the start, there was a lot more involved in actually pumping life into the new gTLDs. There were concerns on who will be allowed to apply for them,which ones will actually make it and under what circumstances? To address these concerns, ICANN developed a process to find new credible operators of new gTLDs. Applications from around the globe were accepted and the applicants underwent a gruelling evaluation and auction procedure. The ones who cleared all the stages were accredited to be operators of their respective gTLDs.

With the new gTLD regime kicking in, we will soon have more than 700+ domain extensions including .press, .photography, .website etc, allowing businesses to create their own brand salience with heightened searchability.

Could you please tell us about new gTLDs like .press, .space, .shop, .bank?

With the availability of hundreds of domain extensions, not only will getting a desired domain name be easy, one can also get something really relevant to one’s business, profession, interest etc. So for instance, instead of getting SBIBank.com, they could apply for SBI.Bank.Whether it is the business’ main site or a targeted microsite, a descriptive domain name has the power to make a company stand out in searches, boost its position in organic search results, and establish a reputation as a reliable source of information and a leader in its category.Radix, a leading domain registry, has already been appointed as the sole registry for .space, and .press strings. We believe that each of the extensions listed above will prove to be very valuable in their own right. For example, the .press string canbe effectively targetedat the entire gamut of people and corporations within the press industry such as journalists, publishing houses, newspapers, bloggers, etc. Similarly, an extension like .shop would make it easier for companies by providing them with a more prominent web presence, leading to new competitive pressures and more options for customers, while a “.bank” domain name could imply trust and reliability like no other. Many Indian corporations have already applied for new gTLDs including SBI which has applied for .SBI, .STATEBANK.

Aside from the possible rise of the “search by extension” feature on search engines, as consumers begin to understand the new, highly targeted, quality strings offered by the new gTLDs, search could experience a very dramatic overhaul in the form of a rise in niche search engines.

How will new domain extensions help in online businesses?

BigRock believes that one of the most compelling and interesting arguments for the new gTLD regime is its ability to create a close knit community wherein the World Wide Web is categorized and indexed into easily searchable entitiesbased on their unique identity. Furthermore, it also enables a simpler and easier method of discovering your choice of brands, blogs and communities.

The new regime will give them an increased relevance online both in terms of brand value and SEO metrics. Whether it is the landing page of a business website or a targeted microsite, a descriptive domain name has the power to make a company stand out in searches, boost its position in organic search results, and establish its reputation as a reliable source of information and a leader in a certain category.

For brands outside the gamut of e-commerce, these extensions provide a plethora of opportunities. Take the world of media and bloggers that are highly sought after by brands and their PR machineries. Searching for these communities becomes so much easier with extensions such as .press and .blog and outreach that much less cumbersome. In line with this, ecosystem building gets a new driver as well. For instance the .app extension could create a loosely organized community of app developers that corporates, brands, mobile handset manufacturers, media houses and the like could tap into more easily.Essentially, the new gTLDs have the inherent potential to change search as we know it, and if done right, could make quality content and related business easier to find.

How does a domain name makes brands more searchable, enhances brand value and SEO with new gTLDs in place?

New extensions mean that there will be a wider spectrum of options for marketers to connect with their customers. Based on the sheer ability of making brands more searchable on the internet, these new domain extensions will also mean that the average user takes fewer search steps on the internet to reach the website of their choice. From a marketer’s perspective, this easily translates into more site visits and therefore greater revenues in the e-commerce scenario. Put simply, an authentic domain featuring new gTLDs related to their business (and content) will likely rank higher in organic searches resulting in becoming more appealing to end customers.

For new businesses, who are keen to christen their companies with unique names or ones that possess an ideological/ emotional connect, this will present an interesting dynamic. A lot of start-ups today have either had to tweak or opt for new names rather than the one they wanted to choose, based on the availability of the domain names. With the new gTLDs, now registering for a company name (in a domain extension of their choice) will become a simple affair for the start-ups. BigRock believes that these new extensions will help them establish brand recognition in line with their vision.

As a fast-growing player in the domain registration and web hosting industry, where would you like to be in the next 5 years or so?

We believe that the new gTLD regime trulypresents a great opportunity for entrepreneurs to build their business (as well as brand presence) online. BigRock’s goal of ensuring that setting up a website is easy and affordable even for the small entrepreneur will ensure that we serve more customers and businesses over the next five years or so. We intend to enhance our partner and customer base by improving our service and after sale solutions. Simultaneously, we will scope the market to launch more products and value added services so that every Indian company can get a domain of their choice with an extension that is relevant to their brand.

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