A relatively low risk investment with limited startup cost, Reseller hosting is a lucrative opportunity for IT entrepreneurs looking to kick-start their own business. However, with a gazillion established web hosting firms out there claiming to provide white-label hosting solutions with customized plans, value added features and technical support, cutting through jargon and making an informed decision of choosing the right reseller hosting provider can be a herculean task.
There are only few web hosting firms who’ve the right infrastructure, experience, resources and skillset in place to provide their resellers with just about anything they need to start and successfully manage their web hosting business, and ResellerClub is one such organization.
A veteran Web Presence products & services provider, ResellerClub has a wide product range that includes Domain Registration, Web and Email Hosting, SSL Certificates and Website Design, backed up by top-shelf customer support and state-of-the-art infrastructure. The company also has a ‘Power Partner Program’ in place where it funds its resellers’ marketing plans and helps them grow.
We sat with Shridhar Luthria, General Manager & Business Head, ResellerClub post his session at WHD.India 2013 to discuss ResellerClub’s recent product launches, Domain Reseller program, Geo-located hosting, plans for Q3 and Q4, and of course, the upcoming ResellerClub Hosting Summit 2013. The complete video of our interaction is below, and a print version follows it.
Q: Last year saw a major expansion in the product range of ResellerClub. Can we have a quick recap of everything that’s new and resellers need to know about?
A: We launched multi-domain hosting products on cPanel and Plesk. We launched reseller hosting on WHM and Plesk. We’ve launched VPSs as well and we’re going to increase that portfolio as we go on.
We are looking at Enterprise Email launching next week, which will be directly competing with the likes of Google Apps, and our resellers can offer it to their clientele with better support resources.
We are also looking at dedicated servers and a bunch of additional products like SiteLock, Website backup solutions, Hosted CRMs etc., which make up for more than 20% of the revenue of every large hosting company.
Q: This one is regarding Geo-located hosting launched by ResellerClub a few months back. How important would you say is server location in Overseas Hosting? Also, what percentage of your reseller base, do you think, has been able to leverage the benefits of your servers round the globe fully so far?
A: In a lot of ways, providing international hosting or hosting overseas works brilliantly for us in terms of partnering with resellers, because they definitely need that.
But the reason they need that is because of the fact that the consumer today believes that hosting on a local server is going to be faster than hosting on a US server.
That’s not really the case always but because of this ‘myth’ and demand that exists, it does become a very important aspect for resellers when they consider to partner with us. So it’s fabulous from that perspective.
Q: Are you planning to make any changes in your Domain Reseller program in light of the new gTLDs that are about to hit the market soon?
A: In terms of the Domain Reseller program, we are obviously looking at offering as many new TLDs as we can, but our key focus will be on integrating the most generic ones, like .home, .shop, .web etc. first, because these will be useful for a larger audience. As we move along, we’ll look at integrating some of the slightly more specific vertical ones as well.
The biggest change is obviously going to be that now instead of 70, there will be probably 200 different TLDs for a reseller to be able to resell. So we’re planning to make a lot of changes to the entire domain flow at our Private-Labeled Storefront to accommodate them.
Apart from that, one aspect that we are definitely looking at is understanding the user behavior – has he come on the website before, what type of domain name has he searched for, which country is he from etc. Based on some of these aspects we will try and provide them with more relevant search results which are valid for all the new gTLDs that are coming out.
Q: While ResellerClub has seen global success with a good reseller base in China, Turkey, Russia etc., India still remains its forte, where it is synonymous with dependable domain services and web hosting. How do you plan to establish stronger foothold overseas, especially in the US market?
A: To be honest, if India continues to grow the way it is and some of these other markets you mentioned like China, Brazil, Turkey etc. continue to grow the way they are, and given our growth within these markets, I might not even need to look at the US with as much focus as I am probably right now.
Having said that, the US has been one of our largest markets for quite some time. While we’ve been growing exceptionally well in the markets that you mentioned- India, China, Turkey etc., the US has always been one of our largest markets for sure.
I think the only thing we need to do over there is to make sure we can consolidate, partner with more clients, offer them our different products and services and hope that they will bite on to that and work with us more closely in the future.
Q: Reseller Hosting Summit 2012 , held in Mumbai, India was a big success. What additional value do you expect to derive from Reseller Hosting Summit 2013?
A: I think for any conference of ResellerClub Hosting Summit’s type, there are three most important and essential aspects – the quality of speakers and sessions held, the sort of exhibitors that attendees get to talk to and partner with, and of course the number of people that attend the event.
So our aim is simple. First, we want to make sure that we have as many good speakers as possible. I think the speakers last year did a fantastic job and we’ll be lucky to have all of them come back again and probably some more.
Second, we want to make sure that we can get as many different brands as possible over there so that Indian resellers and service providers get to interact with these people and derive more value out of the event.
Third, we hope that we can get as many different resellers, hosting providers and web service providers as possible to attend the event. We are doing it in New Delhi this year and it’s one of the best places because it’s one of our largest bases. We also have a lot of different partners from Jaipur, Chandigarh and a couple of other cities close by, so it’ll be quite easy and convenient for them to come to the ResellerClub Hosting Summit 2013 and interact with each other.
One other aspect that we are planning to bring in this time is to invite our partners from all across Asia. We are looking at the United Arab Emirates, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh and China. We want to make sure that we can truly expand ResellerClub Hosting Summit 2013 in terms of the diversity that exists within the audience because that’s really what exhibitors and audience would want, to interact with their counterparts from other countries as well. Hopefully we can pull that off and make it an interesting event.
Q: What changes do you expect to see in the Indian Hosting & Domains market in near future?
A: I think we are at a point in Indian market where probably the US was about 9 or 10 years ago. So first of all, I expect a jump in growth; may be not this year but within the next two or three years for sure. Today, there are about 41/2 million domain names owned by Indian consumers and registrants. I expect that to probably grow to about 15 or 20 million within the next 5 years. The United States is at about 60-70 million right now, so we are not there yet but I expect that level of growth within the next few years.
I also expect consumers to demand a lot more in terms of online advertising and additional products like website security,backup solutions etc. So every hosting provider or web services provider will need to start offering these products and make sure that they can cater to a wider range of needs of the consumers.
Q: To wrap up, what’s in the bag for Q3 and Q4 of 2013?
A: There are a couple of surprises for sure. We’re really excited about some new products like enterprise email, dedicated servers and all these additional products talked about.
Apart from that, we are also launching a program, where we are looking to fund our resellers for their marketing plans. Resellers can use an application form and send us their marketing plans and the numbers and volumes that they hope to achieve by executing them. We are looking to partner with them, fund them and help them grow, because at the end of the day, our (ResellerClub’s) growth is pretty much linked to the growth of our clients. So if we can help them get a greater market share, we are basically helping ourselves.
These are some of the things that are planned out for Q3 and Q4, along with RCHS 2013. Let’s see, it should be a fun year.