In the second in this series, Deepak Daftari discusses what it’s like to buy and sell domains in India.
If you’ve been to a domain conference, you’ve probably seen Deepak Daftari. He’s instantly recognizable by his handlebar mustache and big smile.
As part of our series about domain investing around the world, I asked Deepak what it’s like being a domain investor in India.
DNW: How and when did you get into domain investing?
Daftari: I bought my first domain in 1999, eSiksha.com – my first business venture.
Bought my first set of domains as an investment in 2005 when .IN and .CO.IN were released to the general public. Sold these names and reinvested the profits in buying more valuable names.
Started domaining as a full-time career from 2012 onwards.
Is .com king in your country, or is another domain (like the country code) dominant?
Daftari: .Com is still the king in India but .IN and .CO.IN names are also gaining ground rapidly, as the preferred choice of start-ups.
What is the domain investing community like in your country?
Daftari: India has a very active domain community, as of today. Back in the day, there were just a handful of full-time domain investors but the last few years have seen a burst of young blood entering the industry and pursuing domaining as a full-time career. Some of them are doing really well for themselves and have learned the ropes of the trade quickly. As the industry is maturing in India, the learning curve for these youngsters is getting shorter, as they have greater risk-taking ability.
How does your location impact your domain investing?
Daftari: Location definitely has a big impact for domainers in India.
The drop auctions start ending from 12:30 a.m. going all the way to the early hours of the morning.
Attending domain conferences is also challenging given the huge distance, costs and the multiple flight changes to attend one.
Taxation is an issue as digital goods is an evolving area of taxation in India. Digital goods are subjected to both income tax and GST (Goods & Services tax), resulting in a higher cost of acquisition.
Most importantly, communication & time zones are the greatest barrier during negotiations if it’s a big deal being worked upon, and timing is everything in domaining.
If there were to be a domain conference in your country, what city do you think it should be in and why?
Daftari: We have had our fair share of Domain Conferences in India, attended by some of the most prominent names in the industry.
In the past, we have had NamesCon Mumbai, Domaining India Summit and a lot of other domain conferences, attended by hundreds of investors from all over the country.
Well-known faces like Ron Jackson, Braden Pollock, Dave Evanson, Christian Voss, Zak Muscovitch, Soeren Varchmin and many others have attended these conferences.
Some of these conferences came to a temporary halt because of Covid but I am sure they would be back in full force again very shortly.