One could see a lot of ideas that have been indianized in the recent past. The BIG SWITCH and MAA EXCHANGE and the controversy over "who copied from whom" really baffles me coz when I look at it, I just see it as a rip off of the UK RDF Media program called 'WIFE SWAP' created by Stephen Lambert. Most companies do the mistake of indianizing ideas that have clicked in the US/UK without enough market analysis before investing crores and crores in bringing them to the market.
One good example that I can think of is the personal finance management SW that was launched in India. It was a major hit in the US, but inspite of advertising on print, FM and digital media, it bombed in India. The pricing model was fine, advertising was reaching the potential audience, may be even the market research showed that the product would sell. What the company failed to realise is that in a country like India, the point of sale(POS) results vary the most to it's corresponding market survey(MS) results. Indians are known for managing finances on their own and went on to show that they were still not ready for a 3rd party player to manage their finances. Assuming MS results to be same as POS can be a game changer.. in some cases taking you down to a place from where only UnderTaker can resurrect :)
There was this drug X with head ache as it's well known primary side effect. A competitor launched a similar drug that was pretty much the same in terms of efficacy, effectiveness etc, but they had somehow managed to get rid of the head ache. What was there to think? Everyone thought that may be not immediately but eventually this drug would replace X. Counter intuitive as it may seem, this drug bombed. People were used to having the post drug consumption head ache and having no head ache somehow made them feel that the drug wasn't working at all.
And that is why, POS surveys become really really important. People say 'YES' to everything as long as they don't have to spend money from their pockets. And Indianizing something based on it's success in the West without POS analysis can terminate your company, finish a few careers and sad but true in 1 case that I have seen end a marriage as well. Sometimes what's tried and tested in the US can leave you done and dusted in India :)
However, the best example that I can think of in this context are the Indian Youth Networking Sites. If you limit your audience by any metric, you are bound to be at least 1 step behind your competition. While FB and Orkut were trying to cover the entire world and fraaaansheep requests were flying from Atlantic to the Antarctic, the India-focussed sites could only boast of "Kashmir to Kanyakumari" coverage. How many Indian social networking sites do you know, and how many are you a member of? The answer will tell you how successful the Indian networking sites have been.
I will leave the readers of this post with this new interesting concept I came across. How many of you would buy this? http://elightelite.com/