BANGALORE: The advent of smartphones might have made life easy for netizens, but it has spelled doom on the internet centres. Seems like these centres too will meet the fate of typewriters, which rarely exist with the advent of computers. Nearly 3,600 internet centers are on the verge of shutting down due to lack of customers.
Most of these centres are now being converted into stationary stores, travel agencies and confectionary stores. Also, some have turned into gaming zones, attracting kids towards online games.
Most of the net cafe owners believe that access to web on cellphones, 3G and WiFi technology, are the main reasons for less customers.
“Initially, I invested `One-and-half lakh, and in the first month there was good response. Per day’s minimum profit would be `600. But soon I accounted loss. I will close down the centre soon,” said K H Vinayaka, who owns an Internet cafe in BTM layout.
“My business is a financial burden. I have to pay rent for the building, service providers, without any profit. I am planning to shutdown this centre and run a hardware business instead,” said another Internet cafe owner in Jayanagar.
“I recently opened this business but the response is very poor. I get about 8 to 10 customers per day. There is no much hope about profit here,” said Nadeem, who runs an Internet cafe and a travel agency in J P Nagar. Chandru said, “My Internet cafe is now a kids game zone and the customers are school students. Others are people in need of printouts or scanning. I also sell cool drinks and rent out DVDs.”
“People have a lot of options on their phones now. Net cafes do not have a good browsing speed. Some like I-Way allow only subscribers. I think due to rules like submission of ID proof and other norms while using the systems, customers chose to stay from net cafes,” opined Venugopal H S, a techie.