Sulekha.com was born on 25th Feb 1998 and was owned by Satya Prabhakar and main logo was different from what is currently. The title of the sulekha’s logo read Web Magazine for the Indian Sub Continent. Sulekha.com was started as collaborative artcle writing conecpt. It seems Mr Prabhakar or his wife also registered another website named fixexpress.com on 31st Aug 1998 but it seems it did not worked out. Another interesting thing to note is that google.com was born on 15th September 1997, so it seems that Sulekha.com was really fast to catch up with internet growth.
Many people used to voluntarily submit articles to be published onto sulekha.com for free.
In 1999, sulekha.com came up with new logo which how it looks like today. They also organised the website into seperate columns or headings such as Articles, Columns, Coffe House Discussions, Cool Tools, Movie Reviews / ratings etc also i could find the trademark notice saying Sulekha is a trademark of Smart Information Worldwide, Inc. In order to generate revenue they also joined with ecommerce partners (or affiliate marketing) with amazon.com, comission junction.com, expedia, etc and was updated daily with new content (as they said on their website).
In 2000 sulekha.com offered free email accounts and in late 2000 they offered online advertisement to those who might be interested in publicizing their website onto sulekha.com. In today’s website, i could not locate free email account option, so i googled free email acocunt sulekha.com and found a page offering free email account and paid versions of email accounts as well.
Seems from 2001,sulekha.com did get advertisers to place their banner advertisements on sulekha.com. They also started to offer ticket sale as displayed by the figure given here.
Other banners i could locate were promoting Miss India USA Peagent, Bollywood Music Awards, WorldWidePeagents.com, namaste.com, indiafm.com, b4u.com, etc. Another intersting option they added as photo gallery.
In 2002, it seems old advertisers made their own way and i could not locate their advertisements on sulekha.com. New advertisers were there such as dish network, movies banner advertisements, calling cards (these are cheap way of calling to India from outside India), kbs-tv.com, sendwise.com, etc. In later months i could find again new advertisers such as Western Union, Relax Herbals, razacomm.com for phone calling to India, etc.
Yes in 2003, some old advertisers were there such as Western Union, Cheap Phone Calling Companies, Dish Network and new advertisers such as Global Indian Congress, Remit to India, etc. It seems like sulekha.com was really popular in USA. Later in 2003 some new advertisers came in and old advertisers faded away. New advertisers such as goldpalace.com, LG, Rakhi Special, etc.
2004 was again the same, some old advertisers made their way out of sulekha.com and new ones came in advertising Best Exchange Rates, Flight related promotion, etc. 2005 saw the same trend, old advertisers vanished and new ones came for similar type of products / services such as flight, new calling card company, icici, etc. Late 2005 saw little bit redesign of Sulekha.com and again new advertisers such as corp2corpdeals.com, etc. The re-design of sulekha.com allowed user to select his / her location in multiple US / Canada states such as Atlanta, Austin, Bay Area, Boston, New York, Toronto, etc. Also few indian cities were added such as Banglore, Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Kolkata and Mumbai. Dubai, London and Singapore were also added. Sulekha.com also published it’s client list under the name Sulekha Media Kit to further attract advertisers.
Uptill now i have seen that lots of advertisers come and go out of sulekha’s advertisement campaign. In the same way other following years saw similar design changes, new advertisers being added to the advertisement campaign, existing advertisers pulling out, etc. Have a look at How to Advertise on Sulekha to know briefly, the type of advertisements offered by sulekha for advertisers.