Mobile Advertising & VAS in India

Yesterday, I attended the Mobile Advertising and VAS Conference – Mobile Conclave 2010 at Amity University, NOIDA. Thank you, Vishal, for inviting me over.

The conference was an outliner to where we as consumers stand for the VAS players and telecos. India has always had high usage trends when it comes to infotainment on a media. Be it television, the internet or mobile. Inherently, VAS services like games, jokes, astrology, flowers on demand, etc. have been there since the inception of VAS in India.

But that by no means Indicate that we as Indians are satisfied by the operators or the VAS services, for that matter. There is a huge different between a commodity being an accessory and that being a necessity.  How many services actually target the later?

Checking PNR status is one good service I would say. There might be a handful of others. But do we ever see a – doctor on call, lawyer on call or a mentor on call service? I would want a provider to incorporate these. Is there a VAS player who would possible build a service which can lead me to the closest physician while I am travelling in an area that’s 1000 miles from my residence, without having an access to the internet? This is a need, not an accessory.

At the conferences, there were talks on social networks being accessed over mobiles and then facebook adding 45million people to their mobile users within first 8 months of the launch. How many Indians are willing to afford a Rs 500 worth of an EDGE data plan on their carrier beyond the usual monthly rental and that of the resident internet connection, say broadband. How many Indians do have a phone that has a WiFi? Leave all that, India still has just over 8% of broadband penetration. Still the users of Orkut, Facebook and Twitter are very high in India as compared to rest of the world. That doesn’t mean we, the Indians are heavy users of social networks on mobile.

If this small a market is good enough to advertise and get a good ROI, I would love to be directed to a few case studies on mobile internet based marketing case studies in India.

I liked the thoughts of Milind Pathak, Vice President, Comviva. Crystal gazing through the year 2010, he said, “Netting the un-netted is a big area which shall need to be looked upon. Also, there exists a payments asymmetry in mobile commerce in India.” According to him, there is still a wait for 12-18 months to see 3G as a service which we as a consumer can benefit with.

While all of us are eager for the spectrum to roll out and 3G to arrive, using mobiles for many is still limited to voice and sms. SMSgupshup comes in handy as an API to use and build products around social networks. SMSTweet is one good example.

Looking forward to the year 2010, as in what we get to see and how accurate is the crystal gazing we did yesterday at the conclave.


Startup Lunch Delhi

Ever thought of being part of the next big business idea? If yes, this is for you!

Event Info


Type: MeetingsBusiness Meeting


Time and Place

Date: Saturday, September 6, 2008

Time: 10:00am – 5:00pm

Location: Amity – Noida

City/Town: Delhi, India

A Startup is probably the best place to be at for a fresher or for a professional who is looking for a career boost or to experience rapid growth. But the issue is that most people are not aware as to where to find these startups, neither are these startups able to be part of campus recruitment processes because of their small size.

The Basic Questions:

What is a Startup? A Startup is a company which is in its early stage of growth. It is most probably the founder of the company with a small team of five to ten people (or maybe less) working hard at a fabulous problem and to grow. There are two ways a startup could go: a) Really really big, or b) Go nowhere. The option is that you learn a lot from being part of a small group of people since you learn everything related to running a company and everything that goes on, which is an experience you will never get working for a corporate, and also if the startup grows big, you make a lot of money along with the founders.

What does it mean to work for a Startup? It would mean:

1. A committed job which would be an amazing place for passionate people
2. Slightly long hours of work
3. A very tightly knit team which is dedicated, passionate and probably the smartest set of people you will meet.
4. Slightly lower salaries
5. High Payback options on success

Who all can be part of this Startup Lunch? If you believe you do possess the skills to contribute to a Startup, you are more than welcome to put-in your name. Some of the verticals you might be coming from are:
* Programmers
* Marketers
* Visual Communication
* Animators
* Etc.

How Does this work?

The principle is roughly the same as the SpeedDating concept. The startup founders are seated on one side and the candidates get to say hello and have a quick conversation to talk about what the background of the founder is, why he started the company and what sort of person he is looking for, while asking questions to the candidate about the reason to join a startup and what his/her passions are and ten minutes later the same process continues with the next founder. Within an hour, you would have met/spoken to most of the startups, and by the end of the day would know whom to get in touch with for your first/next job.

So, what’s Cooking? Delhi Startup Lunch 3 is!
The Delhi Startup Lunch 3 is ready to be served on 6th September 2008.
We invite new & young businesses (Startups) and Candidates from Delhi + NCR region to participate.

More details about the event and the online registration process is available on the wiki page. If you decide to be a part of the event, you contact me or either of these guys to get any information you wish to have.

Abhishek (
Avinash (
Vishal (
Praval (

Praval is a web evangelist and marketer with, a Django web application development shop.