“SMS GupShup tran­sits from SMS-cen­tric to Voice Mes­sag­ing and Mo­bile Client”

Voice&Data - - NEWS&VIEWS - co-founder & CTO, SMS GupShup Malini N.

How does SMS Gupshup por­tray it­self in the so­cial me­dia space?

To a large ex­tent, so­cial me­dia is ba­si­cally an in­ter­net and web cen­tric phe­nom­e­non world­wide; whereas in In­dia and other emerg­ing mar­kets things are dif­fer­ent from the de­vel­oped world. In these mar­kets the ubiq­ui­tous me­dia is mo­bile and not in­ter­net. Hence the en­tire the­sis of Sms­gup­shup is to pro­vide so­cial net­work­ing ex­pe­ri­ence that could be ex­pe­ri­enced com­pletely on mo­bile even to those who do not have a web con­nec­tion and to those who were never on the in­ter­net.

What are your lat­est of­fer­ings?

Un­til re­cently, our com­pany has been SMS cen­tric. Now, we are ex­pand­ing our prod­uct range to the voice chan­nel as voice mes­sag­ing is one of the im­por­tant modes of com­mu­ni­ca­tion. The sec­ond prom­i­nent will be ‘Mo­bile Client’, on which the en­tire Sms­gup­shup’s ser­vices could be ac­cessed on data plan. They can re­ceive and send mes­sages on data chan­nel rather than on SMS chan­nel and have a richer ex­pe­ri­ence.

We aug­ment our fo­cus on mon­e­ti­za­tion of so­cial me­dia through mar­ket­ing and ad­ver­tis­ing; and our other prom­i­nent of­fer­ing-crm so­lu­tions.

Do you have any fundrais­ing plans at this junc­ture?

At this point of time, we are not eye­ing any more funds as we raised a to­tal fund of $47 mn. In Au­gust 2011, we have raised $10 mn by Te­naya Cap­i­tal. Our other in­vestors in­clude Globe­span Cap­i­tal Part­ners, He­lion Ven­tures, and Charles River Ven­ture.

How would you uti­lize these funds?

We in­tend to scale up our sales and spend more on mar­ket­ing. We will be mi­grat­ing our in-house hosted of­fer­ing to cloud and we will mi­grate our Se­quel based data to no-se­quel based data store. We are in­vest­ing heav­ily on se­cu­rity ar­chi­tec­ture.

What is the USP of your tech­nol­ogy?

We are a tech­nol­ogy com­pany, our core strength is the tech­nol­ogy we have built. We send around 2 to 3 bn SMSES per month, nearly 100 mn SMSES per day. Our back-end tech­nol­ogy is very scal­able that is built on Java and My­se­quel. It en­sures high la­tency and re­dun­dancy.

We have an ef­fi­cient ap­pli­ca­tion which runs on web browser/ mo­bile browser/ mo­bile client or a smart­phone, the key to apps suc­cess.

What is your stand on Trai’s guide­lines on bulk SMSES?

There was a need of reg­u­la­tion in mo­bile mar­ket­ing. It will fa­cil­i­tate in main­tain­ing a bet­ter prac­tice and bring value to both m-mar­keters and con­sumers. It will foster le­git­i­mate mo­bile mar­ket­ing com­pa­nies.

The guide­lines would not hin­der the growth of mo­bile mar­ket­ing space be­cause con­sumers would like to re­ceive rel­e­vant con­tent. It will en­hance mo­bile mar­ket­ing seg­ment which was pre­vi­ously un­tar­geted.

ma­linin@cy­ber­me­dia.co.in

Vish­wanath Ra­machan­dran

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