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Past decade has seen India rising the charts in world GDP rankings. As of April 2015, India is ranked No. 3 in GDP based on Purchase Power parity (PPP) valuation (Source: knoema.com). It has been a reflection of our sheer populace, consumerism trends, rise in disposable incomes, opening economy. However, in recent 2 years, rise of mobile consumer applications has brought in a multiplier effect for the whole economy, akin to the icing on the cake. An 8 years old FlipKart is nearing a valuation of ~30 Bn US$ after the proposed $5Bn IPO at NYSE, very comparable to valuation of 20 years old Infosys Technologies ( 42 Bn US$)(Source:Wiki), and even Tata Consultancy at 80 Bn US$ (Source: Wiki).

This blog is discussing the wealth effect and future promise that consumer mobile applications have brought to the entire economy.

The consumer applications, attract venture capitals (mostly VCs based outside India) like Jasper, Alibaba, SoftBank and scores of others to invest in their operations. Look at the funding some of the leading consumer applications have received.

Brand Funding
 Flipkart $2.5 Billion in 11 Rounds from 16 Investors; 9 acquisitions.
 SnapDeal $1.1 Billion in 8 Rounds from 16 Investors; 8 acquisitions.
 OLA $676.8 Million in 6 Rounds from 16 Investors; 1 acquisition.
 PayTM $200 Million in 2 Rounds from 2 Investors
 JustDial $67 Million in 2 Rounds from 2 Investors + IPO in 2013
… to count a few.

Source: CrunchBase

As the billions of dollars flow into the operations, it creates a ripple effect of wealth to web cos, print cos, ad companys, besides, job opportunities, taxes to govt. Inflow of foreign capital improves the Balance of Payment (BoP) deficit, improves situation of high dollar demand, in turn easing the cost of oil import and bringing relief to whole nation.

Adam Smith phrased ‘The Invisible Hand’ theory in his book ‘The Wealth of Nations’. The mobility is adding strength to that Invisible hand. Alvin Toffler mentioned IT as the 3rd wave after Agriculture and Industrialization. I am sure he would be watching, the 4th Wave is the mobility.

Traditionally India has been known to be a strong & lucrative market. The consumer applications are turning country into a strong industry.

Expansion of these brands outside India will be the new turning point for the whole country.

Mahindra Comviva, itself strongly believes in creating D2C brand value, while leveraging mobile payments or entertainment content opportunity to name a few, and I could see a light at the tunnel-end and a huge possibility.

September 24, 2015 0 comment
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Technology in modern times have picked up pace in both evolution and adaptation. May be it’s because of the users acceptance towards new technologies which was much less in olden times. People have become more open to trying out new gadgets/equipments without being judgmental. Back in 2000s public rejected the very idea about self driving cars but the same is not true after a decade, companies have realize the importance of this technology in the future and are investing heavily in this.

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When radio was first introduced in 1900s it was new and innovative way of mass communication for that period of time but it still took more than 50 years for full and widespread adaptation. The next major innovation was the television which happened in the late 1920s, by that time people were familiar with radio thus making the adaptation faster than the radio but still painfully slow almost 25 years. This same pattern repeats for all new technology products, but always has faster adaptation rate than the previous. The current trend in adaptation has not changed a great deal, but the adaptation period has significantly reduced in time span from years to months now. If we look at mobile phones which was first introduced by Motorola in 1970s, it took around a decade to get acceptance but when it came the turn of smart phone it took less than 5 years to get widespread acceptance while the tablet computers took even less.

The acceptance and adaptation may have increased due to the usefulness of the technology in itself or to the fact that people are getting accustomed to technology. It also helps that tech companies are packaging the new products as user friendly to target wider audience. Technology is evolving at a rapid pace in all aspects, but the most noticeable changes are in size, power and cost of products. When computer was first introduced it was a big bulky box which could do very basic tasks and usually costs an arm and leg to buy. But when companies package it in a beautiful well crafted design with eye candy colors it is a must have device for everyone. That’s what the iMac did to PC.    

Companies have realized that there is no money to be made by sitting idle. So they are pouring money into Research and Development hoping to find the “next big thing”. Consumer Product companies in recent times are greatly profitable and are the largest public companies in the world beating out the oil companies. They are determined in finding the next big product and everyone wants it to be from their company. When a new product gets widespread acceptance from the users, it moves from indulgent usage to necessity and subsequently gets displaced by a better product based on newer technology.

This is an exciting time for consumer as innovative products are being created at an unprecedented pace; technology has enabled us to create new products and categories. It’s exciting as a consumer to get countless products based on the latest technologies.  The faster the consumer embraces products based on latest technology the faster companies try to come out with newer technologies to create better products and the cycle continuous. The mobile phone replaced the landline; smart phone replaced the basic mobile phone and the cycle continuous on.

September 24, 2015 0 comment
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Did you know that 4 billion people on the planet use mobile phones but only 3.5 million use a toothbrush.

The world today is experiencing a technological push ,with which the number of smart phone users by 2016 will be around 2 billion. Don’t believe me? here is the data.  Emarketer, a leading research and analysis firm in their research have revealed that more than a quarter of global population will use smart phones by 2015 end with India witnessing fastest growth of smart phone users.

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                                                                Image Source : here

Following the trend it won’t be long when the desktop PC will be needed only for typing long emails or only to work in office. It might come to a situation where it will be used to create more smart phones applications. But what about in a business environment? Are they going down this path too?

A big event that signifies this mark is e-tailer giant myntra to go ‘mobile-only’ starting from 15th of May. Myntra which draws 80% of its traffic and 60% of its sales from its mobile application, is expecting to take that number to 90% by year’s end. In addition to the booming ecommerce sector in India, this is further proof that the m-commerce industry is on the rise too. Not only Myntra but its rival Snapdeal states that 45% of the transactions from mobile were made via the app, while the remaining 55% were made from the mobile site. The company also revealed that 20% of all app users open it every day. While another e-tailer champ Jabong stating it to be 50-50 for both mobile app and the website.

Pay through mobile (abbreviated as Paytm) has appended itself to the list by launching Paytm wallet in 2014 which has become the preferred mode of payment for other mobile app leviathans like Uber, Bookmyshow, Makemytrip. Paytm assures money in the wallet is 100% safe. They are RBI licensed wallet and the money is protected in Escrow account with a national bank.

Not only customers usage and the increase in number of smart phones but several other factors contribute to this shift to m-commerce and eventually ‘mobile-only’. Reasons why mobile apps will become  important for companies are –

< ![if !supportLists]>1.       < ![endif]>Increase in number of smart phone users and usage– From dropped prices of smart phones to setting a trend. From the only source to access internet in few developing countries, smart phone users as well as the usage of smart phones is on a constant rise.

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                               Image Source :http://searchenginewatch.com/

< ![if !supportLists]>2.       < ![endif]>Manifoldness of possibilities –  Whether your day-to-day focus is business management, marketing, sales, SEO, social media, advertising, software development, or customer relationship management, the mobile device has increasingly become the preferred tool for work and communication. How quickly and effectively an organization plans, develops, and adapts to deliver quality mobile experiences will likely become a competitive advantage.

< ![if !supportLists]>3.       < ![endif]>Ease of development  &  Enhanced user experience on the goApps offer an unmatched user-experience which mobile Websites or widgets are unable to provide. The new design trend “Mobile first and desktop second” will enable businesses to start using responsive web design to continue with the mobile view of website and ultimately converting to a mobile app.

 

< ![if !supportLists]>4.       < ![endif]>Proximity to the customer– Whether you are commuting or sitting ideal, one thing definitely comes handy and that is your smart phone. It will be easier for the m-commerce to send push up notification as an alternative to the advertisement and also to keep user aware of the updates , new deals and the exiting opportunity a business has to offer.

< ![if !supportLists]>5.       < ![endif]>Connectivity with 3g and 4g – Going by the fact that most websites are accessed using desktops or laptops , Wi-Fi and LAN are the most used source of internet. With blooming 3g and the new 4g comings enabled smart phones will enable users to stay connected.

< ![if !supportLists]>6.       < ![endif]>Discoverability of apps – There might be questions on visibility of a certain apps on different application stores but if we compare apps available to the number of website, it would be a comparison of drop with the ocean.

< ![if !supportLists]>7.       < ![endif]>Tremendous opportunity for Entrepreneurs We are bombarded with new ideas almost daily for which we need a platform to turn them into reality. Figuring out wireframe will be sufficient to launch the application enriched in innovations.

Although there is still a long way to go before many companies learn how to benefit from and how to engage in this exciting new market, but it won’t take long before it becomes standard business practice, especially for media, consumer goods, fashion e-tailers, automotive, and food companies to communicate with their customers via an app.

And most probably only app. Thus ‘mobile-only’.

September 24, 2015 0 comment
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