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Exploring the brand through Mobile: VivaConnect

Vikram Raichura, Managing Director of VivaConnect is the first generation entrepreneur, who founded this company in 2001. The company positions itself as a proactive agency in the mobile marketing and solutions segment.

Vikram’s endeavors have been recognized by the digital industry. He is a recipient of some prestigious awards like "Red Herring Top 100 Asia 2012," “Top 100 Small Business 2011” and won “The Best SME (E-commerce) at CNBC Emerging India Awards 2009.”

“We are committed to championing in the segment of mobility solutions that enable businesses to reach, engage & analyze their customers’ needs across the mobile horizon, powering billions of interactions till date,” says Vikram. 

In an exclusive interaction with SupportBiz, Vikram outlined some trends in the mobile communication industry of India and his company’s roadmap for next level success.

Edited excerpts:

What are the driving trends in Indian mobile applications market?

The highest usage of apps in India is by the youth covering over 13 per cent of the users. The youth is mostly looking forward for the multimedia interactive communications, social networking, entertainment and games, which is why we see a number of Ad-Networks converging on banner advertising on these applications. The apps, which are first, fast and free, will rule the market.

Mobile based applications now aid the business also, no more are they looked just as a stand-alone application, but that of utility.  With the progression of technology, mobile applications are offering rich text and visual formats and a high level of interactivity on for the same. Mobile Internet has further strengthened the cause of tailor made mobile applications that deliver for the business objectives.

What all innovative practices exist in mobile marketing space?

In the current trend of mobile marketing and mobile engagement space, we have seen a rise in marketers and brands seeking innovation in this space. This medium is now being explored through voice as well as apps.

VivaConnect has pioneered this process of innovation. With just over 9 per cent of the total population using a smartphone, mobile apps do face a challenge in exploring its full potential in the mobile marketing space, hence VivaConnect also provides Missed Call and Voice Solutions to cater to the non-smartphone populace.

Voice being an ‘emotive’ medium communicates the essence of brand and reaches out to customers in various Indian languages. TIER II cities and semi urban areas or even to most remote corners of India where mobile literacy, or even literacy is a challenge, the next mass platform for mobile marketing is Voice.

Content for the same is being looked at in a whole new dimension where marketers are seeking rich engagement through this content. This novel concept of voice is currently being used for sampling, brand communication, and customer engagement.  Looking at this easy, practical usage, traditional enterprises and industries are looking at exploring this medium in India.

What are the key areas of focus for VivaConnect? 

We believe in harnessing the potential offered by the mobile device to the fullest by exploring each possibility, be it apps, voice or even SMS engagement platforms that we provide as solutions for our clients. VivaConnect focuses to create tools that “connect the disconnect” by ideating, developing, and delivering “AWESOME” mobile initiatives and experiences for consumers, brands, television networks and enterprises creating a positive business impact. We meet the ever changing and diverse customer needs on their most preferred device -- the mobile. 

We offer a bouquet of mobility solutions to each of our customers. Currently we are engaging with both traditional agencies like banks, to facilitate their transactional means & utility services and also dynamic brands who are exploring this medium as not just another mode of reaching to customers but also a mean to engage with them. These services are tailor made for various industries - entertainment, banking and brands to name a few. Services are on platforms such as mobile applications, chat applications and dynamic missed call voting. VivaConnect is on the cusp of changing the way advertisers pursue mobile engagement and marketing.

What are the key challenges that you witness in mobile marketing scenario in India?

The greatest challenge is the mind set of advertisers who look at the mobile device as an ancillary medium of advertising rather than main stream. Though we are witnessing a healthy trend in the gradual rise of 'digital' budgets for big advertisers, the mobile does not command separate budget. More ever, there is a linear outlook towards the medium as a lead gen and is unfairly pitched against television and other traditional mediums of advertising. Though it offers a high level of targeting with the least media wastage, advertisers are on the constant lookout of crystalline data for the effectiveness of their campaign.

Even with a high level of penetration, with an approximate 70 per cent of our population living on pre-paid SIM cards, getting updated data from the telecom operator on a regular basis is a challenge. TRAI (Telecom Regulatory Association of India) and MNP (mobile number portability) only add to the data getting skewed. Since we are in the technology space, each day poses a challenge to keep abreast with the changing tech scenario.