Rajesh Jain is a proven entreprenuer who is bullish today on the idea of operator independent mobile application/services store in India.Â He is one of the very few mobile/telecom guys who thinks that an operator independent mobile services ecosystem is actually possible.Â Almost every VC/investor we have met gives us the usual rants about ” only operators can help you achieve volumes” and so on.
We at mobikwik areÂ pursuing exactly this kind of vision and it is heartening to get validated by someone who has experienced success in Indian telecom.
I quote from his interview :
“Apple has shown whatâ€™s possible in the U.S. with a model which is basically independent â€“ the App Store model â€“ which is independent of the mobile operator. That is the opportunity which exists today to create what I call a digital-services operator, where there are four elements one needs to put together in the mobile space: alternate payments of collecting money independent of the operator, which Apple is doing in the U.S. through credit cards built up largely first through the iTunes music they sell. The second is having a large reach, so you can reach tens of millions of people cost-effectively so you can make them aware of the services. The third is an open publishing platform and marketplace, so third-party providers, content providers, service providers can comment. And finally, an initial set of compelling services, which get people to want to go create the account.
If these four elements can be put together there is a great opportunity to transform the mobile space and break the stranglehold that mobile operators have. Whatâ€™s happening today is that, because of their focus primarily on voice and in India mainly launches in rural areas, the top of the pyramid â€“ which is about 100 million people, 25% of the base â€“ want new services but are not able to get to the operators.”
Read more from an interview he gave to Wharton recently about Indian mobile market.
If you have used mobikwik you would have noticed that we are already covering point 1 ( alternate payment through mobikwik balance) and point 4 ( prepaid mobile services). We are on our way to create an open publishing platform and also the big daddy of all : LARGE REACH 🙂
Also,Â his Interop presentation talks about the exact same thing in numbers.