India's Cell Phone Market is driven by India made phones


India’s cell phone market has seen a tremendous growth in the last few years. With cheap Chinese handsets (Smart phones) entering the Indian market has eaten up the market share from Samsung,NOKIA. Some of the best cell phones in India have been launched by the rising star Indian brands like Micromax, Karbonn, LAVA & Intex. The Indian consumers are now getting more inclined towards buying the cheap Indian cell phone brands as compared to the global brands like Samsung, Apple , Blackberry, Nokia.

Some of the latest handsets introduced in the Indian market today by top Indian cell phone manufacturer Micromax is the Canvas series and Titanium series by Karbonn. Samsung had launched their top of the line S4 series and Apple’s Iphone 5S recently competes with the Indian brands. This year Micromax and Karbonn are planning to introduce a number of low cost smart phones, which will definitely take the market in a big way.

From a promotion and branding perspective the Indian brands are giving their international counterparts a run for their money by bringing in some top celebrities to drive the brands. Micromax recently signed up Hollywood super star Hugh Jackman as their brand ambassador. With this Indian brands are projecting themselves as a global brand and not cheap phone brands.

Micromax and Karbonn are planning to start manufacturing their devices in India in the recent future. Indian consumers aren’t aware of a drawback to purchasing Indian phones. The Indian phones unfortunately works only in India and the Indian sub-continent, if a user is roaming  internationally in locations such as US ,Europe or Middle East, these phones won’t work. Indian handset OEM’s should try and solve this issue soon, as then eventually their handsets can be sold overseas. With time we will see a lot of focus on building the devices within India and not import the parts from China, which increases the duty of the imported parts and is passed on to the consumers.

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Foodpanda has revolutionized the Food ordering business around the world


FoodpandaDid you ever think one day you will be able to order your favourite food through a website fast and hassle free ? Yes, that has happened. the world’s largest online food ordering platform does that.It was initiated by the leading startup incubator Rocket Internet. Foodpanda was launched in 2012 and is headquartered in Berlin. The company is fully operational in 30 countries across Asia, Latin America, Middle East, Africa and Europe, currently employs more than 500 people worldwide, and continues to grow at an impressive speed.

India experience has been simply amazing for Foodpanda. The concept is great. Foodpanda makes ordering food online easy, fast and fun so that you don’t have to take the pain of cooking and cleaning up.

The process of ordering food is very simple with just a few clicks you can order from a wide variety of delicious cuisines online. The best part is , the site gives you variety of cuisine and restaurant options to choose from under one roof. Hot food is conveniently delivered to your home or office after you have place the order.

Very interesting to see how a site like  Foodpanda has created such a fantastic business model, just by aggregating restaurants and food ordering service, making life easier for foodies.

How does the Website work ?

Ordering food from Foodpands is just four quick fast steps.

Step 1: Enter your city and location in the home page and hit the find food button. You get a whole list of restaurants with option to sort cuisines by relevance, rating, minimum order value or Delivery fee options. Pick the restaurant you like and order. The food can be ordered  from 11AM to 11PM only, it’s because all the restaurants generally takes orders during this time.

Step 2 :  Once you have identified the restaurant , you can now order the food you like. Browse the menu and select the items you will like to order and add to cart. Interesting part I noticed is if you try to order food before 11AM or after 11PM , the site simply refuses to take order, it says “Food Panda “ is closed.

Step 3 : Now that you have selected the menu items, hit the “Order Now” button, add your delivery address and you can decide to pay online or pay cash on delivery. The payment process is simple and standard, you can pay by Credit card, Debit card or Internet banking.

Step 4 : Now that you have placed the ordered, you should now receive an SMS confirmation. So that’s it! Just wait for the ordered to be delivered.

Once you have received the order, you can now decide to rate the restaurant and write a review in the restaurants page , so that others can know how the experience was. I liked this review system as it lets one know the overall service , quality of food and overall experience.

Do try ordering and share your experience by putting it on the comments system

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Smartphones Account for 55 Percent of Mobile Phones Sold in Q3-2013 : Ericsson


smartphoneAccording to a recent report by Ericsson, Smartphone uptake continued its strong momentum and accounted for around 55 per cent of all mobile phones sold in July-September period compared to around 40 per cent for the full year in 2012. The report said mobile subscriptions across the world are expected to reach 9.3 billion by 2019, and more than 60 per cent of these – 5.6 billion – will be for smartphones.

As per the report, total mobile subscriptions up to and including Q3 2013 are at around 6.6 billion, including 113 million new subscriptions added during the third quarter. India saw the second highest number of new mobile subscriptions in Q3 2013, following China.

According to the report, there was a net addition of 10 million mobile subscriptions in India, taking the total number of Indian mobile subscriptions to 742 million. The report forecasts that the total smartphone subscriptions will reach 1.9 billion at the end of 2013 and are expected to grow to 5.6 billion in 2019.

An increase in Asia Pacific and Middle East and Africa subscriptions is one of the key factors leading to an increase in smartphone subscriptions.

Commenting on the insights, Ericsson Senior Vice President and Head of Strategy Douglas Gilstrap said:”The rapid pace of smartphone uptake has been phenomenal and is set to continue. It took more than five years to reach the first billion smartphone subscriptions, but it will take less than two to hit the 2 billion mark. Between now and 2019, smartphone subscriptions will triple. Interestingly, this trend will be driven by uptake in India and other emerging markets as lower-priced smartphone models become available.”

The report also revealed that due to availability of smartphones in lower price ranges, in 2016 there will be more smartphone subscriptions globally than those for basic phones.

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Tata Docomo Launches Endless Music Service via Retail for its Prepay Customers


tatadocomoYesterday Tata Docomo launched a new value added service – Endless Music. This value added service will be available to all Tata Docomo prepay GSM customers through electronic voucher distribution (EVD). Endless Music service will be available for both basic and smart phone users. All that a customer has to do is to visit any Tata Docomo retail partner outlet and recharge with the select denomination.

Commenting on the launch Mr Rishi Mohan Malhotra, Head – VAS Marketing, Tata Docomo, said “We have been investing in developing alternate channels of discovery to deliver content and offerings across all available physical, virtual and digital resources. The launch of Endless Music service via EVD is in keeping with Tata Docomo’s tradition of transparent transactions and customer satisfaction which shall meet the individual needs and requirements of our consumers. Through this service which is NON auto renewable, Tata Docomo aims at changing the way music is sold & consumed thus reinventing the way our customers experience music. With the launch of this service, our customers can now access the best of the Bollywood & regional music content with thousands of songs to choose from.”

He further added,”Offering Endless Music service via the retail model is a diverse strategy to ensure better adoption and long-term service usage. Through this service, Tata Docomo is also giving its retailers an opportunity to better engage with end-consumers to further understand their needs and preferences.”

With a validity period of 30 days, customers in Andhra Pradesh will have to recharge with RC 46 followed by dialing 59090 (toll free number) to avail the benefits of listening to free 300 minutes of music. Similarly, with RC 92 and RC 131, customers can avail 600 minutes of music valid for 30 days and 1000 minutes of music valid for 60 days respectively. The subscription will expire once the minutes are consumed or the validity is over. Such a model will avoid accidental activations and charges to customers and safeguard their interests in a transparent manner. Available at affordable price points, Endless Music will also enable customers to set their favourite song and as caller tune at additional charges. This service has been launched in partnership with Hungama Mobile, which has one the largest repository of different music genres.

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PricePanda releases iPhone App to enforce M-Commerce in SEA


pricepandaLeading price comparison website PricePanda has launched its iOS app in Malaysia, Philippines, Indonesia and Singapore. Only a few weeks ago the company already introduced its app for Android. With their new app, PricePanda’s broad selection of prices and products in various categories such as Computers, Health and Beauty or Home Appliances is just a few clicks away.

M-Commerce is exploding in South East Asia – the number of users who access the internet via their phones is increasing rapidly and leapfrogging the traditional desktop users. According to Nielsen’s report “Decoding the Asian Mobile Consumer markets such as Singapore (87%) or Malaysia (80%) already have higher smartphone penetration rates than for instance the US smartphone market (60%). In South East Asia alone, smartphone owners spent an average of more than three hours per day on their smartphones. As this growth gains momentum, mobile commerce will play an increasingly critical role in shaping the future of retail in Asia.

Louis Iskandar, co-founder at PricePanda: “We are delighted to offer our app for both iOS and Android devices in South East Asia from now onwards. M-commerce is not just an additional channel for us, but is also an entry point to gaining many more customers with our quick and easy-to-use price comparison app. With an increase of 61% in smartphone sales in the last years in South East Asia, the m-commerce wave is quickly catching on all markets we operate in and will play a key role in shaping the future of retail in Asia. Therefore PricePanda seizes this enormous opportunity and supports the m-commerce movement with a valuable app.”

The free PricePanda App in brief:

  • Compare prices for thousands of products to find the best deal on the go
  • Visit the shop’s website or call them directly from within the app
  • Search for offers by entering the product name
  • Discover top products and swipe through them
  • Browse through dozens categories and find new products
  • Order on the go, get the product delivered to your doorstep
  • Fast and intuitive navigation
  • International known brands and product assortment


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Taxi aggregator enters Chennai


taxiforsureYesterday Serendipity Infolabs Pvt. Limited, which runs the online taxi booking site announced the launch of its Chennai operations. With presence in Bangalore and New Delhi already, TaxiForSure will now offer access to convenient, safe, tech-enabled services through a large network of taxis in Chennai. would be one of the first players to introduce end-to-end technology enabled taxi services in Chennai. Be it a trip to the mall or to the movies, a rush for an office meeting or a cab for an airport transfer, offers easy access to its large network of reliable taxis to its customers. With dial-in number 044-60601010, customers can place a request for a taxi in their immediate vicinity. Customers can also log in to its website and fetch a taxi at their doorstep. They would also be the first ones to launch a mobile app to book taxis in the city. The mobile app which is already live in Bangalore and Delhi, allows a user to book the nearest taxi with just 2 taps!

Commenting on the launch, Co-Founder and Director, Aprameya Radhakrishna said, “ has a strong presence in the emerging cab rentals and taxi booking space and with a successful model already in two cities, we are now looking to revolutionize the Chennai taxi market. With our on-ground knowledge of the taxi industry across geographies and ability to scale operations at a rapid pace, we are confident of becoming the first choice for every taxi customer in Chennai.”

TaxiForSure, as part of their launch will also be offering its customers a movie voucher worth Rs 100, that will be valid till 30th November, 2013 for every booking made online or through the free TaxiForSure app for Android/iOS. was founded by IIM Ahmedabad graduates Raghunandan G and Aprameya Radhakrishna in June 2011 in Bangalore. Within a time span of two years the operator also launched its services in Delhi and NCR region and are looking at presence in 15 cities by the year 2015.

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FameBox launches Exclusive Video Blog with Harsha Bhogle


fameboxFameBox, a multi-channel talent platform for digital media, has launched a new video blog in collaboration with Harsha Bhogle. Renowned cricket commentator and public speaker, Harsha Bhogle will share his views and insights on cricket and its legends on ‘Out of the Box with Harsha’.  To begin with, the blog pays tribute to iconic Indian cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar who recently announced his retirement from international cricket.  In the Sachin Tendulkar series of videos Harsha Bhogle talks about interesting moments and anecdotes about the cricketer starting from his early playing years.

The video blog will be hosted on the FameBox Cricket channel on YouTube. Harsha will post a new video every week and will also regularly interact with his fans over social media to create conversations around the blog.

“The video blog is an interesting new media form. It captures the essence of television without losing the easy informality of a conversation.  Through these video blogs I will be hoping, effectively, to have informal conversations with you.  These are new emerging mediums and they present fresh challenges.  I do hope you like them.” said Harsha Bhogle. The video blog is part of a larger effort at developing Harsha Bhogle’s digital presence and the soon to be launched

FameBox provides a platform for established and emerging talentto develop an active and engaged community around their digital video content.  ‘Out of the Box with Harsha’ is the first of such initiatives where FameBox will collaborate with popular and industry leading personalities to launch digital video properties.

“We are elated that Harsha Bhogle has chosen FameBox to share his insights of cricket and give viewers an up close view of its legends with his fans.  The video blog is an absolute delight for any cricket fan and presents a unique opportunity for fans to directly interact with Harsha as well as join the ongoing conversation around cricket,” said Dhruvank Vaidya, Head – Business Development and Finance, Four Cross Media, who will also head the FameBox business.“Digital video is being increasingly seen as a powerful medium for advertisers to connect and interact with their audiences. At FameBox, we are passionate about developing a wide range of content across genres, cultivating talent and taking existing talent to new heights. We will continue to provide more such opportunities to advertisers and audiences,” he added.

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Worldwide Smartphone Shipments Reach a Record 250m in Q3 2013


smartphoneAccording to a recent report by Juniper Research, the number of smartphone shipments exceeded a quarterly record of 250 million in Q3 2013, representing a y-o-y growth of almost 49% from Q3 2012, and q-o-q growth of 10%. The report found that ndset maker Samsung now accounts for a third of all smartphones shipped with an estimated 85 million smartphones. Driven by  an increase of smartphone sales in both Premium and Economy segments, Samsung reported a 26% growth in profit.

As per the report, the iPhone accounted for 1 in 7 smartphone shipments during Q3 2013, representing a quarterly growth of 8% from Q2 2013. According to Juniper, Apple and Samsung will continue to dominate the global market, shipping 17% more smartphones in 2018 than were shipped globally by all vendors in 2012.

Nokia shipped a record 8.8 million Lumia devices and nearly 6 million Asha smartphones in Q3 2013, together exceeding LG for the second time this year. LG maintained its smartphone shipment pace compared to the previous quarter, shipping another 12 million in Q3 2013, representing a 24% increase year-over-year. While BlackBerry shipped only 3.7 million units, Huawei, ZTE and LG together shipped over 37 million smartphones in Q3 2013, accounting for a combined market share of 15%.

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BuyingIQ spearheading the Indian comparison shopping market with 750,000 monthly users


BuyingIQWhile online shopping is picking up in India, the influence of Internet on consumer decision making is increasing at a much faster rate. The Internet influences over 30B USD consumer spending in India which is as much as ~ 5X the size of the Indian Ecommerce market.

When it comes to Internet influence, the impact on electronic buying decision ranks at the top. In 2012, as many  as 35 million Indians researched online before purchasing an electronic product. This research before buying is essentially aimed at answering some of these specific questions – which product to buy? Is this the best available price? Is the seller trustworthy? What are my other options other than this product? What is the opinion among people about this product? and so on…

BuyingIQ, an intelligent shopping engine is one such player enabling electronic shoppers make smarter buying decisions on the Internet.

Founded by IIT Delhi-BITS Pilani alumni in Nov 2012, BuyingIQ at present attracts over 750,000 visitors monthly, growing by ~40% month-on-month.

The team is being led by Piyush Taneja and Saumitra Purohit. Piyush has a B.Tech from IIT Delhi while Saumitra has an Integrated Masters from BITS Pilani. Both of them had a consulting job at PwC India before they founded BuyingIQ.

Although there are some other players with similar offering in the market, BuyingIQ scores over the competition by performing on the following aspects:

Deal Comparison and not Price comparison – Price comparison is misleading most of the times as it doesn’t consider discount coupons and other freebies available from the seller. BuyingIQ claims to have price data with over 98% accuracy and it further lists all the necessary details like additional offers and discount coupons made available by the seller all put together in one place. This helps the user make a comprehensive deal to deal comparison and not just price comparison which otherwise can be quite misleading for a user, hence providing a much more rewarding shopping experience. Demo – Price Comparison

Alternatives Recommendation Tool – BuyingIQ offers its users an alternative recommendation tool which performs an algorithmic driven comparison of products taking into account – product specifications, user response and popularity of the product to recommend the user with best alternative products available in the market for a product they are interested in. These alternative product recommendations can further be personalized by the user on the basis of specific feature he/she is interested in. Demo – Product Recommendation

Other differentiators being a huge in-depth electronic product catalogue; better in-site search and navigation; and a very elegant and optimized UX – which has ensured large first-time customer retention and a very fast growing, organically driven user base.

In the next few weeks, BuyingIQ plans to release a major product upgrade with community driven features at the heart of, it and plans to release its Android and iOS app by early next year. The current revenue revenue streams for BuyingIQ are in the form of online affiliate partners and display a networks. The company is working on developing newer revenue streams by venturing into data analytics – ecommerce price intelligence service and physical retail listing.

Although the company is currently cash flow positive, BuyingIQ seeks to raise a round of funding to focus on product development, extend its reach across various mobile platforms and venture into physical retail listing.

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By 2018, Mobile Ad Spend to Reach $40 Billion – Juniper Research


mobile-adsAccording to a recent report by Juniper Research, increased utilisation of analytics platforms, allied to the introduction of innovative ad formats and purchasing mechanisms, will push global mobile ad spend beyond $39 billion in 2018, up from $13 billion this year.

The report highlighted the opportunities offered by targeted in-app advertising, citing the dramatic success of Facebook in monetising its native applications over the past year. Mobile now contributes 41% to its overall advertising revenue. Facebook recently announced that it is going to begin rolling out video ads, a move illustrative of the wider industry trend for interactive rich media ads, away from underperforming mobile banner adverts.

The report found that the growth of Real-Time Bidding (RTB), a mechanism which lets advertisers buy impressions in real-time, means that publishers will be able to more easily sell their advertising inventory, which will thereby boost overall mobile ad spend.

However the report also pointed out that some brands still remain wary of the mobile channel due to concerns that mobile advertisements may be perceived as inappropriate or intrusive. Indeed, the report noted the disproportionately low spend on mobile advertising, versus other mediums, relative to the high engagement levels that frequently occur.

According to the report, the fastest growing region, in terms of mobile ad spend, will be the Indian Subcontinent with the mobile spend expected to increase four times from 2013 to 2018. The report also found that advertisers can increase conversions by simply adding mobile optimised features, for instance a ‘click to call’ button, or by linking to the correct app store.

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