Guest Post: VAS Retailing in India

This is a Guest post by Chandan Mishra ; a Wireless Marketing professional, with over 10 years of experience in telecom and IT and media companies. Had Lead Marketing and Business operations for multimillion-dollar companies in Media and Telecom across Geographies in India, APAC and Australia.
A strategic thinker of the next level of possibilities and designing the future roadmap of the business. Expert in the Marketing and Developing next level strategies for products in mobility and enterprises.

He talks about VAS Retailing in India

Chandan’s Linkedin Profile


VAS Retailing in IndiaIn one of the casual encounters in a premium retail stores in Sydney I figured out that music is being sold at one of the counters. The idea, which India Telecom VAS is struggling with is successfully implemented in this part of the world and no one is noticing the same.

Apple is successfully selling i tunes gift card which one buys and buys music worth the price of the voucher. One can buy movies, songs and Apps available on the apple i Tunes store.

i Tunes Gift Card

Music Retailing is the most experimented idea in Indian telecom industry which has failed. The only company which came a little closer to some what a little successful implementation was Hutch now Vodafone. However lessons learnt were never implemented again.

Things to keep in mind when selling Music or Movies —

1. Let customers choose
2. Should be at their comfort
3. Give then pre review and visibility
4. Voice portal/Data portals alone will not work
5. One can only target specific customer segment
6. No one will buy from a telecom company’s site, so create presence in Music sites and Stores
7. USSD won’t work

A Telecom retailer cannot or rather will not sell songs (you don’t buy chicken at electronic store)

No one thinks i will buy a song at store, people buy when they listen on internet, computers, phones etc. It is an impulse decision and no matter what one does it cannot create that impulse buying in a retail store, so let customer decide when to buy and what to buy the store. Do you decide hours before that you will have Pastries at a coffee shop; it is decided by the mood and ambience of the shop and your girlfriend sitting next to you.

Similar is the decision of buying a Caller Tunes/MP3/Movies and Videos, it is usually influenced by your friends, your mood variant, Girlfriend and of course your Smart Phone.

A Suggested solution which can work —

1. Create a voucher Which will be create a VAS Credit.( name this Doosra Credit)
2. One can buy only music, movies other services from this credit (This will work like data credit)
3. Buying has to be two step process, decision to purchase and download of purchase.
4. Entry will only take your mobile no and debit the Music credit
5. Keep It Cheap
6. Distribute on Internet
7. Voucher distribution with Prepaid Voucher.

But let’s see how and when the industry evolves.

This is a Guest post. The views are of the respective authors. If you want to write for us drop us a mail.


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TATA Docomo launches Real time Traffic alerts on SMS in Bengaluru

Tata Docomo recently launched a unique Real time Traffic SMS alert service for its prepaid & postpaid subscribers in Benguluru (Bangalore – Karnataka circle).

Tata Docomo subscribers can avail this amazing service by opting from a range of VAS packs at Rs. 30 per month, Rs. 10 per week or Rs. 1.5 per day as their choice.

This value added service allows Tata Docomo subscribers to choose start & end location while selecting the time to receive real time traffic information. In order to receive alerts the customers are required to configure these options.

These options can be configured through the product interface thus making this value added service device independent. The alerts also include the speed at which traffic is moving along with the different stretches of the road. The services will also keep customers alert of road accident & event information.


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InMobi to bring mobile ads on Cricbuzz

InMobi has partnered with Cricbuzz to provide mobile ads to consumers on Cricbuzz’s mobile site and applications for the Indian market. Through this partnership,  advertisers will be able to reach premium mobile consumers on Cricbuzz.

Under this exclusive partnership, InMobi  will have exclusive rights to monetize Cricbuzz’s mobile properties across all devices on phones and tablets in India. Now advertisers will have to engage InMobi in order to advertise on Cricbuzz’s mobile application on these platforms.

Cricbuzz, founded in 2004, is a leading cricket property with over 17 million monthly unique users on its web and mobile properties.This partnership is for all ad monetization, and on all their properties – mobile web and apps on phones and tablets.

Commenting on this partnership, Sandeep Deshpande, Country GM – India at InMobi said, “This exclusive agreement with Cricbuzz reinforces InMobi’s leadership position in the Indian market. Cricbuzz’s mobile properties on all platforms have been immensely popular in India and abroad. We believe in their strong product capabilities and their vision for building the best cricket destination in the world. In a Cricket fanatic country like ours, where all brands want a share of this pie, advertisers will now be able to reach their target audience wherever they are, through this partnership.”

Bangalore based InMobi, the world’s largest independent mobile ad network, provides end-to-end solution for mobile advertising including rich media ad creation, distribution, tracking and optimization. It delivers the unprecedented ability to reach 578 million consumers, in over 165 countries, through more than 93.5 billion mobile ad impressions monthly.

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By 2016 Revenues from mobile data and VAS in India will reach US$15.9 billion

According to recent estimates by Informa Telecoms & Media, by 2016 end-user service revenues from mobile data and VAS (value-added services) in India will reach US$15.9 billion as against US$3.9 billion in 2011. Apart from mobile entertainment services, more and more Mobile operators, content providers and technology vendors are offering utility services such as mobile banking and payments, m-health, m-education, and m-governance to grow their revenues. The revenue generated by mobile utility services is expected to increase from 4% of the total revenue in 2011 to 18% in 2016.

Shailendra Pandey, Senior Analyst at Informa Telecoms & Media said,”Government-led initiatives will be crucial to drive the adoption of mobile utility services in India, particularly among the poor and people living in rural parts of the country. The services need to be priced at very reasonable rates, and the government should provide subsidies, keeping in mind the social and economic development driven by such services”.

Mobile utility services are being deployed in almost every sphere – be it health, education, commerce or by the government. “Ask a Doctor” by Vodafone is an m-health service which allows users to clarify health-related questions with doctors using their mobile phone. Organizations like All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Apollo Hospitals, Maestros Mediline Systems, Religare Technologies, BioQuest Solutions and mDhil and mobile operators Aircel and Bharti Airtel have also introduced m-health services.

Spice Telecom, Deltics, Tata DoCoMo, EnableM and GCube Solutions are working to deploy m-education services that can provide learning and training to users, particularly those who are poor and live in rural India. For example, the “mGurujee” service allows students to use their mobile phones to access information on subjects including engineering, management, civil services and medicine, and tutorials to improve their vocabulary and general knowledge.

Informa Telecoms & Media believes that deploying VAS to drive social and economic development and improve the standard of life, particularly of the poor population, will become a key focus for the mobile operators and other mobile VAS value-chain players in India over the coming years.

Source: Insightvas

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Zee TV Launches WAP Site for Dance India Dance (Season 3)

Zee TV has launched a WAP site and mobile application for the Dance India Dance (Season 3) show. It’s a great news for all the fans of DID (as it is popularly known), as they can now stay updated about the highlights and scores of their favourite show.

This application allows viewers to interact with participants as well as judges, and also vote for their favourite participants. Apart from this, it also contains many fun features too. Through this app, users can also stay connected with Twitter users who are talking about the Dance India Dance show. The WAP site developed on HTML5, is available on all popular smartphone platforms.

Source: The Mobile Indian

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Spice Digital launches Regional Desi Flavour Music on Airtel Hello Tunes; Enables Share On Facebook Wall

Spice Digital, India’s leading mobile VAS provider, has launched Desi Tunes, a new regional Hello Tunes Portal for mobile subscribers of Airtel. This is a unique service that allows subscribers to set their favorite regional song as their Hello Tune and share it on their Facebook.

To avail the service, subscriber will have to dial the tollfree shortcode 5787893 and browse through the regional content, across demographics, to set their preferred song as their Hello Tune. For example, a subscriber calling from Kerala would be able to hear the content across genres in Malayalam language.

The key differentiator of the Desi Tunes service is the social share feature on Facebook – enabling the subscriber to set its regional CRBT by dialing 5787893 and share it on Facebook by pressing a key. A simple authentication process is required to post it successfully to the subscriber’s Facebook account.

Speaking about the service, Shehzad Azad, Head – BD & Alliances, Spice Digital said, “Along with the first of its kind feature of facebook posting on HT, Desi Tunes provides access to assorted regional songs across categories and languages. Regional Music has great potential if packaged in the right manner. There is a huge market waiting to connect back to its roots, to enjoy tunes they have grown up listening to. We are certain that with interesting assortment of tracks that capture the true essence of various regions along with ease of use, will provide new impetus to ever-growing consumption of regional music. We look forward to bringing on board more and more regional content during the coming year.”

The category and the music selection for every circle have been put across to the subscriber after an extensive research, conducted to understand the subscribers taste and preferences. The service would benefit the end-user tremendously, as it would give him a wide range of songs to select from – to make it his/her Hello Tune. The service comes as per the tariff plan availed by the Airtel subscriber. Some of the available categories are :

– Bhojpuria Garma Garam, Bhojpuria Chaunka, Bhojpuria Bijuria
– Rangeelo Rajasthan Lokgeet, Rajasthanree Bhakti Dhara,
– Kannada Devotional, Kannada Special Songs,
– Gujrati Loksangeet and Devotional
– Punjabi Tadka, Punjabi Vibes,
– Bangla Adhunik and Classics,
– Kamrupia Lokgeet (Assamese)
– Malaylam Devotional,
– Hindi Devotional



More and more to stream 200 full-length feature films and music videos

BIGFlix has partnered Unisys Infosolutions, a digital provider of VAS content, for online streaming of over 200 full-length feature films and music videos on

Unisys Infosolutions has created a catalogue of new and old Bollywood feature and has also featured popular regional movies as well as over 5000 music videos in more than 15 languages, including Hindi.

Link :

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Tata DOCOMO launches comedy circus for its CDMA Subscribers

Tata DOCOMO, the unified telecom brand of Tata Teleservices Limited (TTL), has launched a new service called ‘Comedy Circus’ through its voice portal for Tata DOCOMO CDMA customers across circles.

The service is already available for Tata DOCOMO customers on the GSM platform.

The company said that it’s a unique service wherein, users can listen to funny gags and jokes of renowned stand-up comedians like Sunil Pal, Naveen Prabhakar, Kashif and Umer Sheriff by dialing the interactive voice portal.  Currently, this service is available in Hindi, Punjabi, Marathi, Gujarati, Bhojpuri, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam, Assamese, Haryanvi, Oriya and Bengali languages.

“We are delighted to launch a very interesting value added service for our customers that adds a touch of humor, a service that is accessible while on the go. Standup comedians like Sunil Pal and Naveen Prabhakar are very well known and we are certain that the service like this would be much sought after in our VAS portfolio. It will definitely generate excitement amongst our customers and will increase the level of involvement with its regional conten”, said Anjan Patole, Chief Operating Officer, Mumbai Circle, Tata Teleservices Limited.

To activate this service, Tata DOCOMO CDMA customers can dial52020 where they will be charged Rs 30 for 60 minutes for the next 30 days.

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Enable Mobile Technologies powers ‘Exam Prep’ & ‘English Guru’ services for Airtel mobile customers

Enable Mobile Technologies Pvt Ltd has announced that it has designed and powered ‘Exam Prep’ and ‘English Guru’ services recently launched for Airtel mobile customers across India. Based on content provided by coaching institute IMSTestPrep, ‘Exam Prep Service’ is an interactive SMS based service that allows students to leverage the power of the mobile device to prepare for a host of entrance exams. On the other hand, ‘English Guru’ is a voice-based language teaching service which teaches English to learners from across 8 regional Indian languages.
Mr. Amit Zaveri, CEO EnableM, said, “As seen globally, today’s mobile users are seen increasingly relying on their phones to do almost everything. From being used for entertainment purposes like listening to music and playing games – the mobile device has emerged as a powerful medium for customers to access a host of utilitarian service capabilities across the areas of commerce, health and even education. Exam Prep and English Guru services are innovations in the same direction and will empower people in all parts of India with the ability to access content to prepare for entrance tests and learn English using their mobile phones – anytime, anywhere.  We are proud to be associated with the availability of this service on Airtel and are confident that customers will see great value in subscribing to services like such”
Priced at a subscription charge of Rs 2 per day – Exam Prep Service on Airtel comprises of a bank of questions related to a particular exam subscribed by the student. Each day, the subscriber will receive instructions, alerts, tips, information and even multiple choice preparatory questions alongwith correct responses. Now available for MBA, GRE, Bank PO and UPSC preparations, the service will also cover other exams like RRB, CLAT, SCRA , CDS Std X, XII, Engineering and Medical Entrance Exams in the future. The innovative Exam Prep Service by Airtel also includes a regular assessment and performance report feature to let the subscriber know about his/her progress.

Sanjay Barretto, Head Marketing – IMS, said “Given the students want to score more and do well at test, Exam prep on Airtel is an interesting platform that allows them to test themselves across various sections and test formats on the go.”. Airtel mobile customers can now subscribe to the Exam Prep Service by dialing *321*550# (tollfree) and start leveraging this learning tool to their benefit.

English Guru on Airtel employs a simple and engaging format to teach the language with short story-based scenarios and situations which reflect real life moments and with which, the learner can also readily identify. The service is based on CEFR (Common European Framework of Reference for Language) guidelines for English.

Divided into Basic and Advanced levels, the English Guru program has more than 800 minutes of learning and is based on a systematic and gradually progressing approach towards teaching spoken English.  The levels are further divided into various modules and each module sub-divided into chapters. Packing in features like pause, provision for revision, facility to change the language of learning and option of returning from where last left, English Guru also helps the learner realise the extent of his learning with tests at the end of each module. The service maintains an individual report card is maintained for every learner.

Available on subscription service on 55066 (tollfree), English Guru is priced at Rs.30 for 30 days of service with 60 mins of browsing time for Airtel mobile customers. In addition to this, subscribers can top up his browsing time with a top of Rs.20 & 10 giving 40 & 20 minutes of browsing time respectively.

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List of Mobile VAS reports published in 2011 for the Indian Market

Here is a list of Mobile VAS reports published in 2011. If I have missed any of the paid or free reports, do put it on the comment section and I will update it. This will help everyone to use as a ready reference.

Deloitte Report  : Mobile Value Added Services (MVAS) – A vehicle to usher in inclusive growth and bridge the digital divide- January 2011 (Free Download )

Price Waterhouse Coopers report : Mobile Value Added Services: The Next Wave : March 2011 (Free Download )

Analysis Mason Report: Evolution of Mobile VAS in India : July 2011 (Free)

IAMAI Report: Report on Mobile VAS in India : August 2011  (Paid)

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