Dr. Inderpal Singh Mumick, Founder, Kirusa


Voice SMS Consumer Corner!In this era of mobiles and technologies SMS has become an integral and important part of everyday business and personal lives. Voice SMS is the next generation of SMS, giving end users added flexibility and freedom when communicating with others. This tremendous technology is brought to us by Kirusa.com, world's leading vendor of Voice SMS. Dr. Inderpal Singh Mumick, the founder of Kirusa spoke to YourStory and told us about his entrepreneurial aspirations.

What is Kirusa?

Kirusa is one of the leading global developers of Voice SMS based Mobile Value Added Services (MVAS); enabling mobile subscribers to ‘reach out’ to their family and friends. Kirusa’s solutions include the hugely successful Kirusa Voice SMS, which has been selected by more than thirty carriers around the world. Kirusa Voice SMS enables mobile subscribers to send messages by speaking. Kirusa has pioneered a suite of applications that facilitate mobile subscribers.

Tell us about your products.

Kirusa has a comprehensive portfolio of products. Several Voice SMS products in our bouquet of offerings are:

LoudMouth is an Enterprise-oriented Application to Person (A2P) solution that allows an Enterprise’s message to be heard by its target audience. This has been a successful solution in the past where renowned brands have used this solution to reach their customers directly with marketing messages/ jingles/ customized native language advertisements etc.

Call-n-Tweet enables Twitter users to send Voice Tweets (short audio snippets) to update their Twitter status.

Auto-Voice-SMS allows the caller to leave a Voice SMS when the called party is not reachable, without disconnecting the call. The called party could be unreachable for any reason such as getting a busy tone, the phone not being answered or rejected by a recipient, out of coverage or a network congestion message etc. Once the caller leaves a Voice SMS, the recipient immediately gets an SMS notification of the Voice SMS message. Kirusa’s solutions are used by mobile subscribers millions of times daily.

What is your Customer base?

In India, our customers are Idea, Vodafone, MTNL, Aircel, TTSL and Loop Mobile. Globally our services are extended widely across the world to BayanTel, Philippines; Eagle Mobile, Albania; Etisalat, UAE; GrameenPhone & Warid, Bangladesh; MTN & Uganda Telecom, Uganda; Ufone & Zong, Pakistan; Vinaphone, Vietnam; Visafone & Zain, Nigeria, Viva, Dominican Republic; Viva, Bolivia; Claro, Peru etc.

What makes you different from other Voice SMS service developers?

Kirusa solutions are built on Kirusa’s patented and patent pending technology and its highly reliable and scalable multimodal platform. IT plays a very important role in our business efficiency, as we score way above our competitors in the fields of Networking & Architecture, Capability Extensions, User Interfaces, Administration, Billing and Message Delivery, Subscriber Self Administration, Message Creation and Message Receiving & Management.What made you enter the journey of entrepreneurship? Where did it all begin?

I have always liked an exciting venture to prove my mettle. In an entrepreneurship, you get opportunity to steer your business by your own vision and strategies which is a restriction in a regular 9-5 job. Before leaving my regular job, I was very sure of becoming an entrepreneur and had a vision and focus for a start up. I have faced many ups and downs during this journey but nothing could deter me and I have realized that being inspired with my own vision and that of my core team gets me motivated to plan an even better future.

Since our inception, we are fortunate to have been associated with visionaries who have faith in our vision and capabilities. Companies like Helion Venture Partners, Nexus Venture Partners, Qualcomm, Eastven etc. are currently our investors. The focus to enrich everyone’s lives by providing them new and innovative ways to communicate is still holding me here.

What are the challenges you faced?

The biggest challenge that we faced so far has been the global economic meltdown apart from the delayed deployment of 3G in India. During recession, the public markets slammed the capital windows shut, and cash-strapped carriers found it difficult to raise money. Carriers began to cut back on capital spending, which restricted the outlook for equipment vendors. Because of the recession, we missed growth opportunities which otherwise could have presented themselves in normal economic circumstances. The new offerings from Kirusa which could have gained its due share of popularity and adoption was undermined due to the economic turmoil.

But our continuous efforts and optimistic attitude bore the fruits of progression against all the odds. The next major challenge in front of us is the current VAS scenario which seems to be grim in the sense of revenue generation although the entire generation is buzzed by it.

Future plans?

We wish to be the leading Voice SMS based VAS provider globally and to enable subscribers to reach out to their family and friends with a varied portfolio of mobile VAS services.

Any moment of recognition?

Kirusa has been recognized as one of top hundred technology companies by Silicon India for years 2007 and 2008, one of top twenty five emerging technology companies by Smart Techie magazine and by AlwaysOn as an AO Global 250 Winner, won Silver Mobile Star Award in Mobile Consumer Messaging, named Always On East 100 winner, received Best of Berkeley Heights Awards.

I have been recognized as a Distinguished Engineer for innovations in mobile services platforms by Association of Computing Machinery.

What strategies should the budding entrepreneurs follow for success?

Budding entrepreneurs should have a focused strategy to implement their business plan and should not fear to take risk of starting a new venture even though they might witness failure initially. Before starting a new venture, a budding entrepreneur should have a clear vision, a sound business plan and viable finance models.

What should an Indian entrepreneur be prepared for?

An Indian entrepreneur should hope for the best and prepare for the worst. Entrepreneurship is not everybody’s cup of tea but one should take the risk of starting a new venture only when he has gained enough experience and knowledge on a subject and has a core team of committed professionals who share his vision.

YourStory wishes Dr. Inderpal Singh Mumick and Kirusa.com all the best for their future plans.