Ask Birbal, India’s First Mobile Answer Service Launched

26th Jun 2010
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AskBirbal Pvt Ltd, today announced the Full Service launch of its service “Ask Birbal”, an SMS based mobile search engine powered by humans. The service was in its beta testing phase for last couple of months. Users can now search for information by sending their query to +91-9650607080 and Ask Birbal responds back with an accurate answer within minutes. The company also launched the platform on their website www.askbirbal.com


“We do not give you a thousand links on a keyword, we give you answers” claims Ankit Bajaj, co-founder and Chief Birbal. “We all like to have answers as did the Mughal emperor Akbar whenever he needed through Birbal, This is precisely the inspiration behind Ask Birbal, giving answers on the go, through an Intelligent friend accessible on SMS”

So, what kind of questions can users ask? To answer that in just two words, ALL KINDS! “Any question, any time Ask Birbal @ +91-9650607080”, is what the team of 15 community based experts, or Birbals as they like to call themselves, proclaim.

To access the service users have to simply type-in any question on the mobile and send it to Ask Birbal on +91-9650607080 or by visiting www.askbirbal.com. An answer is generated in real time by one of the Birbals and is sent to users mobile in no time. Unlike, Google SMS, users don’t have to remember any special formatting or rules as Text shortcuts; Birbals understand your language.

When the user asks a question, the system categorizes the question based on its keywords and forwards it to one of the available online experts. The experts then search for the required information by using tools developed by AskBirbal, which helps them get the right source within seconds. After scanning through the information, the expert responds back with a precise answer adding a dash of personality to it. These answers are moderated for quality before sending back to the customers.

Ask Birbal runs on a community-based model where anyone can become a Birbal and work from home by taking expert test online at www.birbal.me. Those who pass the tests on search skills, grammar and logic gets a place in the next training open-days that Ask Birbal conducts bi-weekly. These open-days are again dubbed in Birbal’s lingo as Birbal’s Paathshala. “It is essential to have a 360° feedback loop and the open-day helps in the all round training and development process”, says Sulabh Chhabra, co-founder and Chief Birbal - Operations & Finance. “We are building www.birbal.me further to make the training online which will break the barriers of distance and anyone across the country will be able to answer and make money working from home”

Ask Birbal offers these services FREE, (however normal SMS rates may apply) and can be used by any mobile service across India, but earn its revenue through Mobile Ads.

In the cluttered mobile marketing space, where Bulk SMS and government regulations bar advertisers from using the medium successfully, Ask Birbal has added a new dimension. “The mobile has a high rate of spillage as a medium, with Ask Birbal, advertisers will be able to target the users based on their profile, age and location but most importantly based on the information they might be looking for, A book shop when someone is looking for book review, flowers on questions on dating, or may be an ad of one of the sports brands or bars for sports lovers” says Ankit.

The company plans to answer over 3 million questions in its first year of operations. “These are exciting times, a target of 10000 questions a day will be a humble one” Sulabh said. “We have bolstered our clout and are constantly working to convert feedback and new learning into newer, faster and better technology in no time and taking this forward we hope to achieve our mission of creating the best mobile search engine for consumers and a value-added search product for advertisers”

About Ask Birbal

AskBirbal Pvt Ltd is a privately owned company founded by Sulabh Chhabra and Ankit Bajaj, both graduates from Oxford Brookes University. Ankit has a strong background in Marketing whereas Sulabh has a Finance background with a master’s degree in the subject. Their current office is in Gurgaon, India.

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