“Mobiesta – your mobile fun guide”
The Apple Store was a trailblazer of sorts proving that mobile applications can be profitable and that the market was ripe. Most of the apps in the market may be free but a new Gartner report states that spending on apps is expected to touch $6.2 billion. While 2009 saw about $4.2 billion in revenue coming into application stores, a quantum leap to $29.5 billion by 2013has been predicted.
Among the first movers in India aiming for a sizeable chunk of the profits is www.mobiesta.com by Datanet Technologies. Conceived by Young Entrepreneur Vishal Gaba, “Mobiesta” promises to be a mobile application that many will download and enjoy.
Yourstory learnt more about Mobiesta from Vishal as he spoke on his business idea and entrepreneurial aspirations.
Could you explain the kind of technology that Datanet Technologies is utilizing to create its business idea?
Datanet Technologies is a new entrant into the Telecom Industry with its project- Mobiesta. Mobiesta is a Mobile Application which provides localized information to users across nine exciting categories. It runs through GPRS and is compatible with all the Java enabled handsets. The application updates users about the happenings and the events in the city on a single button click. Mobiesta provides total information about the city and also equips you with the information about emergency services like hospitals, fire stations, police stations too. The simple user interface is text based and very economical.
What kind of potential do you see in your services? What more can you offer?
The project is only 9 months old and in this short while over 10,000 users have actively being using our application. We have a good following in Delhi NCR region and the user base would increase as we move to other cities like Bangalore, Mumbai and Hyderabad.
Seeing the futuristic path ahead we at Mobiesta think that we have entered the industry at the right time and are serving our customers in the right way.
At every advancing stage we shall be introducing high-end features in Mobiesta. These will have a payment gateway attached where the transactions could take place directly. It would also accompany features attached like getting directions, user reviews, ratings and so on. we will be bringing in GPS in later stages.
Mobiesta shall create exclusive Apps that would provide information on special events like World Cups, IPL and more. We will be coming out with Mobiesta Applications devoted to specific fields like sports, business, news and more.
How is your business idea different from other application providers? Can you explain the business model?
Mobiesta aims to provide its users an instant access to information. By providing the most relevant and sought after information on a hand held mobile phone we empower the user to make the best choice based on his location, his timing and his interest. We categorize our content being general, special and exclusive thus giving a variety of options and alternatives to our user when it comes to planning the day in the city.
We offer the first step to customer gratification. As a vision we aim to create and bring the acceptability of the mobile phone as the new media for advertising and marketing which is very low in terms of India. Our business model revolves around mobile marketing itself. It is related to banner ads and event listings on our App.
What are you doing to make your business reach new heights?
We started with offering our services on a single mobile platform that is the JAVA /J2ME phones in Delhi / NCR region. Currently we are offering our services across all mobile platforms Blackberry, Android, IPhone and Symbian Qt in Hyderabad, Mumbai and Bangalore. We shall be covering all major cities of the country and soon be taking our App to major cities of the world.
Also we shall be bringing out similar niche applications on various themes and delivering content. With the introduction of 3G in the market the scope becomes endless and scaling up becomes easier.
We would be adding new data-intensive features like video preview and improve experience of existing features.
What has the market response to your business idea “Mobiesta” been like?
With only a few months old we have an acceptance of over 10,000 people who have actively been using our application. Starting from only one mobile platform we have reached to all available platforms along with taking our services to 3 more metros of India. We can see a significant growth in our user base and also our clients.
Only a few months old we were able to strike rewarding deals with the biggest brands in the Capital region. Of these the one with Nirulas was a real achievement.
The admiration and approval received from our users and their expectations that we have been meeting. The media coverage that we’ve got from various channels especially NDTV has been a real achievement. A lot of appreciation and support has come from Forum Nokia India; being the first Qt developer for their Ovi Store has kept us going.
Where do you see your organization in the coming 2 years?
We see our organization receiving the rewards for being an initiator of Mobile Marketing in India. We envision a huge user base and our presence across all cities of India and the world. We see ourselves giving young and semi - skilled people employment and creating huge Research–Data and Marketing-Sales Teams.
Do you have any strategic tips to pass on to your fellow entrepreneurs?
Be flexible with your strategies! Do not get set in your ways, be willing to change and stay positive.
You’re not going to be able to please everyone all the time. Don’t lose focus of what your product/service stands for in trying to do so.
Encourage a corporate culture to develop and let the employees feel more invested in the product and their co-workers. When people feel invested, they want the company to succeed on a personal level and the quality of their work will reflect that.
Why did you choose entrepreneurship, was it on finding the right business idea or a personal need?
In most cases one chooses the entrepreneurial path to be one’s own boss! Nonetheless, our objective was to capitalize on a business idea, an idea which was very unique. The sheer want to bring the concept to the public led us to creating an organization.
Also the telecom industry is at its boom time now and would remain so for the years to come. It was our desire to be a part of the industry and the concept brought us the right breakthrough. Moreover we have a high tolerance for risk and are willing to take calculated and educated risks.
What has been the biggest entrepreneurial challenge that you have conquered?
Creating the right team, to find people who are dedicated to make a concept come alive and reach out to millions of potential users. I was fortunate enough to find the right minded people with die hard zeal and fresh minds at a very early stage.
Being new to the industry with no support and only little guidance it was a long struggle for us initially in terms of marketing and distribution. We had to try out various ‘out of the box’ strategies and implement them replacing the ones before.
What do you believe are key challenge areas for an (Indian) entrepreneur?
There are 3 most important challenges for an Indian:
(a) A customer base that is open to absorbing new ideas and technology – traditionally, most Indians are risk averse, and they do not easily see the benefits of being the first mover or an early initiator
(b) Raising the innovation capital – the venture fund in India is still in its very early stages, and most of them continue to impose the western models of growth in the Indian scenario
c) Breakthrough in the industry – The main reason for this could be hierarchy or that the decision makers remain unapproachable.
Yourstory wishes Vishal Gaba and Datanet success and many downloads with mobiesta. To have a closer look at the application and to download go to www.mobiesta.com