Some of the best business ideas are suppose to solve a critical problem or address a gaping need in the market. Arun Menon is one such entrepreneur, who from his college days itself displayed an uncanny knack to address relevant issues and make commerical success out of it. For instance one of the apps from his venture Onward Mobility - MobiCop lets a user track her phone whether its lost or stolen and also protects her data besides saving the cost of a new mobile.MobiCop is just one of the cool apps that Onward Mobility has to offer. “Onward Mobility” is a unique apps store which is actually offline. Their approach to mobile apps is summed up on the website in a question “Why can’t mobile phones become medical tools? Encyclopedia? Remote control? Computers? Or even anti-terror gadgets?”
YourStory spoke to entrepreneur Arun Menon the CEO of “Onward Mobility” to learn more about the mobile apps company that is here to stay with their mobile mutations approach …
How would you explain the “Onward Mobility” offline App Stores business idea ?
Onward Mobility is a mobile application development and marketing company with a unique business model of selling applications through retail outlets. It is first of its kind offline App Store which caters to the mass consumer base of India.
What makes Onward Mobility different from other mobile app developers?
Onward is not just a mobile app developer it also a parallel channel to sell mobile applications, it is probably the first mobile app company looking to create consumer brand.
How was the idea for the MobiCop app conceived?
MobiCop as a concept came to our mind because one of us lost our phones and it is a very painful experience as one has so much personal data on the mobile phone. This thought led to the creation MobiCop which not only tracks your stolen phone but protects you personal data and also helps you retrieve your contacts.
Tell us more about the entrepreneurial experiences that make you who you are.
I am B. Tech from IIT Bombay with 10+ of experience in varied technologies and markets. I am the founder CEO of Onward prior to which I was the founder CEO of Ambrosia InfoTech which was an outsourced product development and consulting company which I started 6 months out of college and scaled it from a 2 founder team to 100 + people.
Where have your concepts been executed and launched?
We are already live in around 10 states of India with more than 200 distributors on board and 10,000 plus retailers stocking MOBITM products. We have just gone live in China and south Africa and till date have sold more than 300,000 licenses of MOBITM products
Where do you see mobile apps and Onward Mobility in coming years?
In 5 years Mobile Apps would get integrated into our lives on a day to day basis this is because as we go forward in the future the mobile phone capability would keep increasing and mobile apps of the future would be able to do much more useful and meaningful for example there would be applications which act as access device, credit card, home control unit etc.
What is Onward Mobility's revenue model?
We sell Mobile applications as any other consumer product gets sold in the market.
As a start up entrepreneur, what challenges you and what makes up for it?
The biggest challenge as a start up in India is to hire the right team and the best joy of being an entrepreneur is that I get to choose which 20 of the 24 hours I work.
What is the team composition like at Onward Mobility team?
We are currently a team of 70 people on our rolls and then we have lot of fleet on street on third party payrolls. Out the 70, 40 are in sales, 15 in R&D and support and rest in operations
What is the most immediate goal you wish to achieve?
Our goal is to have a pan India coverage in the next 6 months with presence in 500 key towns of India
What has been the most popular app from the Onward Mobility team?
More than 300,000 licenses sold, the most popular app has been MobiCop (security) and MobiSecret (Privacy). We have seen that mobile application cuts across customer demographics, there are many untapped latent needs in consumers and if one has communication channels established with their customers then lot of innovative mobile applications can be developed
Yourstory wishes Onward Mobility and Arun Menon luck with their mobile mutations. We hope to see many more super useful apps from them in the future and urge you check out their other apps at http://www.onwardmobility.com/onward/