Ubona- Delivering Value Added Telephony Services for the Masses

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In today’s highly evolving market space concerning mobile services, Ubona is a company that targets service providers and helps them adopt Value Added Services (VAS) for millions of their customers.

For instance, their very first idea was to develop a voice recognition tool and use it to locate and connect to restaurants, businesses etc without actually knowing the number. For Bangalore, developing a ‘Foodie Hotline’ – where one just needed to say the name of a restaurant and get connected to it, was one of the initial milestones.

Starting Off

Founded by Jyotimoy Chakravorty who has a massive 22 years of experience in companies like Wipro and eCapital under his belt, Ubona is all about creating a pleasant, fast and accurate consumer experience on the phone.

I vaguely know that Ubona means ‘to hear’ in Swahili, but more importantly we have selected it because we wanted to have a five letter word which sounded unique, easy to pronounce and spell,” explains the founder.

"Ubona

Ubona’s competencies are achieved by attempting complex challenges like consumer grade speech recognition and music recognition, which were never tried in our part of the world because of their inherent technology complexities.

Revenue Model and Marketing Strategy  

We offer our technologies to telephony based service providers (generally the network operator) to sell their stuff (like music, caller tunes etc),” says Jyotimoy. When the consumer in turn buys their product, Ubona gets a cut out of it.

As far as the marketing goes, Ubona relies on keeping its products dynamic and ever-changing including conceptualizing new services on their platform and demonstrating them to their customers. “We continuously change and keep the services afresh so that consumer’s interest is always alive.

In a market space that witnesses ever-changing trends, the biggest seems to be the increasing emergence of consumer empowerment. The value added telephone market has changed from an out bound dialling based model to a paradigm where the consumer can himself call and choose from a number of options from a vast repository.

Another big change in telephony domain is the mobile internet, slowly people are adapting to data and are demanding more and more useful, entertaining and richer services cum experience,” adds Jyotimoy.

Challenges faced

With a vision to see their services being used by the public at large, there have been many challenges along the way. Creating the technology, evolving the business model, getting the first customer and making the product a success provide a glimpse of what Ubona has been through. “As a company one advantage we have is that owing to the domain we operate in, anything which makes business sense, is and needs to be inherently scalable,” informs Jyotimoy.

Being among only a few companies in the world to have a speech and music recognition product in the larger consumer environment can be looked at as an early achievement, and a sign of bigger things to come.

Ubona is on Yourstory Pages.

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