The inaugural edition of MobiSparks, a unique conference and showcase of Indian mobile startups, ended on an energetic note in Bangalore today. Over 300 attendees attended the packed event, sponsored by Sequoia Capital, Vodafone, One97 Mobility Fund and UK Trade and Investment.
YourStory.in has built upon its unique relationships with startups as well as investors to bring together an outstanding forum focused purely on mobile innovation in India, explained Shradha Sharma, YourStory.in founder.
An authoritative report, MobiSparks 2012, was also released at the event, featuring the Top 15 mobile startups and apps in India chosen by an expert selection committee.
“In the next 12-18 months we will see major global mobile startups emerging from India. Mobile remittances are big in India. Interesting problems waiting for innovative mobile solutions are discovery, healthcare, education, payments and enterprise mobility,” observed Mohit Bhatnagar, MD, Sequoia Capital India.
Buzz and hype about the mobile industry has been alive in India for at least a dozen years, said Sanjay Anandram, an investor, mentor and author. “India is now a supplier as well as a market, and access prices are falling for mobile,” said Anandram.
“Indian startups are getting distracted by how to get investments,” cautioned Sandeep Amar, who heads apps, WAP, and ad server business at One97.
More Indian startups need to go beyond cut-and-paste and do original work. “There’s a lot of stuff that can be opened up for the mass market in India via mobiles. Unfortunately, the rural market is not considered sexy by many urban mobile developers,” observed Jonathan Bill, SVP, Vodafone India.
“Enterprise mobility, especially for SMEs, is a bigger opportunity in India than in any other country,” advised Bill. Vodafone India’s revenue share is 70% with content providers and developers, but the share offered by other Indian mobile operators is much lower.
“We are close to many problems in India, we need to innovate right here,” said Ramesh Krishnan, head of User Experience Practice in MphasiS.
“In India everything is the next big thing, from e-commerce onwards. But app developers in India need better improvement in design, beyond functionality,” advised Ashwin Venkatraman, Director & Head, Developer Platform at InMobi.
Hot mobile trends identified by the expert panel at MobiSparks include: home automation, personalised infotainment, commerce, local deal apps and healthcare.
Ravi Gururaj, Vice President of Products and Cloud Platforms at Citrix Systems, offered five brainstorming techniques for startups to build on a core app idea: flip, tangent, enhance, disrupt, and fuse.
Rohit Singal, Founder & CEO, Sourcebits, delivered an extremely relevant and insightful workshop on how to successfully build and monetize apps, covering everything from ideation and execution to marketing and pivoting.
MobiSparks adds to YourStory’s annual lineup of startup showcases, which includes TechSparks, aimed at product technology startups that has run successfully for four editions, and e-Sparks, aimed at e-commerce startups that is one edition old.
“If you want a good overview of key developments in mobile this year, and upcoming trends and shifts in 2013 and beyond, the MobiSparks report is the best place to start,” said Dr Madanmohan Rao, research director at YourStory, and curator of the report.
The top Indian mobile startups picked at the event are: IQLECT, Grene Robotics, Visarity Technology, App Me In, SectorQube Technolabs, Uniphore, AstralPad, Rhapsody Labs, Jana Care, Remo Software, MintM Loyalty Services, AirGol.com, MobileCozy Solutions, and RainingClouds Technologies.
The leading mobile apps from India for 2012 are: Twaang, Hubbl, WooMe, LoReMo and PhonOn. There were also pitches by four new apps being recently launched: InTouchApp, DeckApp, Native5 , and Robotics-Live.
Details on these startups and apps, along with the comprehensive MobiSparks report on India’s mobile market, are available via the event Web site.
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