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Top themes at Mobile Sparks: user experience, user engagement and user inclusion

Madanmohan Rao & Ramya Venugopal
20th Dec 2014
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We’ve had enough talk about how mobile is the next big thing. It’s here and it is permeating everything – the way we shop, the way we dine, the way we get our new and the way we communicate. Mobile First is no longer the latest mantra, it’s quickly moving to Only Mobile.

Couple that with the government’s latest ‘Make in India’ initiative and suddenly, mobile entrepreneurs in the country are looking at a landscape that’s never been more inviting. We invited some of India’s top thinkers to debate, speculate and contemplate on all things mobile at the Mobile Sparks 2014.

Here are some top takeaways from MobileSparks:


MobileSparks2014Tweets_YourStory

User experience, engagement and inclusion were the top themes of discussion. Speakers included an array of top telecom executives, mobile entrepreneurs, specialists and investors.

Anand Chandrasekhar, chief product officer of Airtel, spoke about the potential for telecom operators to be enablers for the mobile ecosystem and the need to constantly evolve in line with the mobile market. “No battle plan survives the first contact with the enemy,” he said.

Saran Chatterjee, vice president of products at Flipkart, spoke about key learnings for the company because of an increased move of its customer base to mobile from the web. He spoke about Flipkart’s focus on leveraging mobile capabilities through sensors, camera, location and voice.

Mobile design requires more simplicity, elimination of redundancies, leveraging of device inputs, said Sunit Singh, head of design at Cleartrip.

Mobile is also emerging at the disrupter of adjacent markets such as energy and power and the hub of the evolving Internet of Things, according to Karthee Madasamy, managing director of Qualcomm Ventures.

Start with the customer first then develop your product. Make sure it takes minimum effort for the user to use, promote or share the app, said Freecharge founder Kunal Shah, as he spoke about the challenges of servicing the mobile-only customer.

While developing a mobile game, think engagement, ease of use, convenience of playing with friends, the importance of constant updating to increase participation, said Anila Andrade of 99 games in her talk on how to create a world-class game out of India.

Always maintain a balance between ad monetization and audience engagement., warned Prashant Dixit, vice president at Vserv. Harsha Kumar of Ola Cabs described the various challenges that the taxi app faced and how they tackled them.

Amit Somani, former CPO of MakemyTrip told us how to increase user engagement after the app download. Start with user context, not cohort analysis. Understand their mindset, emotions, needs, wants, responses.

Pradeep Sounderrajan of Moolya spoke about the yet unexplored business of app testing.

The panels were vigorous and full of debate. We had panels on mobile payments, consumer businesses and a panel of VC investors.

The future of mobile payments is tied to their integration into the banking system, a panel of experts from the payments business said. In a discussion ably moderated by TC Meenakshi Sundaram, IDG Ventures’ founder and managing director, they discussed the potential of NFC in payments, movements of money and transfers without credit and debit cards.

A consumer business panel of participants from the top mobile consumer companies – Newshunt, Yatra, Myntra, Wechat, Freecharge, moderated by IDG Ventures vice president, Karan Mohla, discussed each company’s own journey to the Indian consumer and the challenges they faced.

Venture funds like unique products with a clear engagement strategy and a monetization model, we learn from a panel of venture fund investors. Moderated by Govind Shivkumar of LGT Ventures, we had participants from Seedfund, IDG Ventures, Qualcomm Ventures, Inventus.

Finally take a look at what the tweeters had to say.

We will be uploading the videos of each session in the coming days. Watch this space for updates.

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