Mobango: Planning Investments in the User Interface, Developer Community Management and Other Key Product Areas

Mobango, a global platform with customers from over 100 countries accessing the site for free downloads of games and apps, is planning to make significant investments in the User interface, developer community management and other key product areas that will keep Mobango at par with its global peers in customer experience

What are the expansion and investment plans of Mobango in India?
Mobango is a global platform with customers from over 100 countries accessing the site for free downloads of games, apps and other content.  Key investment areas of Mobango are primarily in the area of product development of the appstore.   We expect to make significant investments in the User interface, developer community management and other key product areas that will keep Mobango at par with its global peers in customer experience.   In India, Mobango will work with aggregators and media companies and have apps that are suitable for the India audience.  We have already got on board all major consumer service apps like shaadi.com, naukri.com, yatra.com, bookmyshow etc.   
 What are the innovative products in the pipeline?
Mobango is investing a lot in building the android community on mobango;  we have a very large number of android applications and content on the store and will continue to build on it.    We believe that in the next few quarters, more handsets with Android capability will be launched Globally at various price points entry level to high end devices like Samsung Galaxy Tab.  
 
What are Mobango’s contributions to Mauj’s global business?
Mauj Mobile was largely an India centric business working with key operators in India and distributing content through its mobile internet platforms.  Mobango on the other hand is largely a Global business with customers from over 100 countries.  Also majority of revenues for Mobango are global in nature. 
What are the new demands of telcos in the wake of the emergence of data centric products?
Telcos in the wake of launch of 3G services and the need to differentiate in the market are launching a slew of data centric products such as Video products, Mobile TV etc.    Some of the simplest services are also around providing simple mobile broadband related products such as access / data cards to the end users.  Telcos are looking to specialists such as Mobango to provide differentiated products or to power their application and games offerings to the end customers. 
 What are the concerns about the growth of app business?
Application business is still early days if we take the Indian context.  Widespread adoption of mobile application is reliant on adoption of mobile internet services.  In the Indian context, the aggressive launch of 3G services by all the major operators is expected to give a great momentum to the application business in India.  Globally application business is already reaching critical scale and is enabling large application developers, media companies, appstores to build a strong ecosystem.   We also need to remember that some of these countries have had 3G / high speed mobile data services for last 3-8 years where the app business is also the strongest.    
This application business is driven by both the Mobile advertising market as well as the customers paying for premium applications globally.   The mobile advertising market is quite evolved on some platforms and in some geographies globally such as Android, Apple ecosystems and in US / Western Europe.  The mobile advertising market is growing smartly in Asia / India regions and over time will be able to give meaningful revenues to developers in this region as well.  Premium applications particularly premium games is about Rs 250-300 crore market in India currently.  This number is still not large if we consider the overall VAS revenues of operators however is growing well.   
What is your opinion about the current telecom regulatory environment in India?
IN the last few months key changes have enabled greater choice for the customers MNP, TRAI regulations on promotional messages and calls and finallylaunch of 3G services.  This is all a great step forward from an end consumers point of view.  However a big area of concern still remains which is revenue share from operators for the VAS players and the reporting standards / guidelines.  Fixing these issues quickly is a great priority and one that will enable more innovation from players such as Mauj Mobile. 
 What are the new trends in app space?
The application space is currently seeing a lot of venture capital money coming in for both application stores and for the developers.   There are great examples of One App Companies”¬Ě that develop a very differentiated app, distribute the same globally, get a very large global user base that is engaged with the application.   We were at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona recently and there we met a large number of companies who are working on very innovative ideas and different revenue models. 
One key trend among apps to look out for is ad funded apps  – where the app itself is given away for free in return for the user seeing some in-app advertisements.  Mobango is a free app store and has a large number of such applications on board already. 
 What are the emerging business opportunities?
Mobango has a unique business model called the Pay Per Download.  We are essentially a distribution platform for developers.  Many developers work with us to drive a large number of downloads of their applications globally.   This is a very interesting proposition for developers and they are engaged with Mobango in a significant way.   We also work with select partners in powering applications with ad codes which can deliver in-app advertisements.    We expect to see similar innovative opportunities to emerge. 
How do you rate your services and products comparing with the competition?
Mobango has a great user destination where users can browse, search and discover great / interesting applications, games and content.   We have a lot of work to do on making the interface and user experience comparable with the best in the world and we are working hard on these aspects of the product.