Mobile VAS firm BlackNGreen is planning overseas expansion next year. The company’s director Rahul Gupta says BNG’s VAS products are enabling over 700 million users globally, to experience mobile VAS offerings.
Excerpts of the interview with TelecomLead.com..
On company strategies
We believe that technology should reach to everyone and hence we focused developing services that are not dependent on the handset. Our mobile VAS cater to even those with the most basic handsets and that has helped us to make an impact in the emerging markets. However, at the same time we are aware of the fact that the only thing constant in this world is change and if one does not change with time then one is threatening one’s own existence. So, we have applications and platforms in the pipeline that will not only be new and refreshing for the market and at the same time game changing.
On expansion plans
We have been growing at an exponential pace right from our inception. From operations across 40 global locations currently, we are well on our way to operating at over 100 locations by 2014. We are targeting a year-on-year growth of about 150 percent for the next few years and then sustain an annual growth rate of about 50 percent thereafter. This should be quite achievable with our global partnerships and the new business avenues that are opening up in Latin America and Africa.
Mobile VAS growth opportunities and challenges
The mobile handset penetration in Africa is very good but over 80 percent users still use basic handsets and do not have an access to smart-phones. This gives us an opportunity to innovate and offer exciting products that they can access on any basic mobile phone. Africa is a great place to do business. It has a very receptive population that is eager to try out new products. They respect innovation and are very open minded. Mobile phones, in a lot of ways are their primary mode of entertainment. That gives us a lot of opportunities to develop and present new and creative offerings that suit their taste. We work with big telecom groups like MTN, Airtel, Tigo etc. who command over 70 percent of the African telecom market. Today we are immensely proud to be amongst the top 3 revenue generators for most partner telecom operators across Africa. The average growth potential of the African market is about 25 percent and is growing year on year. Africa on the whole is expected to churn out $12 billion of revenue from VAS by 2015. This is great news for us as Africa is one of our primary markets of operation.
Mobile VAS trends
The introduction of high speed connectivity has opened up numerous new avenues that did not previously exist. With the introduction of 3G and 4G services across many markets, the VAS industry as such has shown consistent growth figures due to the availability of better infrastructure and delivery channels. This is further substantiated by the exponential growth projections that experts have come up with for the next 3 to 4 years.
Demands of telecom operators
Being into B2B format of business it is important for us to cater to the demands of our partner operators. With the appreciation testimonies from most of our operators, we consider that we are doing well in not just understanding the needs but serving them with best quality in appropriate time. Operators want new and refreshing services on a constant basis with variations that can cater to the whole spectrum of their consumer base. With talented and hardworking team continuously working on developing and implementing innovations on everyday basis we are sure that we will always be able to cater to the demands of our operators.