Mobile Growth, Challenges & Opportunities

By Rajesh Badgeri, COO & Co-founder, iReff

Rajesh Badgeri, COO & Co-founder, iReff

iReff is a mobile app that enables fastest and easiest way to find best prepaid mobile recharge plans for all network operators. It is available on Android, Windows and iPhone platforms. iReff claims to have more than 1 million downloads and rated top 20 under Google App shopping category.

As per a recent Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) report, India has touched 1 billion mark with telephone subscribers, of which nearly 973 million are mobile phone connections and only around 27 million are land lines. Nearly 560 million mobile connections are from urban area and 414 million are rural connections, which is a huge mobile growth. India has a great potential in the coming years with already 354 Million internet users, of which 213 Million access internet on mobile devices and half of the Indian population is expected to be online by 2020. This opens up immense opportunities to apply mobile commerce and technologies to fuel growth and creates space for many start-ups.

It is critical to have the right infrastructure and awareness about the mobile services for common users to maximize the benefits. It also encourages more and more start-ups venturing in this space. India is a unique country with nearly 95 percent pre-paid mobile users. It is essential to maintain necessary balance and rate plans in order to use the prepaid connection effectively. In India at present there are 16 mobile operators, including GSM and CDMA, serving 23 circles. Mobile recharge plans have become very competitive and hence new plans are rolled out very often. So, managing pre-paid connection with lack of information for making right recharge decision is a huge problem. Once you decide what to recharge, there are multiple recharge options like doing online recharge, using bank website, recharge apps, websites and many more, and offline through retail shops or telecom operator service centres. Although the number of people doing online recharge is very small compared to people doing offline recharges, but it is catching up very fast.

There are many companies in this domain trying to solve above challenges and many are in the online recharge space. iReff uniquely solves the information problem and stands apart from others.  While recharge transaction is critical, it is small part of the bigger problem of managing mobile connection. It is very important to pick the best plan that provides ‘value for money’ and track when plans run out of balance and remember to recharge. iReff is trying to simplify this and provide value added services for customers to manage the connection better.

iReff is a mobile app that enables ‘fastest, easiest way to find best prepaid mobile recharge’ available on Android, Windows and iPhone platforms. It provides pre-paid recharge information for all circles and operators in India and many useful features to manage your connection, so as to save time and money. With a simple to use mobile app, users don’t have to search through operator websites or call customer care to find the best recharge plans & packs.iReff has partnered with top recharge players like Paytm, Mobikwik and FreeCharge to fulfil online recharges.

iReff has been incubated under NASSCOM 10,000 Start-ups and recently completed Microsoft Ventures accelerator program. It was also the winner of NASSCOM Emerge 50 award in 2014, and was part of first ever Launchpad program from Google in India. iReff has more than 1 million active users and is a top rated app on Google Play.

The exponential growth of mobile devices has opened up many start-ups in India trying to solve many information problems in different domains& e-Commerce space. The start-up ecosystem in India, particularly in Bangalore and such other metros has matured enough to attract good talents. There are enough angel investors & VCs to fund ventures with sound business model and market opportunity. Bangalore, stands fifth in the list cities across the world to receive most venture capital in 2014, which is a great indicator of matured start-up ecosystem. Bangalore, which is regarded as silicon city of India is hosting most of the start-ups in India today. With enough role models in e-Commerce space, there are more and more people ready to take risk with start-ups. In a recent report published by NASSCOM, the prediction is by 2020, India will have more than eleven thousand start-ups that will potentially employ 2.5 lakh people in India.

Having decent traction in the market, iReff is also looking for growth. With more than 800 million pre-paid users in India and with exploding internet penetration and smartphones growth, iReff sees a great potential.

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