GupShup has become the centerpiece of connectivity in India

How is SMS GupShup different from its competitors?
SMS GupShup is different from its competitors in many ways. It is a social
messaging platform. It enables people to connect and share with their friends
and fans by creating groups and sending messages to them. The messages are
forwarded for free. SMS GupShup is completely optional, users can join or leave
any group at any time. Before forwarding the group messages, the company may
attach a text ad in the footer of the message. Advertisers can target their ads
by selecting groups they want to advertise in. This advertising revenue enables
us to subsidize the cost of the free service. Recently, we have also introduced
P2P messaging where a person can get in touch with many people by simply sending
a text message.

What are the policies that are guiding your company’s
agenda for promotional SMSes?

SMS GupShup does not have an agenda for ‘promotional SMSes’. We are strictly
against spamming. Spam is annoying and intrusive for the recipient and
ineffective for the advertiser. We are strongly against sending or enabling spam
messages. Our users can opt-in or opt-out of any GupShup community. We ensure
that our business customers have to take permission from the users. Our platform
also offers an enterprise messaging solution (Bulk SMS) to businesses to send
messages to their own customers. We require businesses to seek permission from
their customers before sending them messages, as well as scanning the customer
list through NDNC (Do not call) database.

What are your growth plans?
The company now serves 26 mn users in over 2 mn communities, double the
number of communities supported just six months ago. These communities range
from religious groups to sports to celebrities. It has actually become the
centerpiece of connectivity in India. Over hundred advertisers currently run on
the network, including local insurance provider, ICICI Lombard and international
brands like Puma, Microsoft and Cadbury. Also, we are looking forward to
expanding our operations globally to make our products useful to each of the 4
bn mobile subscribers worldwide.

How much money the bulk messages generates?
The Bulk SMS market is estimated to be around Rs 200 crore with many
organized and unorganized players. SMS GupShup solution is better than the
competition because of our good technology, robust infrastructure and reliable
support. We also offer detailed delivery reports to businesses.

What kind of competition are you facing in the social
networking sites?
While social netwoking sites are very popular, I will like to emphasize that
we are using a more ubiquitous platform, mobile phones. With the rapid growth of
subscribers, this medium will be the biggest reach to a larger number of people,
especially in developing countries like India where broadband penetration is
still a challenge.

Archana Singh

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