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
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.