Interview with Yogesh Bijlani, Country Head and GM, Telenity APAC First Published on Voice and Data Online, by Malini N. on September 10, 2012
What are the current trends in the location based services (LBS) market in India and worldwide?
The developed countries have set the stage for device-based utilization of services. Europe, the West, America, and other developed countries have complete availability of smartphones that are GPS enabled and it helps consumers to have a wide variety of location-based services. While in India, the reality is quite different, though we have nearly 900-subscriber base. India has a minuscule number at the top-end of the pyramid of customers who have the same iPhones or Android devices.
The large masses over 60% of customers are non-data users, they are normally low-balance users. So high-end devices also would not help. However, there is a requirement of utility and consumer services of location-based services. Thus, network-based, location-based services are gaining traction in the emerging markets of Africa, Eastern Europe, and India. This trend exists across the consumers, SMBs, and enterprises space.
What is the USP of Telenity’s LBS solution?
Our unique selling proposition is primarily the availability of services across platforms, price points, network-based services and availability to every subscriber. There is no device limitation for our services. We provide LBS to both ends of the spectrum–network-based and device-based.
Brief us on your India operations.
India is a priority market for us. Telenity began as a support for sales and marketing units in the initial days. In these 7 years, we have established a complete service support system and R&D center to enable local development. We strengthened all the dimensions of business engagement right from development to operations to managed services to sales and marketing to boost our Indian business.
Which are your key markets?
We have been very successful in emerging markets. Larger footprints are in markets such as Eastern Europe, Latin America, Africa, Middle East, South Asia and Asia Pacific. We see substantial revenues coming from Eastern Europe and Middle East.
What are the new products/services offered for the Indian market?
We have introduced resource tracker which enables companies to optimize their resources. This is a huge success story for us in 2012.
What are the challenges? When would India actually adopt LBS?
The utilization of services by the customers is still very nascent. Educating the market on the capabilities of LBS has to be done. In my perspective, in 2013, there would be large utilization of location-based services in the small and medium businesses (SMBs) space.
As this segment is well educated and has understood the relevance of LBS. There is also the availability of devices. There are pre-bundled map apps on devices. So there would be greater visibility and utilization in the consumer space. I anticipate that India would reach 15% consumption by 2014.
What are your views on the recent security mandate on LBS by the government?
Mandate is crucial and the same has happened in various other countries. I do not see any difference and I do not see any reason in not adopting these initiatives. The challenge is more on the factor that where would this investment come in from. And how would operators gain return on investments?
But once the investment is made by the operator, they can offer a complete portfolio of services which goes beyond security services such as community services which is location-enabled services for parent tracking, geo-fencing for mobile marketing. And they can leverage these services which are primarily driven by security mandate by the government of India and the Department of Telecom.