Jonathan Bill, former Vodafone India SVP (Innovation and Business Development) and former OnMobile CEO Arvind Rao have come up with a web-cum-mobile application-based service. It is a special mobile tariff plan comparison and recommendation service called BillBachao for the Indian mobile phone market this month.
In an exclusive tête-à-tête with Vibhuti Jaitly of Zee Media Corp, Jonathan Bill, Co-Founder and Managing Director, BillBachao shares his vision, plans and ideas regarding the same.
Excerpts from the interview:
Q1. Tell us about BillBachao service...
BillBachao is a service designed to make life easier for India's 800 million mobile phone users. We help our users find the right prepaid or postpaid plans based on their exact usage so that they save money (usually 25 percent or more).We also help them find the right network for them based on signal quality and speed at their home and office locations.
Q2. What inspired you to launch/create such a unique app?
We believe that the Indian consumer deserves the best, and in many large categories there is a big information gap which leads to a challenge for the users to make the right choices. There are over 55,000 different mobile plans and offers in the market, so we wanted to make it easy to find the right plan for the user using our unique technology.
In addition, users have quite often been frustrated, not knowing which operator will give them the best signal quality at locations that are important to them. We wanted to solve this problem too and hence launched this app which will benefit them.
Q3. Why did you choose the Indian market for launching your ventures?
I have lived in India for five years now and I love the scale of the place, plus we are at a really exciting growth phase of mobile and internet services in the country.
Q4. Who is your target audience and how do you intend to increase the user base?
Our target audience is anyone with a smartphone (although you can also use the service on the web without a smartphone). The smartphone base in India is in excess of 100 million and forecast to grow to 500 million. We are in the process of refining the product based on an initial feedback then would go and raise additional capital to allow us to grow in the market.
Q5. What are your thoughts on the evolving Indian smartphone market?
The Indian smartphone market is growing fast, what is needed to make this truly valuable is connectivity infrastructure and investment encouraged by government policies. That combined with a growing domestic market and focussed developer community will drive real value to both the economy and for end users of these services.
Q6. How has the response been so far for BillBachao?
We have been live for just over two weeks and have delivered Rs 10 crore of annual savings and collected 1.5 crore network signal quality data points for over one lakh users. Our App is number 3 on the Google Play Store Lifestyle category and is in the top 10 of overall new free apps. We are pleased with the response that we have received.
Q7. Do you plan to roll out other supplementary services along with BillBachao?
We are addressing a big enough category in mobiles in India, so we are not intending to roll out any new services at the moment. But never say never!
Q8. What are your future plans? Is there anything else in the pipeline?
There are loads of refinements and value additions to the existing service that need to be done and other markets that are to be thought about. But at the moment, we are focussed on scale and refinement of the existing product. Eventually when we have additional capital we shall bring all these new features and options to our users.