20 August 2017

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Mobility at its Best

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Venkat RanjanIndian SMEs are reaping the benefits of online trading tools to grow their business. While accessing email is the number one reason for using the Internet, a majority of SMEs (71 percent) also use the Internet as an online tool to search for vendors and suppliers. Most of the businesses feel that online trading tools are very effective as they are cheaper and provide greater reach. Discussing this and much more, Mr Venkat Rangan, Co-founder and CEO, Market Simplified interacted exclusively with Faiz Askari, Editor, Small Enterprise India and shared some important insights on the scope of using mobile phone for online trading.

The Interview Excerpts:

Small Enterprise India: What are the major challenges faced in mobile trading application platform?

Venkat Rangan: When building modern mobile trading application, many developers resist determining whether a native OS application or a Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) browser friendly site is the ultimate choice. One of the most common challenges that the early programmers made was about the inability to test their applications on actual devices, however, these are now taken care of by various means. The biggest challenge and of course the opportunity is to create cross platform applications and real time data on mobile applications available on the go.

 

Small Enterprise India: Indian telecom has become an undisputed success story world over. What is the present set of opportunities for making the mobile device more diverse?

VR: According to an estimate there are 3.3 billion mobile subscribers worldwide, out of which around 500 million mobile subscribers are Indian. Today, mobile phones have surpassed their key role of voice communications and are more focused as an informative as well as entertaining device for mobile users. Innovation and evolution have always been the main force behind telecommunication industry since its inception. What we are also witnessing globally, and now in India, is the flurry of financial transactions done on mobile, be it shopping, trading stocks or banking. The capabilities of interfacing social media, with applications of various industry verticals, such as retail, finance, entertainment,  holds immense potential in making mobile device functionalities more diverse and compelling.

Small Enterprise India: Can you share some of your experience, so far, from this market?

VR: Our experience in the Indian market has been both well expected and surprising. Being a mobile strategy partner to leading financial institutions, our mobile trading application has been very well accepted by the masses. What has held us in great stead is our capabilities in developing native applications across multiple operating systems and specific to India, the coverage of even sub INR 5K phones. With the line between a Smartphone and feature phone fast diminishing, this played a very important role in providing access to maximum number of people. Demographically, we are seeing people accessing mobile trading across the age group of 25 yrs to 55 yrs. The advent of non-entertainment applications in India has only just begun, and we see immense potential in financial application in our country.

Small Enterprise India: You introduced a relatively newer business concept to the mobile subscribers. What shift in the mindshare of common mobile user is expected?

VR: The biggest shift in the common mobile user’s mindset would be him being empowered at all times with real time financial information and his ability to act or react that eventually assists him or her in this wealth creation or investment process. The power of anytime – anywhere is hugely compelling, especially, when time critical information and action is provided on the go.

 

Small Enterprise India: Is there any eligibility criterion for using your services? How many users across India are transacting on your platform?

VR: Mobile trading application just not allows one to keep a track of market movements but it also provides the facility to trade. Now, using a mobile, one can remain connected to stock market while on move. Some of our applications that we develop for our brokerage clients allow one to access market information even if they don’t have a trading account with that particular brokerage firm. To trade, all they have to do is further open an account and they are all set to trade on mobile that has a GPRS connection. In India, we already have more than 150,000 people using the applications developed by us.

Small Enterprise India: What is the scope and future of financial inclusion of capital market in Tier 2 and 3 cities of India?

VR: The cities that are already competitive would need to look ahead to move from factor-driven competitiveness to efficiency-led and finally innovation-led economies. We are moving from online to mobile space and this will help us to move to tier 2 and 3 cities. Mobile trading is an extension of Internet based trading. With the introduction of mobile trading the brokers can provide the broking services to urban cities and this will increase the accessibility to stock trading. Mobile trading would be successful as the country has 65 crore mobile users as against only one crore Internet users. Emerging Rural Mobile Market in India, the mobile market in rural India has significant potential with number of subscribers anticipated to grow at a CAGR of around 32% during 2011 to2012.Also the fact that the mobile infrastructure is already in place to leverage any financial inclusion plans. So mobile banking, mobile trading, lends immense scope for financial inclusion, at a much faster pace.

Small Enterprise India: What future prospect do you foresee for your business?

VR: We are witnessing great acceptance and usage of mobile for financial transactions. With the tremendous potential of transaction capable mobile applications in India, our focus will primarily be in the area of banking and financial institutions.

 

Small Enterprise India: Data security is also an integral aspect in this. What is your take on this element of your business?

VR: Data security is definitely very important. Our unique and robust middleware platform complies with the regulatory requirements across all geographies that we are present.

Small Enterprise India: How the SAAS application helps in mobile trading and how it is applicable to all operating system?

VR: We specialize in making online brokerages fully mobile by developing Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) applications for the financial industry. The company’s technology enables end-users to access, trade, and manage investments securely and reliably. Therefore, scalability, cost, and time to market are all key criteria for us.  The major benefit of a SaaS based engagement is that we come on board as a true mobile strategy partner and assist in making financial institutions go mobile across multiple mobile and tablet operating systems, thereby enhancing their revenues and customer acquisition plans.

Mobility at its Best
 

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