I attended VAS Asia 2010 held today in New Delhi. While writing my previous post about widely used IVR systems in India, I put IVR for Value Added Service at the top. If the overwhelming presence of CTI board manufacturers with stalls and two IVR platform provider any indication, then we are surely seeing some boom in IVR VAS in India! Incidentally, the last year too, there were many CTI board manufacturers in the same exhibition!
Incidentally, I could not find any stall of any big VAS companies except few like NetxCell, Spice Mobile. The big names in Indian VAS like OnMobile, IMI Mobile, Hungama Mobile etc. were not there! Content Developing companies VAS Application developer( one of fellow visitor asked me, “if I could suggest him any VAS content provider”)!
Nuance had big stall, and it is going to replace OnMobile ( which was principal sponsor for this VAS exhibition for last three years) as principal sponsor for next year.
Many CTI board manufacturer were there, I collected many visiting cards with interesting designations. One of the designation marketing manager of a CTI baard manufacturer’s business card reads designations like Sr. BDM Telecom and VAS ( Looks like, whole of CTI market in India is shifting towards IVR VAS only!).
Apart from Dialogic and Donjin, The following CTI board manufacturers were present :
4. Audio Codes
Interestingly, there were not many IVR platform providers except ExtendIVR and Telesoft Technologies! Telesoft launched its IVR platform for VAS industry. Aculab, I think whose CTI boards are most suited for voice portals, was not present!
Here are my quick thinking about this VAS Asia 2010:-
1. The session started with rosy picture of Indian VAS industry with a lecture from Mr. Arbind Rao of OnMobile ( which was the principal sponsor for the event) telling us that Indian VAS industry launches new services/products much faster than its European counterparts! He also informed that people whose mobile balance is Rs. 10(Approx US$0.22) at any point of time, VAS companies should sell them CRBT subscription per day basis! The present VAS market volume is Rs. 15000 crore ( more than US$3bn), likely to reach Rs. 70,000 crore by 2015 and Rs. 100,000 crore by 2020!
The next speaker Mr. Rakesh Mahajan, VP – Marketing & Business Head – VAS & Incubation, Airtel brought everyone on ground by asking, there are many products, services but how about the quality ? Answer to ‘what’ is not more important than ‘how’, he opined!
2. Lack of participants from core VAS companies ( though many were sponsors for the event) may be an indicator that not all is well in VAS industry in India and many admitted in private, VAS market is no longer booming in India! Nuance replacing OnMobile as principal sponsor for the next VAS Asia conference does not give out good signal about VAS Industry in India either!
3. Few specific issues like revenue sharing between telecom operator and VAS companies which is heavily tilted towards telecom companies ( Many claim it is now only 15% for VAS companies and for some unique and exclusive services it may be 35%) were not discussed or non raised, though Mr. Arbinda Rao raised something like, VAS companies should be given tax exemption by the government! No wonder low cost CTI manufacturers are present in big number in the conference!
4. Almost all speakers talked about using VAS in new areas ( eco-system as they called), like health, medicine, agriculture, targeting rural population in India. Also one speaker spoke about S Curve, saturation point!
Overall, it was good to be in the conference!