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Unicel: Growing strong in the mobile space

Today, text messages are not only the simplest way to connect with our friends, they have also evolved into a major tool for enterprises to reach out to their customers and prospects. Thanks to the increasing penetration of mobile phones across all segments of the society, the usage of SMS never seems to abate as of now. This is why several startups such as Unicel are cashing in on this very opportunity by developing solutions, which aim at helping organizations to connect with their customers without any hassles.

Founded in 2003, Unicel Technologies is the brainchild of Vinay Agrrawal, who has always been a technology enthusiast. Though he was a commerce graduate, Agrrawal’s passion for technology transformed him to the person that he is today – Founder of a company that is fast approaching a turnover of Rs. 24 crore, with an expectation to touch Rs. 150 crore in the next three years. “I was always interested in knowing about technology and have been seeking new ways to enhance my knowledge,” he says.

Having climbed the ladder from a management trainee to head a team of 15 developers at Aircel, Agrrawal managed to get the feel of the Indian telecom industry, which was at its boom phase. It was at this time that the entrepreneurial bug bit Agrrawal, after which there has been no looking back for him. Today, Unicel boasts of having 450 enterprises in its clientele list in verticals such as BFSI, IT/ITES, retail and healthcare. The company has also tied up with major Indian telecom operators – Bharti Airtel and Tata Teleservices to provide services to their customers.

GlobalOne, which is the company’s flagship product, is a web based user interface that enables users to manage incoming messages by creating different keywords, setting auto responses and assigning a different incoming path like an email or URL. The platform also facilitates an enterprise to send bulk messages in a single push.

Another interesting service that Unicel offers is Virtual Number, which is a 10 digit mobile number that is present on the mobile network, but not on a handset. It is virtually alive on the mobile network that is integrated to an application. Virtual Number is similar to short codes and enables both push and pull services.

Agrrawal feels that Unicel has an advantage over its competitors like Valuefirst as it provides real time reports for the messages. “When enterprises send out bulk messages, we provide reports on the portal about the number of messages that are sent and delivered on the handsets, thus the enterprises can easily know about the reach of the message,” he says.

During its initial days, the Unicel team comprised of only two members working out of a small apartment in Chennai. Today, with offices in Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad and Kolkata, the total headcount of the company currently stands at 70 with plans to hire more people in the coming months. Though, Unicel had shifted its base to Bangalore a few years back, the company did not have a proper office space to meet its growing needs, however things seem to be improving now. “Soon, we will be shifting to a 7,000 square feet office in Bangalore after which we also plan to increase our employee strength,” he adds.

Agrrawal is bullish on the future growth of the telecom market in India and he plans to make the best use of this opportunity. Shortly, the company will also be starting their first international operations in Sri Lanka, after which it plans to spread its wings to other countries also. To be ahead of the competition, Unicel also plans to introduce new products and services to its customers in the coming months.

Vinay Agrrawal

Having completed his MBA from Symbiosis Institute of Telecom Management in 2000, Vinay started his career bang in the middle of the telecom boom in India. Working with a telecom operator, Vinay gathered hands-on, in-depth experience of multiple functions in the wireless space—from technology, and billing, to value-added services and customer experience. This exposure combined with his keen...
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Unicel: Growing strong in the mobile space
 

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