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Characteristics of Successful MVAS companies in India

Harish Gandhi
Harish Gandhi
Executive Director, 
Canaan Partners


There are many more reasons that have led to an MVAS ecosystem that favours the operators, large VAS players and penalizes the smaller ones. But there are some commonalities amongst companies that have struggled.

Those developing single / few applications without leveraging a common platform loose out to those that have an installed base. Companies that develop undifferentiated products/services. Small content aggregators tend to get squeezed out between the operator and content owner and pure technology providers tend to get commoditized quickly. Companies that have built their business around WAP or application downloads have also generally not been very successful due to the poor GPRS penetration, application compatibility across handsets etc.

Looking forward:

Despite the difficulties mentioned, there are plenty of reasons to be optimistic about MVAS in India. Mobile has seen an unprecedented growth in the country and has brought about significant changes in lives of people across all sections of the society. It is the most indispensible object that we carry and offers tremendous scope for information access, entertainment, communication, productivity enhancement, personalization etc.

We have highlighted some of the characteristics of successful MVAS plays in India. However the mobile environment is changing rapidly and the successful MVAS companies of the future will need to leverage the opportunity created by the changing mobile landscape, regulation both in India and around the world. Clearly the move towards 3G, location based services, m-commerce, growth of mobile data, Application marketplaces will offer scope for innovation and success. But this would have to be the topic of another article.

The author is an Executive Director at Canaan Partners

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Reader's comments(1)
1: Could you lament more on mHealth. We have developed an application for Newborn jaundice detection using mobile phone images using chromatic technology. The project has innovative business model, potential market leadership, market size, product advantage & domain expertise.
Posted by:Dr Shabeer - 22 Jan, 2013

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