Jay Jain, Director and Co-founder, M-AdCall

India Infoline News Service | Mumbai | September 30, 2014 16:42 IST

“We will be seeking a funding of US$5 million in the months ahead. As of now we are internally funded and growing well on all key metrics.”

Jay Jain, Director and Co-founder, M-AdCall
Jay Jain, Director and Co-founder, M-AdCall
Jay Jain, Director and Co Founder, mAdCall, is known for his early success in VAS services when he promoted and co-founded Astute Systems & technology, recognized for its distinctive consumer apps and services . He along with his tech co founder Vijay, are also recognized for their pioneering work in building the developer ecosystem through m - apps training , education and apps labs. A post graduate in Finance, Jay brings a balance of business acumen with innovative forward looking solutions.
 
M-AdCall, has made a mark for itself in Mobile Advertising in India and is said to be the world’s first ever pre-roll rich video ad platform that brings full video advertisement experience to mobile screens. They have recently brought in a revolution in the Indian Mobile Advertising Industry by introducing new innovative mobile advertising services like m-AdCall, m-Ad AppTouch, m-Ad InApp. M-AdCall’s products have been launched on Micromax devices as a preloaded service that benefits customers with rewards. It will soon be rolled out across all Smartphone. The services are also currently running on Tata Docomo, Idea and MTS networks and will be extended to other operators very soon. Close to one million ‘opt-in ‘customers have already availed of this experience with the existing already successful m-AdCall mobile advertising service ‘ which is estimated to be 4-5 Mn users & 1 Mn unique users/ month by De 2014.
 
Speaking with Anil Mascarenhas of IIFL, Jay Jain says, “We will be seeking a funding of US$5 million in the months ahead. As of now we are internally funded and growing well on all key metrics.” 
 
Is the mAdCall app useful only for the local calls or for STD and ISD calls as well? How does the talktime scheme works in that case?
The reward for seeing an ad to its completion, is now through points accumulated. Points that can be exchanged for rewards of different kinds.
 
When as in Tata Docomo, the reward is directly given as talktime, then the reward is given at equivalent LOCAL talk time rates , as per customer scheme/ recharge package .
 
What kind of funding are you looking out for?
We will be seeking a funding of US$5million in the months ahead. As of now we are internally funded and growing well on all key metrics. 
 
Brief on your financials. What is the ownership pattern?
We have been 18 months in operation. We are an internally funded company . And the shares are all held with the founders.
 
What do you see as the prime reason for the growth of Mobile Advertising in India?
Just the sheer width of Mobile ownership in India, creates a prime opportunity for mobile advertising. The huge growth in smartphone ownership, provides a huge growing base (over 117 million in 2013) of devices that can support rich advertising formats, video and that too on large high definition screens. 
 
The huge reach, always on character of mobiles, and the performance/response to ads makes mobile advertising surely very attractive .
 
Why do you think mobile advertising is becoming the most preferred medium of /by the Advertisers?
It is a strong growing medium for most brands. But still attracts smaller ad spends compared with other media. Given the booming penetration of smartphones , it should probably attract a significantly higher spend. 
 
Of course, for products/services that stress on downloads or on mobile usage , Mobile is the preferred medium .      
 
Why is the Industry is bullish about the meteoric growth of Mobile Advertising from a mere Rs 180 crore to Rs 2,800 crore by 2016?
 
Three trends will drive this:
  • The continued growth of smartphone usership. And dominance of mobile in connecting to the internet.
  • The realization by brands that mobile provides a continued  " engagement " platform with the customers , which is now high on the needs of most marketers.
  • The emergence of more engaging and wholesome ad formats , as provided by  m-Ad Call,
  • or say in feed advertising of Facebook . 
 
How will Mobile Advertising dominate the Social Networks in India?
Surely social networks will be dominated by Mobile. Globally more than 80% Facebook users are on mobile and 25% exclusively on mobile. In India, the prominence of mobiles will be much higher, with internet access itself being mobile driven.(of the 240 million internet users on 2014, 75% are expected to access this from mobiles) 
 
And where there are large number of customers, advertising will follow. Social networks like Facebook and twitter have innovated to find a balance on the thin edge, between advertising and the personal conversations of users.
 
Can the mobile ads make revenues from the viral videos that are a trend nowadays?
Videos that go viral do so with a sudden burst and explode onward at rapid speeds. New advertising models will emerge that can catch the trend on the upswing and run mobile ads that ride with it. 
 
Once the video is exposed and growing through "Search", it provides a Search led advertising opportunity and also on hosting sites like You tube.
 
How and in what ways is M-AdCall totally different from all other Mobile Advertising Services
 
It is unique in several respects:
  • It delivers advertising to customers who have opted in and are better pre disposed to seeing the brand ads 
  • It provides for a much richer and complete brand engagement with videos for brand communication, performance interactive opportunities on a landing page and even a closure through brand led, rewards points.
  • It creates a long term and direct communication relationship between the customer and advertiser 
 
Which segment of the market is targeted by the M-AdCAll?
We primarily target smartphone users. Among these , our target which was the younger 15-24 age group, has fast changed , on the back of a wide range of Micromax handsets, to extend to the 24-35 and 35 plus age groups. 
 
What are the expansion and investment plans of M-AdCall?
Already we have over 1.2 million users who have downloaded the service and more than half a million using it regularly. Our expansion aims at reaching 10 million users and creating a dominant advertising channel .
 
We are self funded and have invested heavily last year and continue to do so. For our expanded customer base and further technology investment, we will take up external funding at the right time. 
 
Do you plan to engage in any innovative marketing initiatives of M-AdCall?
Marketing to acquire customers, is done largely on the strength of our alliance partners. Docomo, Idea and Micromax, to name some. Their existing and deeper communication channels with the customers, have helped build our strong base of over 1.2 million users.
 
Our services provide the power of video advertising with the interactivity of mobile. They create opportunities for deeper and continued engagement with brands. 
 
Moreover the customers have opted in and are willingly choosing to see the brand communication, which makes for a much better audience  .
 
Between the products, m- Ad Call delivers a video ad prior to a phone call and an actionable landing page after the call.
 
m-Ad Apptouch creates communication opportunities when a customer is set to interact with apps of his choice . So they could be social apps for instance, when the customer knows he is in a relaxed frame of mind .
 
Why should an Advertiser/Marketeer incoroporate M-AdCall products in their Brand's Advertising Strategy
Brands are seeing different values and benefits in our ad service. Many are finding value in the deeper and more wholesome brand engagement that m- Ad call services provide. 
 
This is through Video message, interactive landing page and even continued ad engagement through brand coupons and other rewards .
 
Others like Star TV or a recent campaign of the film "Mardani" have used the service to build their content promos with viewers 
 
Have you tied up with any telecom companies in India or abroad for targeted marketing of the product?
Yes surely the Telcos have been our early partners. Docomo, Idea, MTS. And the others will follow too soon.
 
As the mAdCall operates on voice calls, do you think you can extend it to other services like SMS or MMS?
The technology allows us to introduce advertising into various customer interactions with her phone. We have done it on calls, with m-ad Call and then with apps, games and instant messaging through m-Ad Apptouch. Technically we can do this around SMS too. Though social groups like Whatsapp are the rage on smart phones.
 
What is the time frame of the advertisement being shown to the customer? Can he skip the ads in between like in Youtube?
We run ads of 10 to 30 sec length, depending on the advertiser. They can be longer, but we have avoided longer viewing. Yes, the ads can be skipped to go straight to the call or the app /game. However customers are rewarded to stay on and in our case, over 80% of customers do complete the video, once they have agreed to see it.
 
With every company in telecome space vying for the lowest market rates, do you think the customers might skip the ads because of the wait to place their calls?
We have not seen this response with customers. Those who have opted in, see the ads though, without skipping before a call. And off course before playing games/an app , when we deliver ads with the m-Ad Apptouch Service .
 
The ad in any case is delivered BEFORE the call is connected. And telco call rates will normally start when the call connects, not before that.
 

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