In India, we work with the Governments of Karnataka and Telangana, which have taken the initiative to consolidate all their citizen-based services into a common platform. For this, we have deployed our IMIdigital platform, and have integrated it with respective government’s platforms, says Sudarshan Dharmapuri, Senior Vice President (Product Management), IMImobile, in an interview with Sudheer Goutham of Elets News Network (ENN).
How has IMImobile’s initial experience been and what is its current presence across the globe?
IMImobile was established in India in 1999 with an aim to capitalise on the strength of a product company using Indian intellectual resources. Since that was the time when the telecom boom was about to happen, initially our vision was to focus on mobile data space and work with telecom operators and enterprises to provide them with a mobile data platform. Some of our early successes came as a result of working with mobile operators because they wanted to launch an array of consumer-facing revenue-generating services. These services included infotainment-oriented content services (currently called the value-added services segment), with features such as portals, subscription services and content services for subscribers, which could be monetised.
Thus, sensing a big business opportunity, we enhanced our platform to serve this objective. Following this, we started working with media companies like Yahoo, Star TV etc. and helped them run campaigns such as voting, contests and polls. The next opportunities for our growth came from the Middle East and Africa. Thereafter, seeking to expand into Europe, IMImobile acquired a UK based company called ‘Win PLC’ – an Application-to-Person (A2P) messaging player that worked with UK-based mobile operators like Vodafone, O2 etc. We introduced IMImobile’s products to its client base and that, in turn, brought us great success. IMImobile now offers a whole range of products for customer engagement to some of the world’s biggest brands across wide-ranging sectors, essentially providing them the ability to interact with their end customers on multiple mobile channels.
Can you tell us about your collaborations with various States in India?
In India, at present, we work with the Governments of Karnataka and Telangana. These two State Governments took the initiative to consolidate their citizen-based services into a common platform. For this, we have deployed our IMIdigital platform, and have integrated it with respective government’s platforms. Through this platform a variety of services such as applying for income certificates, land records etc. can be availed.
Tell us a bit more about the USP of your m–governance initiative. The cases I mentioned above are two examples of how we are empowering millions of citizens’ digital interactions on a monthly basis. So, the single value proposition that IMImobile offers, is a one-stop value proposition for all services, which includes multiple payment gateways implemented by integrating with credit cards, debit cards and net-banking tools. Furthermore, IMImobile has provided these services to a variety of rural-based customers by taking their unique requirements into account.
Tells us about your product offerings aimed at BFSI players.
For the BFSI sector, we chiefly provide three broad-based solution categories. One of these categories is Customer Communication. If you are a customer of a bank, you must be used to receiving OTPs regarding commercial transactions. We facilitate all such services. Besides, we help BFSI players orchestrate their customer-targeted communications across platforms.
So, if you send an OTP over SMS and don’t get a delivery receipt within three seconds, then our platform detects this, and in turn, initiates a voice call to dispatch the OTP to you. We also offer what we call is an End-toEnd Customer Journey Automation.
For example, you have a direct-debit scheduled on your account. If two days prior to the scheduled date, funds are low in your account, then our automated platform will send a communication to you, informing you about the low funds and possible modes of payment available.
Our technology is about not only alerting customers but also opening a reply path for them to act on. Last but not the least, we focus on Customer Support Service. Here, we believe that customers today, prefer to interact with banks and businesses through social media such as Twitter and Facebook, like they do with their family and friends. Keeping this reality in mind, our IMIchat platform has been designed to allow banks and other enterprises to talk to their customers on multiple digital platforms such as Twitter, SMS, email, Facebook etc.
What have been your recent industry takeaways that are going to shape IMImobile’s future priorities?
Today, lots of organisations are beginning to realise that improving Customer Experience is the only way to remain competitive. This is because they are finally noticing that products and services are getting increasingly commoditised. If you notice, retail banking is the same across banks. So, going forward, the key differentiator for businesses would be how well their customers are treated and what kind of experience they are able to provide to their customers. And this is where, we come into the picture. Besides automating such processes, we also help businesses minimise related costs. One of our recent initiatives is aimed at developing Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine-Learning tools for automating various Business-toCustomers interactions. Because, you see, it’s not always possible for a human agent to respond to customer queries. In brief, I can say delighting end customers through latest technology and, simultaneously, helping our clients reduce their costs is going to remain our key priority!