Adgully Exclusive | Fortunate to have the right investors, partners and a motivated team: Affle’s Anuj Kumar

Source : Adgully | View Original

Affle, a leading international mobile media company with the headquarters in Singapore, has one of the largest R&D teams across companies operating in this space based in Singapore. Affle has operations in Singapore, India, China, Thailand, Malaysia, Australia and the US. Leveraging cutting-edge technologies, Affle has developed mobile media and marketing solutions with an irresistible value proposition to its consumers as well as business partners. Its primary business involves creating significant mobile advertising opportunities through the development, deployment and commercialization of innovative mobile technologies.

In an exclusive conversation with Adgully, Anuj Kumar, CEO, Affle, shared some of the key highlights of the company.

Speaking about the mobile marketing and advertising scene in India, Kumar said, “Mobile advertising has been growing very rapidly over the last 2 years. However, the larger growth has been happening at the consumer end where significantly more content is today being consumed on mobile devices.”

According to him, this is being triggered by two major factors; one – availability of better & cheaper smartphones and high end feature phones and two – cheaper and faster mobile data connectivity.

Thus with increased content consumption happening on mobiles, a lot of new advertising opportunities are fast emerging to target the mobile users by intelligently blending advertising with relevant content.

Highlighting some specific trends and challenges, Kumar said, “The biggest challenge is thus not on the user/usage side, but in creating greater demand for mobile advertising solutions amongst marketers. As a company we believe that a lot of work is currently happening on aggregating the supply side of relevant mobile opportunities but not enough is being done to educate the marketers to how they can really derive maximum value from this very exciting & impactful medium.” Adding further he said, “We at Affle are thus looking to make significant investments in this area, which we believe could help grow the market at a much faster rate than the growth we have been currently witnessing.”

Kumar, sharing some key statistics said, the Indian mobile ad market is at a very nascent stage estimated to be at 30-40 Mn USD. However, globally this market is worth billions of dollars with individual markets like Japan and US contributing over 1.2Bn USD each. India obviously has huge potential to grow and we believe that the right kind of investments for spurring advertiser demand and in making mobile advertising more immersive and targeted could help move India to the Billion dollar mobile advertising club in the next few years.

Bringing to light, Affle’s share in the pie, he said, “Affle is one of the dominant players in the market already and we expect to grow our share even more in this growing market.”

Telling us about the products and offerings at Affle, Kumar said, “Affle’s product development offerings have been largely around two areas – Consumer facing products around mobile messaging, couponing and media consumption and Enterprise facing solutions for mobile ad serving, adtargeting and ad analytics. In the Indian market in particular both our consumer facing products like SMS2.0, Pinch etc. have got great traction and also our enterprise solutions have some of our largest customers here.

Sharing about some key partnerships that they hold with other corporates, he said, “Affle partners with 3 different kinds of corporates to build a successful business for itself – one- Advertisers & Agencies, two, Telecom Carriers and lastly Publishers. We have achieved significant success across these categories in India with over 75 major partners some of whom include leading advertisers and agencies like Hindustan Unilever, Maruti Suzuki, GroupM,OMD etc., top carriers including airtel, TATA, Reliance etc. and top publishers like ESPN, eBuddy and a lot more. “

Highlighting Affle’s USP viz-a -viz competition, Kumar said, “Affle is the only company as per me which combines excellent consumer facing mobile technology, strong carrier and publisher partnerships, innovative campaign solutioning and targeted& contextual mobile ad delivery skills.”

“The combination of these skills make us a great partner for advertisers who look at us as partners who understand their marketing problem and suggest mobile technology, creative, and/or advertising solutions to help meet their particular objectives. That’s also the reason why we have been able to build strategic partner like relationships with top agencies & publishers as they look at us as a partner who creates impactful campaigns solutions (vs. selling mobile inventory) which helps achieve their key objectives,” he added.

Highlighting some of the unique products like Pinch 2 SMS, 1st Mobile Media magazine, brought out from the ‘Affle kitty’, Kumar said, “Affle is fortunate to have a very large, experienced and highly motivated mobile product and R&D team based in our Singapore headquarters.”

This technology strength coupled with their on-ground business presence in India gives them unique capabilities to package unique technology innovations into successful market ready mobile products. Their recent innovations like Pinch2SMS and mobile magazine also highlight this unique twin strength of Affle.

As per Kumar, all analysts are predicting the Indian mobile ad market to grow at 50%+ for the next few years. However, he personally thinks that the market has potential for much greater growth and doing the right efforts could enable the same. We are thus very bullish on the global growth prospects of mobile advertising with particularly higher growth forecasts for developing Asian markets like India, China & Indonesia which are currently under served by smartphones and mobile content.

Speaking about Pinch a Dollar, he said, “It is a unique CSR initiative which we recently launched in SE Asia in partnership with the Special Olympics Committee and ESPN STAR Sports. Through this initiative we are working hard to make our technology and product solutions create meaningful value for the brilliant work being done by the Special Olympics committee, for the sportspersons who work very hard to overcome some real challenges to excel in sports.”

Adding further, he said, “ As part of this initiative all our consumer earnings from our product Pinch are being donated to the Special Olympics. We are also running marketing programs to get ours loyal users to donate more towards this cause. In ESPN STAR we also have a great partner who is also actively promoting this partnership on their channel thus creating greater consumer participation and donations. We definitely plan to have a lot more of such initiatives from Affle in future.”

Conclusively, Kumar spoke about the future planning and growth strategies. “We feel that we are fortunate to have the right investors, partners and a very motivated team to create success for us in this growing market. We are currently focusing on creating greater success in some of our existent Asian markets and also evaluating newer digital business initiatives which would help create greater growth for us in future”, he said. | By Aanchal Kohli [aanchal(at)adgully.com]