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GMIC Bangalore 2014: Session Highlights

GMIC Bangalore

Panel Discussion – Insights: How Mobile Has Made India Global

Naveen Tewari, Founder/CEO, Inmobi
Sachin Bansal, Founder/CEO, Flipkart

Moderator:   Vikram Chandra, Group CEO & Executive Director, NDTV

With innovation leading to cheaper smart phones, the usage of apps has increased. Now not only is app creation easier but within everyone’s reach. According to Sachin Bansal, Founder and CEO of Flipkart, there are plenty of funds available in the mobile internet space. While Flipkart started as a web-based e-commerce website, they are now mobile as well. “Similar to the transition from desktops to laptops, companies need to have a presence on mobile to compete in the global market”, says Sachin Bansal. Naveen Tewari, Founder and CEO of Inmobi, addressed the need for social innovation through mobile phones. As technology barriers decrease, we are not only witnessing an evolution in daily tasks such as payments and cab bookings, but we’re also seeing great potential in meeting social needs throughout the world through mobile education, health and security. Mobile phones are now becoming the primary outlet for users around the world to go online. 

Fireside Chat: India – The New Pioneer in M-Commerce

Kunal Behl, Founder/CEO, Snapdeal

Moderator:  Rajesh Sawhney, Founder, GSF Accelerator

One year ago, only 5% of Snapdeal’s orders came through their mobile app. Today, this number has skyrocketed to 60%. This one year leap demonstrates the increase in consumption of mobile phones and inadvertently apps. The 60% orders placed were by new users who had never transacted on Snapdeal before. Snapdeal Founder and CEO, Kunal Bahl, has focused on making the user experience good for both the buyers and sellers by creating a separate app for the sellers. Snapdeal Seller Zone, India’s first ever mobile managed online marketplace app for sellers, is catered to sellers on the move. “Apps should be made to solve a real need,” says Kunal Bahl. 

Panel Discussion – Cashing in on Mobile

Vineet Tanwar, Strategic Gaming Head, Google
Micha Benoliel, Co-Founder/CEO, Open Garden
Nitish Mittersian, CEO, Nazara Games
Troy Malone, GM-APAC, Evernote

Moderator:   Sanjay Swamy, Managing Partner, AngelPrime, Co-Founder, ZipDial

Like Troy Malone, GM Evernote, many executives had not considered exploring the mobile market in India as recently as one year ago. As cheaper smart phones flood the market, Evernote has realized the importance of participating in India’s mobile ecosystem. To capitalize on this growth, companies like Nazara and Open Garden are also expanding to India. Nazara’s Game Fund provides young developers with funding to cash in on the mobile ecosystem in India. With the transformation in the mobile market in the past year, the requirement of an ecosystem can be felt in India. To enhance this ecosystem, Google helps by providing various platforms like Google App, Google Cloud and Google Monetization API’s such as Google AdSense to name a few.

Panel Discussion: Globalization of Chinese Companies – How important is India?


Wang Zhe, VP, Chukong Technologies, Founder Cocos2d-x
Haitao Qian, Managing Director, Mobogenie India
Eric Villines, VP Global Marketing, Kingsoft Office Software
Kenny Ye, GM India, UCWeb

Moderator:    Dippak Khurana, Co-Founder/CEO, Vserv

India’s gaming market is now what China’s gaming market was four years ago. In China, advertising and gaming are the main sources of revenue with gaming fueling the mobile ecosystem in China. With increased usage of mobile phones and apps, the gaming market is expected to bloom in India as well. Casual games comprise of 50% of the games in China. One challenge that will be faced in India is the difference in perspectives when it comes to gaming. In China users pay to win, whereas in India users play to win. In China, users tend to invest more money to ensure higher chances at winning. 

Panel Discussion – Mobile Payments: The Future of Transactions


Virendra Gupta, Founder/CEO, Newshunt and iPayy
Kunal Shah, Founder, Freecharge
Sekhar Rao, Founder/CEO, Juno Tele
Anshoo Sharma, Principal, Lightspeed Ventures India

Moderator:   Nikhil Pahwa, Founder and Editor, MediaNama

With India being a country with trust deficit, cash on delivery is the popular mode of payment used. Carrier payments and in-app purchases are not being widely used in India, and this scenario might take a while to change. There is a long way to go before credit cards become the source of payment and cash on delivery takes a back seat, however, users are warming up to the idea of online transactions. This could be seen in Freecharge, an online recharge portal. “Freecharge had 20% mobile transactions in September 2013 and by September 2014, this has increased to 80%” says Freecharge Founder Kunal Shah. 

Panel Discussion: Taking Mobile and Travel to the Next Level


Bhavish Aggarwal, Co-Founder/CEO, Ola Cabs
Rajesh Magow, Co-Founder/CEO India, MakeMyTrip
Raghunandan G, Founder & Director, TaxiForSure
Hari Nair, Founder & CEO,

Moderator:   Ravi Gururaj, Chairman, Frictionless Ventures

With the advent of mobile, we have revolutionized travel today, particularly through cab and flight bookings. The convenience of mobile bookings has inevitably increased the number of users in the industry . MakeMyTrip, for example, reported 1.2 billion gross bookings in its last financial year. Olacabs Co-Founder and CEO, Bhavish Aggarwal started providing cab bookings through a call center when it was first founded. “Today Olacabs is in 16 countries receiving 70% of their cab bookings through apps,” says Bhavish Aggarwal. TaxiForSure Founder and Director, Raghunandan G mentioned increased user satisfaction upon using the app for booking, as well as increased comfort for the drivers when they use mobiles. Not only has the means of transportation changed, but booking holiday destinations has become increasingly easier as well. has a travel community in India of 2 million members out of which 1 million users provided consistent feedback which further helps other users make better travel plans.

Fireside Chat – Reinventing the Rules

Hugo Barra, VP, Xiaomi Global
Manu Kumar Jain, GM & Head of India Operations, Xiaomi

Moderator:   Deepak Dhingra, Senior Editor, 91 Mobiles

Xiaomi believes in “Innovation everyone can enjoy.” They focus on building products with high-end specs and technology that is affordable for everyone. Apart from its product innovation, Xiaomi focuses on community driven software development which it has demonstrated in India. They encourage R&D teams to be formed in India who will build products addressing the requirements specific to India such as safety concerns and poor electricity leading to discharged mobile phone batteries. Hugo Barra, VP of Xiaomi Global, says “We are not here to chase KPI’s and money, for us user happiness is of utmost importance”. He recently spent time in call centers talking to customers who are unhappy and gave a 1 star rating. He believes that building relationships with the community is a key driver of success. 

Panel Discussion: Mobile in India – Startup Perspective

Sumit Jain, Co-Founder/CEO,
Bharati Jacob, Managing Partner, Seedfund
Ric Zhou, Co-Founder/CTO, Lengjing SDK
Bipul Parua CTO at Knowlarity Communications

Moderator:   Shradha Sharma, Founder, YourStory

The startup ecosystem is growing in India with startups emerging in many different fields. With 40 million mobile users being added in India every year, the fastest in the world, startups are harnessing the potential the mobile platform has to offer. All startups have a problem they wish to solve through their product or service with a different motto in mind. Knowlarity Communications, a cloud telephony company hosting IVR calls on data centers, has a capacity to handle 1 mn calls per hour having processed 300 mn calls so far. It provides service to all mobile users and are not confined to just smartphones. Pepsi uses this platform for daily consolidation of data from all retail shops not owning a smartphone across India. Retail shops call the centers and dial the number of Pepsi bottles sold by the end of the day. Bharati Jacob, Managing Partner in Seedfund, believes certain white spaces can be filled with the help of the mobile platform such as apps for grocery and medical supplements providing services and products through apps. She also believes there is potential for content in languages apart from English on mobiles. “There is room for content representation in different local languages on mobiles for the vast majority of non English speakers,” says Bharati Jacob. Ric Zhou, Co-Founder of Lengjing SDK, believes apps should be built for people of all ages. Sumit Jain, Co-Founder and CEO of, encourages mobile applications to be built which help solve problems faced by tier 2 and tier 3 cities where laptops and internet connections are significantly less. Mobile applications now provide a huge marketplace which startups can harness and help both themselves and India grow. The diversity of India will soon be reflected in the diversity of the mobile apps it has.

Author: Priyanka Taya

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