Q&A: Mobile Marketing in Emerging Markets


IDG Connect catches up with Mr. Dippak Khurana, CEO & Co-Founder, Vserv.

What are the key growth drivers in the mobile ecosystem for emerging markets? The mobile ecosystem in the emerging markets has greatly transformed in the last two to three years and is on an upward swing. Backed by the rapid growth of mobile internet users, emerging markets are cementing their position as the key to connecting the next billion mobile internet users.

Growth of mobile subscriptions: Developing nations have surpassed developed nations in terms of mobile broadband subscriptions and this gap will only widen in years to come. It is estimated that over 50% of new subscriber additions worldwide will be from China, India, Indonesia and Brazil. Asia is estimated to have 3666 million users, constituting the highest base of the mobile world. You can read the full interview on IDG Connect.



What Every Marketer Needs To Know About Mobile Advertising in Emerging Markets

emerging markets perspective small

Lance Johnson, VP, Business Development, North AmericaThe smartphone market is growing at a staggering rate & emerging markets are the driving force behind it. With this pace, emerging markets are set to connect the next billion consumers, way ahead of the developed markets. To achieve this feat, developers & marketers alike will need to adopt a new focus on global strategy.

Emerging markets may be the easiest place to start but they exhibit a few distinctive characteristics that stand in stark contrast to mature, developed markets. For instance, 80% of subscribers in emerging markets are prepaid users and mobile penetration rates vastly exceed credit card penetration rates. Here a a few tips in line with the existing scenario:

Quick insights for mobile ads in a global environment:
1. Engaging with ads has emerged as a de facto currency used to pay bills and buy goods
2. Developers from emerging markets are able to maximize their mobile advertising revenue by accessing global RTB demand inventory
3. Mobile developers are collaborating with Telcos and plug into their billing system so that users can purchase from the app store utilizing their prepaid or post-paid mobile accounts

Incentivize your users to watch ads:
The reward system always works! It is the best practice to allow consumers to top up their prepaid mobile account in exchange for engaging with ads, downloading apps and other actions, advertisers engage and cultivate brand loyalty among users by rewarding them for desired actions.

This gives advertisers to engage users like never before by rewarding them through impactful advertising. In effect, mobile airtime has emerged as a de facto currency used to pay bills and buy goods and services in emerging markets.

Maximizing ROI from RTB:
In emerging markets, supply and demand for ad space is always a challenge, leading to ad inventory being sold at the wrong price. This is exactly where Real Time Bidding comes in to play. RTB provides an optimal solution by providing advertisers a massive, data augmented reach while allowing them to selectively target and bid for specific clusters of audience. Even with minimal to no understanding of the RTB platform, advertisers can gain access to high volumes of rich media inventory through real-time, programmatic buying. Along with that, the developers can also maximize their revenue through Mobile Advertising by auctioning each ad request to the highest bidder through access to global RTB demand inventory. It is indeed a win-win proposition for everyone.

Maximizing monetization strategies by mobile ad developers:
GDP per capita & low credit card penetration in emerging markets means that ‘in-app purchase’ via OEM app stores cannot be the sole viable monetization model. This is seriously in contrast with the scenario in developed markets. To overcome this fundamental challenge, mobile developers are collaborating with Telcos and plug into their billing system so that users can purchase from the app store utilizing their prepaid or post-paid mobile accounts. Mobile developers in emerging markets are utilizing a varied “freemium” monetization model through micro-transactions such as Try & Buy, Pay per Play and Subscriptions. This unique blend of monetization garners extensive reach & revenues for the developer.

To exploit the ever growing opportunities of any market, one needs to identify the right context, content, and business model of that region. By getting all these parameters right, innovative advertisers and developers will reach consumers across emerging markets, winning the next billion mobile subscribers in 2014 and beyond.

The author is Lance Johnson, Vice President – Business Development, North America. The original article appeared in Mobile Marketing Watch

Rising Metro – The Rise of Windows Phone Platform

The rise of smartphones over the last few years has brought some significant transformations in the Mobile industry. The changes can be attributed to diverse parameters like form factor, pricing, operating system and eventually the usage. While all these changes have contributed majorly in redefining the entire landscape, operating system has been the game changer. Microsoft’s Windows Phone platform is evolving quickly and gaining momentum around the globe, especially in Emerging Markets.

While the journey has been tough, the collaboration with Nokia paved way and led to a great 2013, with analysts expecting the Windows Phone platform to cross 100M devices by 2014 and become the 3rd largest OS in the world. The OS has outsold iPhone in 24 markets including India, Malaysia and South Africa which stands as a clear indication that it is set to take this space by storm.

One of the key drivers of the growth has been the preference of the “Windows Marketplace” among developers. With close to 250,000 apps available now, and major developers including WP OS in their initial roll out plan, the platform is witnessing a far greater show of strength by the number of downloads.

We’ve created an infographic that brilliantly displays the journey of the Windows Phone platform and what it is set to achieve.

 Rising Metro

Our CEO on the Value of Recruiting


Entrepreneurship has changed its meaning in the last few years. Within the digital industry, it is imperative for most start-ups to have a CEO who promotes entrepreneurship & who endorses the need for wearing the HR hat in the company’s beginning years. Here’s a fantastic article on how our CEO Dippak Khurana drives the company on the talent front and the need to create internal brand ambassadors. Click here to read the entire article & below is an excerpt from the same:

LinkedIn Blog Dippak Vserv

What’s a piece of advice you’d like to share with your peers?

You never know when you are going to be meet someone who could be your next hire. Have your recruiting hat on at all times.

As we walk out of Vserv, we can’t help but notice that this beautifully designed office is full of energetic digital natives completely in their element and as driven as Dippak. This is real-life testament to the results a CEO can achieve when he prioritizes talent for his company.

Our key takeaways from the conversation with Dippak are:

  • Plan for the future. Have pipeline of relevant talent lined up before the need arises.
  • When it comes to prioritizing talent, the CEO should lead from the front.
  • Leverage your employees as your talent brand ambassadors

Video: Decoding the Indian Mobile Internet Consumer

Our Mobile Internet Consumer Report 2013 was recently featured on ZDNet where they also interviewed our GM – Global Sales & Strategy – Narayan Murthy at MMA India. The article mainly covered our report’s key findings & highlighted India’s growing Mobile Internet user base. Read the full interview here.

Watch Narayan Murthy’s Video Interview where he speaks in depth about our report and the Mobile Internet space.

Maysalward (Jordan) – Developer of the Week

Positioned as the gateway to the Middle East, Jordan is emerging today as one of the most ideal locations for the Gaming industry. Developers in Jordan benefit from many natural advantages such as a bilingual work force (English and Arabic), a convenient time zone, state-of-the-art infrastructure, and an open-economy. Jordan based, Maysalward has been one such entrepreneurial journey in the Gaming industry, becoming amongst the first mobile game development company born in the Middle East.Nour Kharis

Founded in November 2003 by Nour Khrais, Maysalward has been recognised as a leading player in the Gaming space with their portfolio including cross-platform multiplayer games, social network interactive games and apps. Operating out of two development studios in Amman & Irbid, Maysalward boasts a highly diverse & professional workforce of more than 22 developers.

Under a glocalized vision, they have designed and developed some of the most popular mobile games like Balot, Trix, Tarneeb and Carrom & Taw. By developing a strong expertise in Mobile Gaming, they enabled their technologies on platforms ranging from J2ME, Symbian, Blackberry, Android & iOS in addition to social networks such as Facebook. Some of the popular games developed by the Maysalward team include Penalty Shootout, Street Football, Super Arcanoid and Asterock, amongst others.

Fact File
Name Maysalward
Location Jordan
Connect Website, Facebook, Twitter
Apps Play Store, Apple StoreBlackberry, Nokia Store

Nour Khrais is also the founding board member and Chairman of Jordan Gaming Task Force, an open and independent coalition of Jordan’s premier gaming companies. Sharing his experience on monetizing his mobile games, Nour says, “The Vserv AppWrapper has been instrumental in our efforts and changed how we looked at monetization. It allowed us to ad enable our games rapidly and give them away for free to our customers, and yet grow our revenues.”

Given that Gaming is a fast changing industry, Nour advises developers to stay determined to succeed and leverage the worldwide market that mobile gaming offers. We wish the Maysalward team great success, and hope they keep shining as the leading light in the MENA region for gaming developers.

See how simple it is to use the AppWrapper™ 

You feedback is always appreciated, please do let us know your thoughts in the comments section below or on TwitterGoogle+ or Facebook  .

You could be our next ‘Developer of the Week’! Click here to know more! 

Gramedia Majalah (Indonesia) – Developer Of The Week

According to a McKinsey Report, Indonesia is well on course to becoming the 7th Largest Economy in the world. The report further states that it will be positioned as a Mobile & Digital Nation in the coming decade. Kompas Gramedia – one of Indonesia’s largest multimedia publishers is well placed to leverage this medium & surge ahead. It also houses a team of three developers namely Mario Nicolas, Fajar and Adi who form the core team at Gramedia Majalah.

Gramedia Majalah

Mario, Fajar and Adi started pretty much like everyone else; learning and experimenting as they built their first app a couple of years ago. Not being equipped with a Programmer or Developer background, Mario is pretty well versed with the way Apps function. Within no time, this cohesive unit has built apps across multiple platforms. Some of their well known apps include Intisari, iDEA, Infokomputer, Kawanku.etc.

On associating with Vserv for monetizing their Apps, Mario Nicholas, Assistant Business Manager – Digital Media says “Since we primarily have news based apps, In-App ads are the most effective way to monetize our inventory. Vserv’s AppWrapper technology has helped us immensely by creating a customised platform for our team. Moreover, significant amount of time was saved on the technology aspect as a lot of our efforts would have been invested in building such an advanced engine.”

Fact File
Name Gramedia Majalah
Location Indonesia
Connect About Mario
Apps Play Store

Inspired by the likes of Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg and Jonathan Ive, Mario’s advice to aspiring developers is simple, – “Keep developing, don’t fear failures & if you do, make sure you work harder & compete with yourself efficiently as that will be your defining moment!”

With current plans focussing on their latest App – Thumbstory which is a short story sharing platform, we wish them all the best for their future endeavours.

See how simple it is to use the AppWrapper™ 

You feedback is always appreciated, please do let us know your thoughts in the comments section below or on TwitterGoogle+ or Facebook  .

You could be our next ‘Developer of the Week’! Click here to know more! 

Mobile Apps Monetization & Distribution with Vserv & Samsung

This June, we along with Samsung have been invited to the Tech In Asia Meetup at Bandung to talk about mobile apps, monetization, and distribution.

Our very own David Yin, General Manager of Developer Alliances will share insights on four golden rules of app monetization. Nicholas Foo who heads Developer Relations for Samsung Asia will speak on how to enhance and monetize mobile apps with help from Samsung.

A special Workshop has been designed for all developers who’d be interested in knowing what we would have in store for them. Developers will be able to work on Samsung API tools and  experience first hand how to integrate our One Click App Monetization platform – AppWrapper. In addition, technical staff will also be present to assist developers during the workshop.

Here’s a quick look at the Agenda:

11:00 – 11:30: Registration
11:30 – 12.00: [Meetup] Apps monetization: 4 ways to better results
12:00 – 12:30: [Meetup] Enhancing and monetizing your applications with Samsung
12:30 – 13:30: Lunch & Networking
13:30 – 16:00: [Workshop] Samsung & Vserv.mobi Workshop

Join us on 15th June 2013 at ITB, Institut Teknologi Bandung 11am onwards. Click here to grab some tickets.

Cadbury’s Halls: Breathe the Change – Vserv.mobi Smart Campaign of the Month


Cadbury’s Cough Drop Halls is positioned as a soothing syrup which helps one cure sore throat that starts working within 10 seconds of consumption. First launched in India in 1968, Halls came under the Cadbury Group in 2003 & soon became one of the leading mint brands. A product that has enjoyed tremendous mass appeal & is widely acknowledged for its witty TVCs, Halls recently forayed into Mobile as a medium to convey a social message.


To create a CSR campaign leveraging the power of Mobile which in turn would help the brand actively engage with their target audience (youth) surrounded by a social cause.


A Youth targeted campaign named as ‘Breathe The Change’ spread across India was initiated to connect with a specific demographic for a social cause.

Halls leveraged the Vserv.mobi premium advertising network, to reach the youth on Apps across mobile platforms. On launching the youth targeted Apps & games, the user would come across a premium full screen ad which asked them to ‘Light Up A Village With Their Breath’. Vserv.mobi powered this In-App campaign to successfully deliver the message using a Click to Call mechanism. A toll free number was then embedded to take the user to the next step where his/her breathe was recorded. For every call a user made to record the breath, Halls promised an equivalent number of windmills to be setup in a village with poor electricity infrastructure.


Mobile ads are today allowing advertisers to engage multiple senses of the user, and this campaign truly leveraged these capabilities very effectively. Involving the passion for a social cause with a simple yet engaging user action, delivered lasting brand impact. In a duration of four weeks, Vserv.mobi helped Halls deliver a total of 13,43,572 Click to Call engagements and over 10.1% of those calls led to completion of the objective.

Have you discovered the Power of Mobile Advertising? The team at Vserv.mobi can help you create a Smart Mobile Marketing campaign! Just write to us on ads@vserv.mobi to start today.

Nisqo Technologies (Tanzania)- Developer of The Week

Vserv-Nisquo“A kid in Africa with a cell phone has access to more intelligence than the President of United States did 15 years ago” said MIT futurist Ray Kurzweil in a recent article in the Huffington Post. Six out of the world’s 10 fastest growing economies are in Africa and Mobile is playing a big role in driving these economies. Africa is the second biggest mobile market in terms of subscriber base with 50% of internet connections exclusively on mobile and 50% of the region’s population below 20 years of age. So it is not surprising when you see students, fresh out of college, wanting to be pioneers in this mobile revolution.


It’s often said why work for someone when you can work for yourself, but at times people have trouble taking the plunge. Need some inspiration? Meet Tanzania based Nisile Kaswaga. He initially thought he would work for someone and applied for several jobs, but during this entire process of applying he was convinced he was not getting enough mileage for his time working for someone else. In March 2012, Nokia conducted an 8 week training program for 30 chosen app developers in Tanzania, and Nisile was one of them. His latent passion for mobile app development had come to the fore during this training and he took the entrepreneurial leap founding Nisqo Technologies Co. Ltd. He was constantly driven by the success of students from Ugandan Markerere University who had made millions developing mobile applications and the belief that Mobile was the medium which would break barriers adding significant value to the lives of people around him.

In less than a year Nisile has taken rapid strides and become a leading player in the mobile apps space. His first app ‘Love Guru’ has enjoyed tremendous success globally. We have always been committed to partner with young dynamic talent in the mobile space & are delighted to collaborate with Nisile in his app monetization journey. Nisile adds “Vserv’s unique AppWrapper technology is the best monetization tool out there – because it is very simple, and yet helped increase our revenues multifold, saving us tremendous time in our overall coding efforts. We look forward to a fruitful and long association with Vserv for all future projects.”

Fact File
Name Nisqo Technologies
Location Tanzania
Connect Website, Facebook, Twitter
Apps Ovi

Inspired by Steve Jobs, Nisile has ambitious plans for Nisqo. Having already made a mark on the Nokia Ovi store, Nisile plans to start developing mobile apps on other platforms like Symbian, Android, Blackberry and Windows in the coming year. Nisile terms ‘entrepreneurship’ as the best form of employment and his advice to fellow peers is to get started immediately if they have an idea.

We are confident that Nisile will very soon be a force to reckon with in mobile app development making both Tanzania and Africa proud. We wish him lots of success in all his endeavours.

See how simple it is to use the AppWrapper™ 

You feedback is always appreciated, please do let us know your thoughts in the comments section below or on TwitterGoogle+ or Facebook  .

You could be our next ‘Developer of the Week’! Click here to know more!