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Chirag Shah

Co-Founder | 06 Aug 2012

Birds and animals are getting more mindshare than human beings on mobile. Talking Tom and Angry Birds are the culprit. Every month approximately 150 million apps are downloaded, and this is estimated to reach 300 million by December 2012. Gartner reports reaffirm our views. The reports estimate the Indian mobile apps market to be pegged at nearly Rs 750 crore ($150 million) and foresee a steady growth in downloads across various platforms

Chirag Shah, Co-Founder of Seventynine has over 14 years of experience in sales and marketing. He is responsible for the company’s performance and success across markets. Prior to Seventynine, he was with Reliance Digital as a Chief Revenue officer. He has worked with companies such as HT Media and NRIworld. In a conversation with Rahul Dubey, Shah talks about the journey of Seventynine and growth of mobile marketing in India.

Q. What, according to you, have been the key factors that are contributing to growth of Seventynine?

There are three major factors that are facilitating our growth in the market. First one is platform capability – we strive to give all possible targeting that is available and possible in the mobile space. Next is in-house developed analytics – through this product we enable app developers and brand custodians to track consumer behavior and engagement level. The last factor is advertiser and publisher relationships.

Q. You seem to be focused more on rich media advertising. What is the rationale behind this?

Mobile has a higher reach as compared to television but the spends on mobile is lesser since the current format of ad cannot create the desired impact on smaller screen. Rich media enables impact as well as reach and hence the strategy to focus on rich media inventory especially videos to enrich user experience.

Q. What has been your experience of in-app advertising so far? How is the Indian app market shaping up?

Mobile applications are hugely popular and this is a phenomenon across age groups. People in every age group are downloading apps and spending more and more time on these applications. Mobile applications are economically viable solutions for entertainment and business purposes. Birds and animals are getting more mindshare than human being on mobile. Talking Tom and Angry Birds are the culprit. Every month approximately 150 million apps are downloaded, and this is estimated to reach 300 million by December 2012. Gartner reports reaffirms our views, the report estimate the Indian mobile apps market to be pegged at nearly Rs 750 crore ($150 million) and foresee a steady growth in downloads across various platforms including iOS, Blackberry, Nokia and Android.

Q. What is your nature of association with publishers such as The Times Group and Rovio, the creators of Angry Birds?

We are exploring preferred or exclusive partnership with key set of publishers. It would be difficult to reveal names.

Q. Other mobile ad networks have also grown significantly in the last two to three years. Do you think an early entry could have benefitted you more?

There is a first mover advantage to some; we are leveraging the lessons the first movers learnt from their mistakes.

Q. What kind of challenges do you foresee for Seventynine in near future?

On mobile ecosystem, inventory has become a commodity; it is similar to the scenario that occurred in the online world five years ago. Since there is no unique inventory available, this could be a big concern for the industry. Another challenge is connectivity in this part of the world. Although, 3G is well implemented in India and 4G shall arrive soon, Indian consumer might still not experience the connectivity which a US consumer experienced two years ago.

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