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How Will The Mobile Business Fare In India In conversation with the Deputy Managing Director of Oxigen on mobile's role in digitising India.

By Ritu Kochar

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

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The speed at which the accessibillity of mobile phones has increased in India has been comendable. From a metropolitian state to a village you haven't even heard of, mobile are everywhere. So much so that a life without one could not b imagined.

And with more and more people using it, mobile has emereged out as the business prevailing amomg the rest. With mCommerce attracting more traction than desktop sites, and digital wallets being great help, we asked Sunil Kulkarni, Deputy Managing Director of Oxigen how has payment spaces is changing how we look at mobiles and how one day your mobile will replace your card.

Innovations in the mobile business

Mobile business in the last 12 to 18 months have been predominantly in the payment space, starting with IMPS, now going to UPI and finally Bharat Bill Payment System. This is going to revolutionize the payment system in mobile, simply because the user experience is going to be very different than what it was before using payment gateways and other paths. So, I think this is one area where you will find significant innovation changing the way people transact using mobile.

Growth of Mobile business in India

Mobile will become an integral part of every common man, whether it is Smartphone or non-Smartphone. The only difference in the case of Smartphone that it will be using 2G, 3G and 4G technology for transaction. In the case of non-Smartphone, it will be USSD and IVR which will be defining the way people will transact. But, people will continue to transact through mobile and it will become an integral part of common man.

Best way to monetize mobile

The best way to monetize mobile is to give what people want.

People don't want videos or advertisements. The bulk of requirement in any economy is the availability of credit and insurance. For availability of credit and insurance, you need two things - profiling of customers and lowest cost payment mechanism for repayment and disbursements. That's what Oxigen is currently focusing on to create mobile and payment infrastructure which provides lowest cost re-payment and disbursement. We have our own mobile wallet on SMS, app and on web providing universal experience to all kinds of customers, whether they are using a Smartphone or non-Smartphone.

Investment opportunities in the mobile business

Currently, the total available market for payments in the retail is one trillion dollars, of which 6% is electronic. Even if you look at the eCommerce or mCommerce, the $20 billion mCommerce market has 60-70% cash on delivery. So, in reality, only $6 billion is electronic payment. The investment is required and it is going to get great returns, especially when you are building mobile payment infrastructure and convert this 96% of $1 trillion retail payment from cash to digital.

Where India stands

India actually has leap from if you have seen that pagers came and pagers were only there for one year. Then the SMS killed the pager. Similarly, in the case of mobile infrastructure and using mobile payments, the cards which are currently popular, especially, in the urban areas will remain and will not be killed, but the bulk of plastic will shift to mobile plastic. Your mobile will become your card because that is the thing which you protect maximum. And your actual transaction capability will be built on mobile whether it is SMS, USSD, IVR or Smartphone.

Ritu Kochar

Former Staff, Entrepreneur India

Ritu used to work as a Feature writer for Entrepreneur India.
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