Babar Khan Javed
Sep 27, 2017

India lacks a robust mobile infrastructure for connectivity: AppsFlyer

The newly appointed India director of sales for AppsFlyer shares the two external forces holding back unprecedented growth for the India market.

Himanshu Kulkarni, the India Sales Director for AppsFlyer.
Himanshu Kulkarni, the India Sales Director for AppsFlyer.

Businesses today rely on growth via mobile as one of the variables for success. While the mobile ecosystem overall can be complicated, many vendors are working to make it easy and efficient for businesses to measure and optimize their mobile activities, with a promise of empowering marketers to make the best business decisions possible.

The mobile advertising industry is undergoing a transformative era and is estimated to experience triple growth rates by 2018, up from US$347 million in 2016. Found on 98 percent of the world’s smartphones, AppsFlyer is driving expansion across the India market.

The mobile attribution and marketing analytics company claims to own more than 54 percent of the market in India and works with brands such as India Airtel, Vodafone, Idea, Reliance, PayTM, Hotstar, AJIO, ShopClues, LimeRoad, big basket, HDFC Bank, DBS, and ICICI bank.

Himanshu Dilip Kulkarni, the newly appointed India sales director for AppsFlyer, says that limitations on infrastructure and on data are the primary forces holding back greater growth for the mobile advertising industry.

"There is limited 4G/3G coverage in India, specifically in Tier 2 and 3 cities, and limited phone specs for memory and speed to name a few," Kulkarni insists. "This limits the number of apps a phone can have, its usage and the performance."

The root cause of this challenge has been that India lacks a robust mobile infrastructure for connectivity and as the industry shifts its focus from value-added services (VAS) businesses by telcos to the dominance of apps, the support systems are more crucial in India today, 

"In the past, there was a huge focus on the value-added service (VAS) business by telcos who used to offer consumers access to ringtones, wallpapers, Bollywood content and so on—which was billed to the customer as per the subscription that they opted for," said Kulkarni. "However, sometime between 2014 and 2015, India's mobile startup ecosystem witnessed heavy rounds of funding which eventually led to the shift from VAS which was available on the feature phone towards the apps, which was found on smartphones."

Since then, mobile commerce has grown multi-fold in India, and the focus of advertisers has moved from achieving a high number of downloads to nurturing high-quality users.

The second problem relates to the accuracy of data.

"The challenge today is that data gets collected in various shapes and forms but it is important to note how that information is being accurately collected and utilized," said Kulkarni.

Instead of the 'pray and spray' tactic, Kulkarni says the industry will move forward when decision makers identify their relevant audiences based on POS data and then plan the user journey accordingly.

"Mobile marketers often lack the expertise or resources to actively identify and address mobile fraud which in turn leads to inaccurate data and analysis as measurement figures could be inaccurately inflated." Kulkarni laments. "With limited tools and limited awareness available to the marketers it is difficult for them to take the correct decision and grow the business optimally."

He says the landscape is gradually changing as brand marketers increase emphasis on acquiring high-quality users, which in turn has led to the requirement of deeper analytics to accurately gauge the attributing metrics in the most unbiased format.

To address this issue, AppsFlyer offers a multi-layered, two-tiered solution, that aims to actively combat every type of mobile fraud at every stage, both through real-time fraud protection and deep fraud analysis.

"With the right data sets, tools and knowledge to analyze information, marketers will be well equipped to optimise their budgets in an effective manner for greater ROI and acquire higher quality users," Kulkarni says.

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