“Mobile Marketing Should Mature In 3 years”: Beerud Sheth, Co-founder & President of Webaroo

Webaroo can be termed as a company that adapted very well to dynamic conditions of the internet and mobile space. Started as a company that helped you access your important websites offline it quickly realised its mistakes and learned from them and shifted its focus by launching new product in the group messaging space in early 2007 known as SMSGupShup.com.

We caught up with the Cofounder and President of the Santa Clara based Webaroo to know more about this journey.

WATBlog: You had a great review on TechCrunch in mid 2006 about your Offline Web Services Webaroo? How has been the response to the service since then (please share the numbers if you can) and what is the road ahead for the access to the Web Offline Service of Webaroo?

Beerud Sheth: Yes we did have. We got a lot of coverage and reponse from the media and TechCrunch. The service offered plenty of downloads, but was not much happening due to various reasons. Presently, we are focusing on our new service SMSGupShup- a group messaging.

WATBlog: You have launched SMSGupShup- a group messaging, in early 2007. What is the potential of the group sms market and how had been your experience so far?

Beerud Sheth: Yes, we launched it in April 2007. The potential of the sms group market is very huge. There are around 250 million mobile users in India. These mobile phones have the facility of messaging. SMSGupShup is an easy and a valuable service. A user can simply send a message from the website or through his cell. My experience so far with SMSGupShup is been really good. As the outcome in compared to our previous offline web services Webaroo has been good.

WATBlog: There are a dozen of free sms and sms advertising out there in the market. How do you plan to differentiate yourself?

Beerud Sheth: Webaroo is the only company in India whose has come up with the free group messaging service. Today, Webaroo has lakhs of users with thousands of groups with 20 to 40,000 members in it. Webaroo offers plenty of downloads with various types of SMS services.There are some small companies in the market that provide some 5 free SMS’s and then charge the user. But Webaroo provides free group messaging.

WATBlog: What new features/products can we expect from Webaroo in the future?

Beerud Sheth: We have lot of services and products coming up for this year. During the Christmas we had launched our picture messaging service that allowed the users to spend picture messages, M-greetings absolutely free of cost.

We also have images and various other things for the upcoming kite flying festival “sankranti”. We are expecting better responses from Mumbai and Ahmedabad. We are also looking forward for Valentine’s Day. The user will be able to spend M-greetings, Chocolates, Flowers and Gifts. This can be done either through website or mobile phones.
WATBlog: Can you share your thoughts on the Indian Mobile Marketing space as it is now? Where do you see it 3 years from now?

Beerud Sheth: Indian Mobile Marketing space is worth 6 to 11 billion $. Presently, Indian Mobile Marketing is in it early stage. The users are testing and experimenting the medium in order to acquire new customers and maintain the old ones. 3 years from now I expect the Indian Mobile Marketing space:
a) To get matured
b) Lots of advertisements
c) With Targeted segments /audiences
d) Performance Oriented


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