VAS Conference, Mumbai: “Operators And Content Providers Seem To Have Started An Active Dialogue”

Kaustuv Ghosh of Mobile 365 was at the VAS conference in Mumbai. On my request, he has written his impressions about the conference in this small note. I wish he had written an elaborate copy.
It seems that at least some operators have now begun to seek an active dialogue with content providers and others. Mobile operators bring a wealth of experience to the table, especially since they are the guys who carry the immediate consumer experience with them. It must be remembered- and I say this with a lot of feeling- that in the early days, it was the operators who fostered a lot of content initiatives by paying out of their pockets.
I was particularly impressed by the deliveries of Krishna Durbha (Reliance Infocomm) and Pankaj Sethi (Tata TeleServices) – two gentlemen of considerable experience in marketing. Krishna’s upcountry narratives were, as usual, quite insightful and humourous. I must add here that Tatas and RIM seem to be at opposing ends in terms of a pricing philosophy, at least in some areas like games. It will be interesting to see where they stand when quadruple play pops up.
Tanmoy Das (Tecnomic) and Kartikeya Shukla (Bharti Airtel) come from the harder and softer ends of the same discipline and it was good to see Informedia throw in this mix of people on the same podium. It is always challenging to talk about the economics of the business when you are flanked by operators but it is good to have the debate out in the open and done in a healthy manner. It of course helps to have very articulate people like Rajesh Rao (Dhruva Interactive), Thomas Lokeberg (123 Multimedia) and Samir Bangara (Indiagames) around, as they bring in perspectives and experiences that are very different from a lot of other folks. All in all, a very healthy and invigorating one and hope to see more sparks fly around soon.

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