Monday, April 16, 2012

Why the Indian Mobile Payment market is like a regatta

I have written about the Indian mobile payment market quite a few times. (Read here, here, here and more), but this is such an important market that it cannot be ignored. Recently, Nokia withdraw out of the market (I will write a blog on this later) and Airtel launched a service with a lot of media. Much has happened since the first RBI guidelines were published and a fresh look at the market is probably overdue.

The Indian Mobile Payment market reminds me of the start of a sailing boat race. The key is to cross the starting line just after the starting gun. Those boats that crossed the line early have to either go round, or withdraw. Boats getting up to speed before the starting gun, may have to tack sails and slow down, so not to run the risk of having to come round. There is a lot of traffic and jostling at the starting line to try and find a good position out of the starting blocks.

The question is if the starting gun has already sounded in India and if not when. What is clear though, is that many players are lining up and getting ready to join the race. Some are big and have a lot of resources... it is going to be a very competitive race.

2 comments:

Pascal Oromi said...

hello Hannes,
this is true. Indian market is a very competitive one and the roll back from Nokia is very representative of going too soon on a market that still needs to mature. The Airtel Mobile Money that you talk about also will have slow ramp up considering constraints.
But this is India and no one can ignore this market ! Each has to find the right partner and use case to deliver first solutions waiting for more to come ...

Richard said...

Hannes
I hope you don't mind if I use the analogy some other time :-)
Given some of our experiences in India in recent times, I wonder if the gun has gone off already. I think it has. Possibly a big boat capsized on the start line (Nokia) and caused more confusion amongst the other contestants as they had to re-group en-mass....