Bharti Airtel has partnered with Handygo, a mobile VAS company to launch Behtar Zindagi, a mobile based service which leverages interactive voice response (IVR) to communicate information such as weather updates, mandi rates, live stocks, agriculture, fisheries, health, education and finance to Airtel subscribers in Rajasthan, targeting allied communities across the state.
This is not the first operator tie-up for Handygo. the company had also deployed the service on Reliance Communications, tata Teleservices and Idea Cellular, last year. The service will be available for subscribers 24*7, and to avail this service, Airtel subscribers can dial 556780. The service is available at a monthly subscription of Rs 30 and is available in Hindi and 17 other regional languages. We’re surprised that Airtel has launched the service only in one circle. Why not launch it all over?
Handygo has worked with various private and government bodies including Indian Meteorological Dept, Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services, CARE, EKO and NETFISH to collate relevant information and organize its dissemination to farmers using region interactive voice as medium supported by voice and text messages.
It’s interesting to note that in order to promote the service, Airtel and Handygo will be conducting a mass awareness drive among gram panchayats. During these mass awareness drives, both the companies will be educating customers on service usage and on how it might help them to enhance their yield and production. Apart from that, the service will be promoted at various touch points including agricultural & rural fairs, farmer’s exhibitions, van promotions, contests, associations with local NGOs, announcements through community radio, distribution of free physical coupons, among other means.
Handygo’s Other Tie-Ups
Handygo had earlier partnered with non-profit organization CABI to provide mobile based agriculture solutions such as region specific data from its Direct2Farm agriculture knowledge repository, including agricultural content, advisory and other information to the rural population in India. It had partnered with Uninor to launch a health tool called Wellness World, which offered detailed information on various health related issues such as heart care, women’s health, diet & nutrition, adolescent issues and pain management among others, in Hindi and English to Uninor customers across the country.
Note that IMI Mobile also has a competing voice based rural information service called Cell Shakti. Previously, Tata communications offered its subscribers Nano Ganesh, a product which allows farmers to use mobile phones to remotely monitor and switch on irrigation pumps used for watering crops in remote locations. TCS has also developed MKrishi, a mobile based service delivery platform that aimed to provide farmers with information on their produce, weather, rainfall, etc., via IVR based system and GPRS handsets.