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Vijay Shekhar Sharma On One97’s Plans To Build Commerce & Marketing Businesses Post Funding

One97 Communications* announced the raising of $10 million from SAP Ventures earlier this month, with the agenda of growing its mobile Internet business - especially mobile commerce and mobile marketing - and with plans to expand its operations into new geographies, especially South Asia and Africa. In conversation with MediaNama, One97 Communications MD Vijay Shekhar Sharma talks about the change in focus to mobile commerce and marketing, and about becoming a mobile Internet company, and responds to questions raised about outbound dialers and subscriptions, which are being impacted by TRAI's subscription guidelines. MediaNama: Where do you plan to invest the money you've raised? Vijay Shekhar Sharma: Focusing on mobile Internet, you need to have larger money in the bank, and we have an expectation of having around Rs 100 crore in the bank. The business is such that there is large amount of revenue that you can make using mobile marketing and mobile commerce. Most of the business investment will go this strategy. MediaNama: Have you raised funds from the perspective of the TRAI guidelines, which, from what we hear, will effect your mainstay - the outbound dialer business? Vijay Shekhar Sharma:  If you see what One97's revenue mix is, that business has very rarely had a big impact on our business. It is much less than 10-15% as a revenue contributor. First of all the the fund raising is not driven by TRAI. Secondly, it is something that we took a conscious call on not this year, but a year…

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Written By

Founder @ MediaNama. TED Fellow. Asia21 Fellow @ Asia Society. Co-founder SaveTheInternet.in and Internet Freedom Foundation. Advisory board @ CyberBRICS

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