The multi-faceted mobile is an integral part of human life with its many uses. From facilitating communication to providing entertainment and even becoming a useful work tool, the mobile does it all. The mobile in turn attains and derives its talents from those who can envision and extend its boundaries.
Bipin Preet Singh is among those who plan to make the mobile more than what it is today. His company “One Mobikwik Systems” was born out of the entrepreneurial fire that he mustered.
The Young Entrepreneur told us about his journey so far and what his efforts mean to mobile technology saying “Mobikwik stands for the kwikest way to mobile freedom. It was founded with the vision to create an online store where all the needs of mobile owners can be satisfied. These include three major verticals: Voice, Data and Applications. We believe these would be the three pillars around which customer touch points would evolve in next 4-5 years. Internet is the best platform for creating these touch points.”
“We have started with voice services (prepaid recharge for all locations for all operators across India) and will soon be launching data services (GPRS/3G top-ups) and plug n play mobile applications. We intend to provide our customers freedom from most of the hassles they face today when dealing with mobile operators or their services.”
Their approach to delivering what the public wants is among the plus points which will make them succeed. Bipin explains “We have just launched a month back and are already getting very good traction. We currently offer a lot of intuitive services around mobile recharge. For instance, a majority does not have access to internet. Therefore, we introduced SMS recharge based on your available mobikwik balance. Similarly, kwikplan allows you to do automatic recharging every month based on your budget. You can also find the best prepaid plan as a function of your needs anywhere in India.”
“We realized that most mobile services today work in ‘push’ model i.e. the operator pushes down the services to customers and then customer selects what he wants. Customer has no place to go actively look for what she might want. It means limited choice and lower quality services. Mobikwik attempts to start a new ‘pull’ model in Indian telecom space. Whether you want mobile recharge, check out a new plan or a cool offer, or find premium apps for your handset, you can do it all at www.mobikwik.com. We make money anytime the customer purchases anything from our online/mobile store. All our content is sourced from partners (mobile carriers, app developers and so on).”
Bipin has begun the task of building his company’s foundations and he has realized what it will take to make them strong. He says “The obvious task ahead of us is marketing, getting users to know about mobikwik and use its services. Being a startup, we are forced to be stringent on where we spend our precious cash. Word of Mouth is our biggest weapon and we are actively engaging the social media to that effect. We are also open to funding and partnerships provided there is a good fit.”
The mental confinement of his abilities resulted in Bipin making a dash for freedom. He explains how it came about saying “Well, I have done a 9 to 5 job for 7 years at companies like Intel, Nvidia and Freescale. In the past 2 years or so, I started feeling impatient and restless with my career. I realized the job was not challenging enough, even though it paid well. Also, the idea of a gradual rise to managerial job did not appeal to me. I had two options, either go do an MBA or start something of my own. I figured that starting up is cheaper and more fun!”
After realizing that he was meant for bigger things and envisioning his entrepreneurial venture, Bipin was set with the task of finding those who could also share and nurture his dreams. He recalls his search saying “The biggest challenge to start anything is getting an A star team together. Note that I mentioned A-star team and not A-star individuals. I spoke to a lot of folks, and most of them were smarter than me one way or the other but many did not have the courage to take a risk with their careers. Then, one day I stumbled upon my old flat mate from Bangalore and he immediately bought into it. Later, we got Sunali Aggarwal from East Village to partner with us for user experience. Together, we brought business skills, technical skills and usability on the table. A lot of teams don’t have such a complementary skill set.”
Once he set out on his entrepreneurial journey, he found that there were several roadblocks and stumbling points but the experiences made him wiser. Bipin says “I made many mistakes and in hindsight, all of them look big to me. The biggest of them was to not form a team immediately after starting up. I thought I could outsource product development but I realized that for real innovation, you need to have passion. This can come only if you make others invest into your idea and take risk along with you.”
We asked Bipin what he considers as his finest moment so far and pat came the reply “No doubt, making our website live and then getting the first set of users. We have learnt a lot, and still learning, from our first users.”
“We have been written about in social media, that’s it. Give us some time to show you some peacock plaques and stuff like that. J”
He finds his life very satisfying and told us about what makes him rise to the challenge every day saying “I learn so much every day and the dynamics of running a business is quite exciting as compared to a job. And, to top it all, we have started making money. What more can I want?”
“Only one thing -> Superior customer service. We want to be known for providing the best mobile services in India. We aim to become India’s first online super brand.”
The future beckons to Bipin and he wishes for what he wants it to hold saying “Grow fast, Earn customer trust and stay loyal to our vision – the kwikest way to mobile freedom.”
Bipin has a vision he believes in, and Yourstory is convinced that his faith and entrepreneurial skill will see him through. Bipin has a few words of encouragement and advice to his fellow entrepreneurs saying “Focus on customers from the beginning, keep your team together and be agile. Foremost, stay put. Most startups run out of determination before they run out of money.”
Yourstory wishes Bipin success and hopes to see more of Mobikwik very soon.