BookMyShow, India’s largest online entertainment ticketing brand, has joined hands with India’s largest Indie distributor PVR Pictures for Vkaao, a web-platform that enables individuals to choose the films that play in their local cinemas. As part of this association, India’s leading entertainment brands have come together to bring curated content by empowering the fans and movie goers to choose films, screening time, and theatre locations at any PVR Cinema across the country.

While PVR Pictures will continue to focus on making available a variety of films across genres and languages, BookMyShow will leverage its advanced analytical capabilities to identify the right set of viewers and curate screenings backed by its decade long intelligence and incisive understanding of movie goers.

Since its inception in January 2017, Vkaao has screened hundreds of shows, including exclusive paid previews. Vkaao currently has a library of over 400 studio and independent titles and plans to grow this collection manifold over the next 12 months. Vkaao has emerged as an alternate distribution platform for Indie film makers becoming a direct link between them and the cinemas. With this strategic tie up, Vkaao will have the capability to be the turnkey theatrical distribution arm for film makers, providing promotional services, campaign strategy, advertising & theatre booking services. Vkaao will continue to provide its standard Theatre On Demand model for films not positioned for traditional theatrical release.

Marzdi Kalianiwala, VP-Marketing & Business Intelligence, BookMyShow said

Our partnership with PVR Pictures only strengthens the existing successful movie viewing experiences we together provide our customers and now, we are excited to play a significant role in elevating the on-demand movie going experience with Vkaao. Over the last decade, BookMyShow has redefined the access to movies for millions of its users and through Vkaao, we are excited to bring them a curated selection of niche and exclusive films. This will be coupled with Vkaao’s cinematic experience that is highly personalised, and driven by people themselves, empowering them to share it with others with similar interests. Our analytical capabilities will definitely be able to bring together a new generation of cinema lovers and create a community that shares love for such films.

Deepak Sharma, COO – PVR Pictures said

Our successful association with BookMyShow spans decades and we are really excited to work with them on Vkaao.  As we continue to grow the Vkaao collection of films, our mission is to enable audiences to share an endless selection of films with friends, families and local communities, and to provide for a rich and engaging experience at PVR Cinemas. This new collaboration will help create a more seamless relationship between the theatrical and the digital experience. As part of this association, Vkaao, which is currently run as an independent platform will soon be integrated with PVR’s native digital platforms and BookMyShow.

About Vkaao

A fresh, disruptive medium of movie-going, Vkaao is a platform which gives viewers complete control of their movie watching experience at theatres. It allows them to select their preferred movie along with the location, date, and time of the screening at any theatre of their choice. This novel approach to movie going is why Vkaao is being considered as an exciting alternative to the conventional way of watching movies at the theatres. Vkaao’s USP lies in its focus on leveraging state-of-the-art technology in order to create a social, crowd-sourced movie going experience. For more information, please visit Vkaao

Over the past few years, technology has taken over every aspect of life. Everything around us has already gone or is going digital. Hence it was prudent that even the humble TV had to undergo digitization. Star India pioneered the digitization of TV in India with the launch of Hotstar.

Digitization has changed the face of TV entirely and revolutionized the way we consume content.

Why has digital TV become a hit?

The utility and convenience of digital content have made it an integral part of everybody’s life. People have embraced the digitization of the Indian TV industry as it offers numerous benefits. With this anytime anywhere TV, you will never miss a show. To add to that, you can access to all your favorite shows in one place. Since Indian audiences are heavy consumers of TV content, Digitization of TV was a dream come true. Now, you can watch your favourite shows as per your convenience without compromising on other plans. A number of people prefer watching digital content while commuting. This gives them more time for other activities and also serves as a great on-the-go entertainment.

Launch of Hotstar

The digitization of Star TV rocked the digital TV industry. Star India launched its unique video streaming platform, Hotstar, in February 2015, which soon became a sensation. The app with its unique content, supreme quality, multiple features, and user-friendly interface had the audiences glued to the screens in no time. The Star digital revolution unwrapped new avenues for the digitization of the TV industry.

How did Hotstar trigger the digital revolution?

Even since its launch, Hotstar has been breaking records. Hotstar was introduced at a time when Internet speed in India was very slow. Which is why it was developed in such a way that it streamed videos seamlessly even at a low speed of 50 kbps. Its launch was timed perfectly, which was just before the start of the ICC World Cup 2015.

Within just a week of its launch, Hotstar got 1.5 million downloads and topped the list of free apps on Google PlayStore. This was a remarkable feat as it took Facebook 10 months, Twitter 12 months, and Instagram 2.5 months to reach the level of one million downloads.

The success story of Hotstar did not stop here. In another 33 days, the app downloads reached 10 million. In 18 months, the download crossed 72 million; while Netflix took nine years to reach 75 million. In January 2017, it was found that Hotstar app downloads had crossed the mark of 175 million.

The astounding figures clearly portray the onset of the digital era of Indian TV, and how it was transformed with the entry of Star India’s Hotstar. Clearly, Star India was instrumental in paving the way for digitization in India. It intensified the competition in the market and compelled aggregators to perform better. The rising value also enabled new entrants to take an interest in the market, thus pushing the message of Digital India.

To know more about how Star India led Indian television into the digital era, click here

Analytics has become an integral part of any online business. It is not only relevant to online business, even if you own a blog it becomes important to understand the impact of the posts, target audience, decision making, keywords relevant to the blog, etc. In naive terms, it helps in audience measurement and putting the buck at the right place since everything is ‘Measurable’.

However, the question is ‘Do we have any such solution for offline mode?’ e.g. If the advertiser is an e-commerce brand, can the brand figure out whether the consumer has downloaded the app after looking at the advertisement on TV or via some offline medium [Hoarding, Newspaper advertisement] or some other mechanism. Though advertising on TV is the best possible mechanism to reach maximum audience and generate brand awareness, its ROI is still not directly measurable!

DCMN, a Berlin based startup that is a leading full-stack growth specialist and marketing firm seems to have an effective solution where brands can leverage DCMN’s technological expertise to optimize a TV Commercial (TVC) for the best reach as well as for generating measurable results! DCMN executes campaigns across all media with services spanning right from creation and production, media planning and buying, to campaign optimization with one of a kind in-house technology.

We were invited for the Bloggers Meet in Bengaluru where we had an opportunity to interact with Bindu Balakrishnan, Country Head India, DCMN. The interaction revolved around the problem being solved by DCMN, change in Marketer’s mindset for shifting to performance-driven TVC’s, some technical aspects of DCMN, etc.

Bindu Balakrishnan [third from Left] with Bloggers from Bengaluru

She also touched upon their association with CARS24 where they helped CARS24 launch their newest performance-driven and optimized TVC, which aims at educating customers on how to use the second-hand automotive marketplace to get the best rate for their vehicles.

Drawing on its expertise as an international leader in performance-driven TV marketing, DCMN India recently won the mandate to produce the media strategy for CARS24. The company created a data-driven media campaign that allows tracking and optimisation based on DCMN’s in-house TV attribution technology, thus bridging the age-old gap between offline and online.

Following the successful first flight of the campaign that ran for about six weeks, DCMN delivered an in-depth optimisation and performance evaluation report, to analyse the TVC and work towards an optimised next flight.

In the first flight, DCMN tracked key KPIs for the client such as cost per visit, cost per call and Cost per booked appointment. In flight two, the media buying has been optimised in line with these KPIs with a focus on channels, dayparts, weekdays and spot length.

Consequently, while planning for the new spot, CARS24 approached DCMN at the initial storyboard level to help with optimising their media strategy

Bindu Balakrishnan, Country Head – DCMN India added

With this campaign, DCMN has given CARS24’s new TV spot a performance focus. Using our in-house TV attribution technology, we can optimise the campaign from the moment it goes to air, allowing us to focus on the best-performing genres, channels, days, and dayparts for optimal performance.

For the festive seasons, CARS24 has also decided to almost double their media spend for the second flight. DCMN recommended here including more infotainment channels, with programming similar to the History channel. The optimised media strategy included more business news channels, as well more Hindi news channels while further expanding the Hindi movies channel mix and focusing on the earlier dayparts.

The newest TVC is airing currently with a strong presence across genres, including Infotainment, Hindi News, Hindi Movies, English movies and English business news.

Vikram Chopra, CEO and Co-Founder, CARS24, added

Following a successful first flight with our previous TVC, we’ve optimised the campaign for even better performance. Our continued partnership with DCMN allows us to take advantage of their performance-driven approach, which ensures we can measure the direct response of the spot as it goes to air.

DCMN also counts more than 120 digital brands in its portfolio, including Indian brands CARS24, EaseMyTrip, Fynd and more. For more information, please visit DCMN

Visa, the global leader in digital payments technology, announced an independent study, conducted by Roubini ThoughtLab and commissioned by Visa, examining the economic impact of increasing the use of digital payments in major cities around the world, including Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and Chennai could help these cities realize, USD 7.2 billion annual net benefits.

Image Source – Digital Payments

The study estimates that relying more on electronic payments, such as cards and mobile payments, could yield a net benefit of up to US$D 470 billion per year across the 100 cities studied ~ roughly the equivalent to 3% of the average GDP for these cities. For instance

  • Mumbai, with a population of 19,547,000 and GDP 0f US$104.1bn, could gain USD 2.9 billion annual net benefits. Estimated catalytic impacts for the city over the next 15 years include 4.4 basis point increase in GDP growth rate and 1.3% increase in employment.
  • Delhi, with a population of 17,266,000 and GDP of USD 74.4bn, could gain annual net benefits of USD 2.2 billion. Estimated catalytic impacts for the city over the next 15 years reflect 8.4 basis point increase in GDP growth rate and 1.5% increase in employment.
  • Bangalore, which has a population of 9,394,000 and GDP of USD 44.7bn, could realize USD 1.3 billion annual net benefits experienced by consumers, businesses and governments in the city. Estimated catalytic impacts for the city over the next 15 years translate into 7.7 basis point increase in GDP growth rate and 1.4% increase in employment.
  • Chennai, with a population of 959,4000 and GDP of USD 30.9bn, could save an estimated annual net benefit of US$0.8 billion through the cashless transition in the city. Estimated catalytic impacts for the city over the next 15 years include 9.8 basis point increase in GDP growth rate and 1.7% increase in employment.

Cashless Cities: Realizing the Benefits of Digital Payments, is a unique study that quantifies the potential net benefits experienced by cities which move to an ‘achievable level of cashlessness’ – defined as the entire population of a city moving to digital payment usage equal to the top 10% of users in that city today.  The study does not look at eliminating cash. Rather, it seeks to quantify the potential benefits and costs of significantly increasing the use of digital payments.

By reducing reliance on cash, the study estimates the immediate and long-term benefits for three main groups—consumers, businesses and governments. According to the study, these benefits could add up to combined direct net benefits of approximately U.S. USD 470 billion across the 100 cities that were analyzed:

  • Consumers across the 100 cities could achieve nearly USD 28 billion per year in estimated direct net benefits. This impact would be derived from factors including up to 3.2 billion hours in time savings conducting banking, retail and transit transactions, in addition to a reduction in cash-related crime.
  • Businesses across the 100 cities could achieve more than US$D 312 billion per year in estimated direct benefits. This impact would be derived from factors including up to 3.1 billion hours in time savings processing incoming and outgoing payments and increased sales revenues stemming from extended online and in-store customer bases. The study also found that accepting cash and checks costs businesses 7.1 cents of every dollar received compared to 5 cents of every dollar collected from digital sources.
  • Governments across the 100 cities could achieve nearly USD 130 billion per year in estimated direct benefits. This impact would be derived from factors including increased tax revenues, increased economic growth, cost savings from administrative efficiencies and lower criminal justice costs due to reduced cash-related crime.

TR Ramachandran, Group Country Manager, Visa, India & South Asia, said

Cities are the new engines of economic growth. To unlock their true economic potential, and become globally competitive, cities must embrace digital payments. This global study shows how becoming more cashless delivers real benefits to governments, businesses and consumers, stimulating long-term economic growth. Each of the surveyed cities, including Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, and Chennai could achieve, on average, USD 7.2 billion in annual net benefits – roughly the equivalent to 3 percent of each city’s average GDP.

As cities increase use of digital payments, the positive impacts can extend beyond financial benefits to consumers, businesses, and government. The shift to digital payments also may have a catalytic effect on the city’s overall economic performance, including GDP, employment, wage, and productivity growth.

Lou Celi, Head of Roubini ThoughtLab, said

The use of digital technologies – from smart phones and wearables to artificial intelligence and driverless cars – is rapidly transforming how city dwellers shop, travel, and live. Without a firm foundation in electronic payments, cities will not be able to fully capture their digital future, according to our analysis.

Cashless Cities: Realizing the Benefits of Digital Payments offers 61 recommendations for policymakers to help their cities become more efficient through greater adoption of digital payments. Recommendations include undertaking financial literacy programs to help move the unbanked into the banking system, implementing incentives to stimulate innovation focused on scaling new payment technologies, implementing secure open-loop payment systems across all transportation networks and more.

Visa and Roubini ThoughtLab created an online data visualization tool as a companion to ‘Cashless Cities: Realizing the Benefits of Digital Payments’. Using the data visualization tool, individuals can increase or decrease the level of digital usage in each of the 100 cities included in the study to better explore the benefits of a world, less dependent on cash. Visit the online data visualization tool and download the report from here.

Flytxt have announced the availability of an intelligent voice interface for NEON-dX, its digital customer engagement product. NEON-dX will use analytics and Artificial Intelligence [AI] to personalize conversations on any digital touch point that supports Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.

Dr. Vinod Vasudevan, CEO, Flytxt, said

More than a quarter of all mobile searches in 2016 were done over voice. With speech recognition accuracy reaching over 95%, more and more consumers will adopt voice as the preferred medium to interact with their service providers.  With this interface, our enterprise customers can now engage their consumers in natural conversations using voice. This will significantly improve consumer experience and generate higher returns for enterprises.

NEON-dX has out of the box analytics and AI capabilities to translate data to actionable insights reflecting consumer’s persona, intent and contextual needs. Enterprises can leverage these insights and recommend right offers and actions during voice conversations seamlessly just like how a human agent will do. The interface will start supporting other voice platforms like Siri subsequently.

Flytxt has partnered with more than 100 enterprises including some of the largest Telcos and other enterprises in their digital customer engagement initiatives across the globe.

About Flytxt

Flytxt provides NEON-dX, an enterprise class software product for intelligent digital customer engagement automation. The product enables Artificial Intelligence based autonomous customer value management, helping enterprises to accelerate their digital transformation journey and generate measurable economic value faster and more efficiently. The solutions powered by Flytxt’s products and services help enterprises to grow revenues, reduce churn and enhance customer experience.

Freshworks, the leading provider of cloud-based business software launched Freshchat, a next-gen messaging product that helps businesses better communicate with their customers. Freshchat provides a suite of website and in-product engagement capabilities which help businesses capture more leads and drive sales.

Image Source – FreshChat

As per the 2016-17 Gartner CMO Spending Survey, nearly two-thirds of marketing leaders plan to increase digital ad-spend in 2017. Marketers are spending more on digital marketing to attract customers to their websites and apps, but end up converting only 2 to 3 percent of these visitors into customers.

To solve for this, Freshchat enables businesses to target visitors with highly contextual messages to increase engagement and thereby conversions. Once the end user responds, an intelligent bot screens and qualifies leads effortlessly before bringing in a sales rep. This information is auto-synced into the CRM, providing context for sales reps and enabling intelligent conversations.

Freshchat breaks from legacy live chat tools to deliver a modern messaging experience that customers expect, similar to personal messaging apps like WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger. Leveraging technology from recent acquisitions, Freshchat enables smarter conversations without the burden of traditional live chat on either party – no missed chats or sessions timing out for the customer, and no staffing up during peaks for the business.

Freshchat can integrate into websites, web-apps, native mobile apps, and other messaging products like Facebook Messenger. Freshchat offers in-product campaigns for on-boarding and engagement, a unique integrated FAQ experience to encourage self-service, and advanced features to route and manage conversations for customer support.

Girish Mathrubootham, CEO and Founder of Freshworks, said

Businesses today want to provide their consumers with contextual, intelligent and personalized chat experiences. We believe there is a huge gap that live chat products don’t address compared to consumer messaging apps, which are creating high benchmarks for user experience.

Sales and support agents need to be empowered with a single platform that provides the flexibility to engage with prospects and customers who are always multi-tasking. We are excited to offer a game-changing chat offering with unique sales and support capabilities that push the boundaries of an already well-established business communication channel.

Rajesh Magow, Co-Founder and CEO-India, MakeMyTrip, said

At MakeMyTrip, we are always looking to use innovative technology to make travel seamless and hassle-free for our customers. We are using Freshchat to solve for our customers’ needs with precision, in real time. Not only has it ensured that our customers receive prompt personalized experiences, it has also brought in operational efficiencies that make assisted buying extremely scalable.

In addition to the standalone chat offering, Freshchat will integrate into Freshsales and Freshdesk, making it easy for sales and support teams to adopt the product into their workflow. Freshchat is available to businesses of all sizes, with a free plan for companies with less than ten team members in sales and support. For more information, please visit FreshChat

PayPal is one of the most successful payment processors today. It is available in 202 countries with 203 Million active users. There are 770,793 websites currently accepting payments with PayPal, and this number is growing day by day.

PayPal has remarkable founders and employees, who have succeeded in different spheres later in life. Chad Hurley, Steve Chen, Jawed Karim, the former employees of PayPal founded YouTube, Reid Hoffman founded LinkedIn, Elon Musk founded Tesla, Yelp was founded by Russell Simmons and Jeremy Stoppelman.

Find more interesting facts about PayPal in the infographic, that experts from Play-N-Pay compiled for you. Today we will cover the most interesting six facts about PayPal, which you should know.

$20, $10, $5 marketing strategy

In its early years, PayPal was charging money from every new user. At first, it was a $20 fee, then $10, $5 and PayPal grew at almost 10% per day. From March 2000 to August 2000, PayPal’s user base jumped from 1 million to 5 million. After this early success, PayPal quickly went public on NASDAQ.

PayPal went public twice

In 2002, PayPal stock grew to 55% on NASDAQ. After this in July, the same year eBay bought PayPal for $1.5 billion. This money gave the opportunity for PayPal’s founders to reshape much of the technological world we know today. In 2015, Ebay spun off PayPal, and the two companies were divided again. Since then PayPal stock grew about 56%, and eBay’s stock is up by 43%.

PayPal supports 26 currencies

Though PayPal supports 26 currencies, there are differences in the accounts for different countries. For example, there are many countries where PayPal users can’t enjoy some of the financial features that Americans do. They can’t cash out money from their online wallets, but they can still make purchases. Also, PayPal’s currency exchange rate is a bit lower for many currencies. But overall, it is a great help to make and receive payments for many people around the world.

PayPal demographics

43.86% of PayPal users are from the USA. The second comes from Germany with 17.61%, followed by the UK with 14.39%. 87% of millennials in the US use PayPal for receiving and sending money. Around 30% of PayPal transactions are made through mobile devices.

PayPal is all over the world

PayPal has 56 offices in 31 countries. It’s centers and offices are located in Arizona, Nebraska, California, Texas, Germany, Singapore, Malaysia, Ireland, China, India, and many others. Meanwhile, PayPal’s operations center is not in fancy Silicon Valley, but in Nebraska!
PayPal has 18,000 employees of 119 nationalities. 55% of them are millennials.

It is interesting to know, that there are 13 countries [Belarus, North Korea, Iran, and Iraq included] where PayPal is officially prohibited.

PayPal is a partner with numerous large companies such as Google, Facebook, Visa, Master Card, Telcel, and Vodafone.

Users love PayPal

86% of PayPal users are likely to recommend the service to their friends. Additionally, the US citizens consider PayPal to be the second safest payment system after credit card.

Source – Play N Play PayPal success story

Read the amazing story about PayPal and it’s growth here

Delivering a seamless, consistent and integrated customer experience is the hallmark of a digital enterprise. Organizations, while racing to catch up the rapid digital changes to facilitate better decisions and successful digital transformation, move in harmony with the customers enriching and making their experience worthwhile.

Image Source –Digital Transformation

Customers expect active management of their data and preferences as well as a seamless omni-channel experience so they can readily engage with companies, whether the interaction is via mobile, the web, social media or face-to-face communication. Top customer expectations that influence an organization’s digital transformation efforts include dramatically reduced response times and immediate real-time access to products and services.

Hence, the key to winning customer’s share of mind as well as a share of his wallet is by providing him with unified and personalized experiences.

According to International Data Corporation, a majority of businesses will have to overhaul their digital front doors to support 10,000 times as many customers and customer touchpoints over the next three to five years.

Enterprises face the uphill battle to quickly build digital service delivery models that are flexible, robust and future-proofed. Enabling business processes and practices that help an organization to compete effectively in an increasingly digital world is the best way to tackle digital transformation. However, the main challenge is being driven by the demands of the tech savvy consumers, who expects an interactive experience across all interaction channels, along with the further pressure to innovate with few resources and restricted budget.

Businesses must manage the shift from transactional systems of record where information is ingested, stored, and managed in static databases and warehouses to interactive systems of engagement where real-time data is combined, accessed, interpreted and used to digitally support multi-touchpoint, real-time customer journeys and communications.

Although the benefits are countless, but at the same time, challenges to this transformation are no less.

  • Speed – Organizations often needs to evolve their own approach and use of tools in order to be able to meet the pace of change required given the increase in customer’s expectations and restricted budget. This might, sometimes, outpace their ability to deliver.
  • Capacity gap – Projects fail to hit timescales and product quality expectations leading to unsatisfied internal and external stakeholders. This cannot be fixed by incremental improvements but requires a fundamental change in the operating model for the delivery of services.
  • Lack of human resources – Most organizations lack the digital talent required to deliver the necessary changes. Skills in new technologies such as IoT, AI, and Big data analytics are in short supply. Finding external help can be valuable but only up to a certain critical point.
  • Security Breach – Cyber-security is the top disruptor that organizations expect will influence their digital strategy in the coming years.
  • Legacy – Much IT infrastructure is fragile and difficult to change but requires changes in order to support both rapid innovation and scalability. Virtualization, mobility, automation and cloud-based services have opened up a plethora of opportunities, but this needs to be taken to new heights.

All in all, a well-planned, integrated strategy is essential to steering digital transformation in alignment with the customer journey and driving customer engagement; otherwise, this could quite easily turn to be house of cards.

About the Author

Aniruddha Guha Sarkar, Senior Vice President, Engineering heads the offshore software engineering delivery at InterraIT. Aniruddha has over 25 years of industry experience, the last decade of which has been in senior executive level leadership positions. Prior to joining InterraIT in early 2012, Aniruddha worked with the house of Siemens for more than 20 years. You can connect with Mr. Aniruddha here