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MoCoupons will be boon for FMCG companies: Sandeep Goyal

BANGALORE: Since selling his 26 per cent stake in Dentsu India in 2011, formerchairman of the company and admanSandeep Goyal wrote the CAT exam at the age of 50 for admission into FMS, Delhi, launched a food channel on television withSanjeev Kapoor and then floated Mogae Media for venturing into the nascent mobile marketing and advertising sector.

He has since raised Rs 100 crore from
private equity players for the new venture.

In a conversation with ET's Gulveen Aulakh, Goyal said that his company is inventing ways to monetise the ubiquitous mobile phone and has come up with mobile-couponing or MoCoupons — the most direct way for brands to reach out to consumers without spending a bomb on advertising. Excerpts: 

How does mobile couponing work? 

Companies spend large amounts on TV and print media marketing campaigns to prompt customers to buy a product. Today, it can be done far easier, more cost effectively and time efficiently, using mobile phones. This is how it works: A brand sends out coupons to consumers using a telecom operator's database. The operator knows where the telecom subscriber lives, works, his monthly 
ARPU, a good surrogate of spending, the type of handset owned, a good indicator of affluence, and hundreds of pieces of information.The coupon can be sent to all consumers in a specific geography, say NCR or just Gurgaon, or while the consumer is entering a mall using a geofenced solution that serves the coupon in real time based on location of the customer. The consumer then takes coupon to the participating merchant, gets an instant discount or gratification . The MoCoupon system reimburses the merchant on the brandowner's behalf through the mobile money account. 

How will it work in India where not everyone has a data connection? 

Consumers don't need a smartphone or data connection. Mobile coupons can be sent as an SMS or USSD (text message based interactive system) with an alpha-numeric code that merchants can authenticate.

What benefits do corporates see in associating with mobile couponing? Have you signed up any clients? 

MoCoupons is an end-to-end couponing ecosystem that allows brands to access consumer base of the mobile phone company and target consumers by geography, time-of-day, location, 
ARPU, handset and a host of other tags. No such system of such magnitude and reach exists in India. For FMCG companies, this is a boon. We have signed up 1,500 grocers in Delhi, which will swell to 2,500-3,000 by end September across NCR (national capital region). By end of the year we will have 5,000 grocers, general merchants and above-the-counter pharmacies in the system. Post Diwali, we will reach out to the other metros. In 2014, we're aiming for a base of 30,000 grocers in 20 cities. 

How will customers benefit from mobile couponing? Please share some instances. 

Customers (those who are not on DND) will receive offers or discounts from their favourite brands above and beyond those offered to other customers. Recently, a pizza brand used us to send out MoCoupons in a select business district of Gurgaon between 11 am and 12 30 pm, pre-lunch. Customers got a dessert free with the pizza. We are currently working with a large multinational bank for a promotion at Palladium Mall, Mumbai, where the bank's credit card users get an extra 10per cent-20per cent off at 40 participating outlets. But the big impact will come once we have a large enough base of grocers so that FMCG companies can run promotions on every day products. For instance, offering Rs 10 off on a toothpaste or Rs 20 off on (a bottle of) ketchup. 

Does Mogae Media plan to reach out to a multi-operator base? 

We are today forging many alliances that will allow us to reach out to different type of customers across geographies, as well as income strata. We are integrating with the point of sale systems of modern retail to allow seamless and quick couponing.