interviews Adhish Kulkarni, CMO, Lumata

Delhi | 23 Nov,2015

At a time when telcos are facing the challenge of remaining relevant in a smartphone, internet-driven world – tomorrow’s telcos must utilise NFV and SDN capabilities and reinvent themselves in order to utilise the goldmine of data in their system to deliver innovative B2C services – this is exactly where Lumata can help the telco ecosystem in terms of doing more with data monetization.

Adhish Kulkarni, CMO Lumata, speaks with Zia Askari from about the company’s core focus and its future plans for key geographies.

What are the key priorities for Lumata today?

We want to help Telcos leverage their data to maximise performance across content, marketing and advertising opportunities, working together with the brands ecosystem. We work with our telco partners to build sustainable revenue streams from core services as well as innovative new services. 

How does the company look at the whole space of content / data monetization for the telcos? Where can Lumata help in this regard?

We believe the time for data monetisation has arrived. Faced with declining revenues and increased churn across both developed and developing markets, mobile operators are turning to customer data for new sources of revenue.

There are several opportunities across multiple verticals such as mobile advertising, mobile money, and banking. Telcos hold credible information about explicit demographic profile of their customers and, with some additional work, implicit behavioural information such as interests and brand preferences. This is goldmine for an advertiser.

Telco behaviour can also be an indicator of credit worthiness which can be used internally to offer credit to selected customers. Telcos in some geographies are turning into banks where such data can be the difference between a subscriber getting a loan or not. Barriers such as privacy and technology to handle large volumes of varied data have prevented telcos from exploiting this opportunity in the past. While no Personally Identifiable Information (PII) is shared with any third party, telcos are now proactively getting explicit consent from subscribers. As these two barriers are being lowered, we are witnessing an increase in data monetisation opportunities.

We also see a lot of operators embracing digital enablement solutions in order to become experience providers. How do you look at this trend as an opportunity?

We see this not only as an opportunity but expect it to become a core part of the telco value proposition. Some operators have been quick to recognise this trend and have even partnered with the OTT players to offer “lifestyle” bundles for social networking, messaging, photos etc.

However, telcos should go one step further and build their own digital service ecosystem for various reasons. By building digital experiences, telcos can extend their engagement beyond telcos services and transactions. An engaged subscriber is more likely to buy more products and services and stay longer as a valued customer. It’s also an opportunity to show that you understand and care for your customers by offering digital services that enhance their everyday lives. In the process, telcos can generate valuable data about customer preferences towards specific brands or categories, music and video interests etc. to infer their interests and intent which can then be monetized.

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