While Digital Transformation has been the industry buzzword for the past decade, businesses that are serious about being customer-first are fast jumping onto the omnichannel bandwagon. By putting customers at the centre of the interaction, providing a consistent, personalised, and convenient experience across all touchpoints, businesses are reaping the benefits of increased customer satisfaction, loyalty, and advocacy, which ultimately contributes to their own success and growth.
The ace in the hole for a strong omnichannel strategy is the right communications platform. CPaaS (Communications Platform as a Service) platforms play a pivotal role in a well-rounded omnichannel strategy by providing businesses with the tools and infrastructure they need to integrate various communication channels seamlessly. CPaaS allows companies to centralise their communication processes and interact with customers across SMS, voice, video, social media, and more. Moreover, CPaaS platforms facilitate the integration of other essential services like authentication, verification, and chatbots, enhancing the overall customer experience.
In India, we can't talk about CPaaS without naming the industry pioneer: Route Mobile. While mobile penetration was really low in 2003 (it still cost money to receive calls!) Rajdip Gupta, Founder & Group CEO, foresaw where mobile telephony in India was headed. He thought about the use case for banks, who could send out OTPs and transaction alerts, making credit and debit cards safer to use, and potentially saving millions in fraud related losses. That's right, we can thank Rajdip for pioneering the technology that keeps us safe from the credit card scams that plague the west.
From a bootstrapped startup in 2004, to an IPO in 2020, to realising revenues of over US $500 million, Route Mobile's journey has been one to watch. CNBC-TV18's Reema Tendulkar spoke to Rajdip Gupta about the role he and his company have played in shaping the contours of the CPaaS industry in India, and how CPaaS continues to be central to both customer engagement and digital identity. Foreseeing the Problems of The Future
For a company that foresaw India's mobile revolution, its opportunities and pitfalls, it's no surprise that Route Mobile is already focusing on creating increased security for India's expanding Fintech and e-commerce landscape. "I realised that the amount of transactions are going to increase multi-fold in the next 3-4 years, and while the focus remains on digital penetration, very few people are talking about the increased likelihood of digital fraud." Rajdip felt the need to differentiate fraud detection and prevention into its own strategic business unit, which we know today as TruSense.
"This is a problem that is big enough to warrant its own dedicated taskforce, its own R&D and its own dedicated product to stay one step ahead of fraudsters who make it their business to be one step ahead of everyone else!" TruSense leverages real time AI powered statistical models that detect and assess risks associated with customer phone behaviour through its TruScore offering. TruAuth provides a plug and play solution for frictionless multi-factor authentication and authorization; and TruIDV verifies user identities easily and simply through a digital onboarding process powered by a range of mobile-first technologies.
As Rajdip mentioned, "The idea behind Route Mobile from the start, has been very simple: how can we build a platform for end users and customers so they can have better customer experiences with increased safety? In 2003, this was SMS. Today we have RCS (Rich Communication Service), Whatsapp, Email, Voice and several other avenues we can use." Route Mobile considers SMS as its first avatar, messaging as its second, and now, the company is pivoting to its third avatar via increased focus on digital fraud and digital identity. Being a Big Fish in a Global Pond
One of the biggest strengths for Route Mobile is its operative partnerships. As Rajdip says, they are probably the only Indian CPaaS business that has a direct operative partnership with almost 270 operators globally. This gives Route Mobile the ability to terminate messages in 180 countries, enabling their clients to use one single platform for all their communication needs across all geographies.
"This uniqueness sets us apart in India, and we don't have much competition at our scale within the country. Our competition in India, like with SBI or ICICI Bank, is only for India termination which involves connectivity with just four operators. However, in the Route Mobile platform, we handle connections with more than a thousand operators and deliver messages within five seconds. This is the USP we've built." Growing from Strength to Strength: Leveraging Acquisition
At present, the bulk of Route Mobile's earnings are from their overseas business. Rajdip foresaw the saturation of the market in India, and the company has embarked on international expansion using their proven platform. "Once you build a platform that can serve one market, that platform is capable enough to handle any kind of customer globally. Over the last 20 years, we have become the champions of emerging markets, which includes Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and now LATAM as well."
Rajdip also talked about Route Mobile's targeted acquisition strategy, which centres around building local teams with global expertise. "That's the reason we believe that acquisition was the only option for us to grow in multiple markets. I can serve a large OTT customer sitting from India like Google or Facebook, but if I really want to serve Bank of Colombia, I cannot close that account sitting from India. I need somebody speaking the local language and going there every single day, meeting the customer. This is why our acquisition of Masivian S.A.S in Colombia made so much sense to us."
Product enhancement is another area of renewed focus for Route Mobile. In addition to a strategic acquisition that adds email services to the Route Mobile stack, the company is also building capabilities in conversational chat, through its RouBot offering. RouBot is a low code no code solution that allows customers to create their own chatbot within minutes. Moreover, Route Mobile has another ace up its sleeve - a new analytics offering that will enable customers to have a cross platform and cross channel view of their campaign performance. Rajdip is looking forward to announcing this new offering during the upcoming Route Amplify
Omnichannel: Going Beyond the Buzzword
While omnichannel is largely acknowledged as the holy grail of customer interaction and engagement, there are, as Rajdip mentions, very few people who truly understand the power that a good omnichannel strategy can wield. To that end, CNBC-TV18 and Route Mobile are jointly hosting Route Amplify, an event designed to propel the future of cloud communications and digital identity.
"The idea behind Route Amplify is to bring all the CIOs, CTOs, and CMOs under one roof and explain the potential of CPaaS and how they can leverage different channels to drive better user engagement, save costs, and prevent digital fraud in one swoop." The event is relevant to audiences across BFSI, Fintech, E-commerce, Online Gaming, Travel & Hospitality, Logistics, Retail and other industries. It is also cross functional, covering areas as diverse as customer experience, customer on-boarding, marketing, information technology, information security, data security and analytics.
On the agenda are fireside chats, deep dives into digital identity and omnichannel experiences, and panel discussions with eminent speakers. It will also prove to be an excellent networking opportunity for the CPaaS industry and its customers.
This is the first step towards creating an ecosystem where industry insiders can work together to amplify each other's results and create opportunities for a whole host of industries. This is where the narratives around omnichannel, digital identity and customer engagement are being shaped by leaders of the industry. Can you afford to miss it?
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