New arena for Online Prepaid Mobile Recharge Services

Published: 10th August 2011
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Currently the virtual world is cluttered with different websites to recharge prepaid mobiles and aptly so as currently there are more than 780 million mobile subscribers in India and 90% of them use prepaid mobile connections. The ARPU for GSM subscribers stands at around Rs 105/-. Simple mathematics tells us that there are prepaid recharges of more than Rs.70 billion happening every month.

In this blind race these websites have forgotten the basics of marketing i.e. delivering the value to the customer. When we give exorbitant discounts to retain and attract customers we are getting into a semi Oligopolistic discount war. The customer will never be satisfied with your discounts and your competitor will come up with larger discounts and soon you will lose your competitive edge which never existed.

Now if a smart player like enters the market with a clear focus on differentiation on the basis of look and feel, user experience, quality of service and above all execution of its prime objective with perfection, then certainly it will gain a competitive advantage that is inimitable. There have been innumerable case studies which have proved that unless you deliver what the customer wants from your core functionality, no amount of discount can get you success. If I had to make a BCG matrix for the prepaid recharge website environment, I would put as a Star and will hope that the websites with discounts put themselves as Cash Cows, as their business model is not sustainable.

I have been using online prepaid mobile recharge sites for quite some time now and I have not visited any other website ever since I found I must say that the brain behind PayTM is very impressive. The feel that you get from the website is that they are here to stay and for a long time. The biggest compliment I can give to this website is that it reminds me of Google - simple, straightforward and a perfectionist when it comes to core competency. has got almost all Operators across all circles in India. One can get a top up or a validity recharge using variety of payment options like Net banking, Credit card, Debit card, Done Card etc. and is done at a fast pace with very high success rates. If something goes wrong then they have a 24X7 customer care. This does sound like a good recipe for success. After a bit of research I found that PayTM is a product of One97 (, the leading mobile VAS provider in the country, whose growth story has made headlines on all business magazines. The way PayTM has started I hope that it finds its rightful place i.e. on the front page of a business magazine, for itís going to become a success story very soon.

The author is an engineer from IIT-BHU and is currently pursuing an MBA in Marketing from IMT-Ghaziabad. He is interested in digital marketing and has also published a paper on Marketing Automation for websites. He has written various Blogs and articles on Online Prepaid Mobile Recharge industry.

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