Plans for Growth
India is today Mxit’s main growth market, as it has around 900 million mobile phone connections. According to Michael Jordaan, Mxit’s chairman, the team is aiming at a total of 10 million active users by the end of 2014. Mxit was first developed in the university town of Stellenbosch, in South Africa, already runs in more than 8000 devices and across platforms, as it can be used in both tablets and phones, either Android, BlackBerry, iPhone, Windows Phone or feature phones.
Targeting Regions Separately
Jordaan stated that the team is aiming at developing a solid user base in each of the 11 regions, especially by means of the use of local languages. He added that they will be paying special attention to localisation, as the 35 Indian states and territories are considerably different from each other. Jordaan even stated that, as a consequence of cultural differences and diversity, each region is to be treated similarly to countries which are altogether different, which means plenty of work for Mxit.
Apart from the importance assigned to the translation of the app into local languages, Mxit is also focusing their attention on the feature-phone market, which already has 550 million users. The reason is that competitors have largely overlooked this niche, stated Jordaan. Other benefits that the application offers include the ability to work across platforms and low charges to users. So far, decision makers are not interested in introducing paid services like stickers yet, as they would rather achieve a loyal customer base first.
At the moment, the application’s strongest competitor is SMSD, which offer the cheapest SMS rates in the world. According to Jordaan, it will take an effort to modify the behaviour of those customers who are used to using SMS instead of a chat-based communication method.