Truecaller Application Service authority has given an exclusive interview. Kari Krishnamurthy – VP for Asia for Truecaller Application has given his answer to the following questions.
Introduction of the service, what it is and why it is useful for people, why do they use it?
The phonebook is a critical tool for billions of people who use it on a daily basis – but despite all of today’s advanced technology, little has been done to make the mobile experience more intelligent, relevant and personal.
Truecaller solves a pain point that many smartphone owners encounter. With the increasing amount of un-registered numbers, sales calls, and lack of public information on numbers, Truecaller provides a quick and relevant solution for free. Truecaller lets you identify unknown incoming calls, block calls you don’t want to receive, and search for phone number and return who it belongs to.
Unlike other services, Truecaller uses an advance technology in combination with a vibrant community to create a better way to search relevant information. We believe that Truecaller is an app for anyone who wants to better improve their mobile experience. As an example, if you search for a name on Truecaller, it will not list the names alphabetically. But instead, the results will be personalized and based on how you know them.
What is your position in worldwide and in Bangladesh, what you are planning to do here?
To date we have over 100 million users worldwide, and we see Bangladesh as a strong growth opportunity given that smartphone penetration rates are growing throughout the region.
It’s extremely important for us to have local knowledge about the markets. Something that we’ve been doing that is very successful is to interact with passionate people that both love our brand and have great understanding of the market.
Who are your market competitors and how do you compete with them?
What has made us a success, are the innovation and the technology insight that we constantly employ to build and refine the Truecaller app and this is what will enable us to maintain our edge irrespective of where the competition comes from. Our passion does not stop with technology. Our users are extremely vocal and we understand that Truecaller has become a part of their daily habits. We believe the most important part of creating an app is not just what it looks like, or how it functions – it is how useful it is for the people it serves.
We feel there are no real competitors in the market who are trying to solve this type of challenge and really make your phonebook smarter. There are big players on the market who are doing parts of this and others, but they make it either hard to query or the information is not available. We like to say that we are doing something the traditional services should have done a decade ago.
What is the process of using the app?
New users simply download the app for free through their supporting app store or through the Truecaller website (www.truecaller.com/download). After a very simple setup, users can enjoy Truecaller’s features of identifying unknown numbers through Caller ID, number/name search, discover new contacts and block unwanted callers in real-time to help other Bengali Truecaller users stay protected again scam. Users must have a 3G data connection or a strong WiFi for Truecaller to work properly.
We are available on a handful of operating systems like Android, iOS, BlackBerry, Windows Phone, Symbian s60, Series 40 and Tizen.
Is it available in Bengali and how can people benefit from it?
Truecaller app is available in Bengali. We solve a major pain point for mobile users in regards to spam protection and not knowing who is calling them. Truecaller can act as any Bengali’s personal assistant by telling them who is calling so they can decide whether they want to answer the phone or not – Truecaller helps you take the right call.
The most important aspect of Truecaller is that the community is based on trust, and it can only be as good as the community makes it. To get the most use and value out of Truecaller, the community has to continually grow and interact in order to keep spam information up to date, verify identities, and add verified contact information. This gives Bengali users more power and control over their own mobile phone – be it blocking spammers, or simply identifying numbers from people and businesses that you do want to connect with.
We’ve made these advancements to save time for our users and make their lives less complicated when they want to get in touch with someone. Our ambition is to make improve and refine your communication experience.
Do you have office or ambassadors here? If no, then what is your plan?
Truecaller has become an important technology in our users’ daily lives, and we have seen a strong organic growth in this region. One of our top priorities this year is to engage more locally, and increase our visibility throughout the region. We currently have no offices in Bangladesh, but we are working strongly to find local Brand Ambassadors to deepen our relationship with small communities as well as bigger cities. Any interested candidate can apply to become a Truecaller Brand Ambassador via www.truecaller.com/ambassadors.
What is your business strategy? And yearly turnover.
Our main focus is currently on growth and product development. We will be exploring the business side later this year.
What are the obstacles and opportunities?
Our growth has been monumental – as we have recently reached over 100 million users. We have received a total investment of $80 million from amazing investors such as Sequoia Capital, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB) and Atomico,. To help further our strategic direction of Truecaller, we proudly welcomed to the board John Doerr from KPCB, Jerry Murdock, Mattias Ljungman, and joining as our special adviser, Atomico founder and Skype co-founder, Niklas Zennström.
We are constantly working on making Truecaller a better service for our users. It can be everything from small bug fixes to new innovative features, but we also put a lot of effort in making the app more data and memory friendly.