MediAvataar's News Desk

MediAvataar's News Desk

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Mobile app market data and insights leader highlights industry trends as mobile apps disrupt financial services

App Annie, the most trusted mobile app market data and insights company, today announced its first Asia-Pacific Retail Banking report, which analyzes how mobile is transforming banking and financial services in the region. This report covers the growth of retail banking and fintech apps and provides best practices with a focus on the countries most impacted in the Asia-Pacific region, namely Australia, China, Japan and South Korea.

Finance category downloads grew faster between 2014-2016 than all other app categories excluding games combined worldwide. Globally, total sessions in Finance apps have increased more than 100% over the past two years. While the Americas and Europe grew rapidly, APAC’s growth was the strongest.

In Asia-Pacific, more than 110 billion sessions took place in finance apps in 2016. From mobile banking, mobile payments, and peer-to-peer transfers, to personal budgeting and investing, mobile apps simultaneously provide unparalleled convenience for consumers and create new opportunities for financial institutions to grow their businesses.

“More and more people are turning to mobile apps for their banking and finance needs and apps have now become central to these companies’ customer initiatives,” said Danielle Levitas, SVP of Research at App Annie. “Apps provide a convenient, secure and personalized service for the ever-connected consumer to execute financial transactions. They provide banks and other financial institutions with a unique opportunity to enrich relationships with customers, reduce costs associated with in-branch transactions, and create new growth opportunities,” Levitas added.

Report Highlights Include:

Asia-Pacific Leads the Way in Finance Apps Usage

- Download growth in finance apps exceeded download growth for all app categories excluding games across major Asia-Pacific markets. China experienced a 230% spike in downloads in 2016 to 6.7 billion, and more than tripled the growth rate of the sum of downloads across all apps excluding games.

- Total sessions in finance apps more than doubled in 2016 compared to 2014 in Australia and South Korea.

- Users in South Korea had over 7 billion sessions in banking apps in 2016. This was nearly 4x as many compared to Australians. Meanwhile, mobile banking apps in Japan have seen lower engagement levels due to the country’s entrenched cash-based culture.

- In Australia, banking apps have become the gold standard for routine banking transactions. The number of average monthly sessions in the top 10 Australian banking apps exceeds more than 25 times per month, indicating mobile banking apps are part of Australians’ daily routine.

Different Ball Game: Apps Have Disrupted Mobile Finance in China

- WeChat Pay and AliPay are the leading mobile payment platforms in China with usage penetration that is approximately 7x greater than the average of the top five banking apps in China.

- The success of both WeChat Pay and AliPay provides insight into how non-banking technology players can challenge the finance and retail banking sectors.

Micromax Informatics, leading smart devices player, today announced the appointment and elevation of Shubhodip Pal as its new Chief Marketing & Commercial officer and Group Head for VAS and online sales.

This development reflects Micromax’s vision of stepping up to the next phase of growth as it continues its journey to reinforce itself as a leading smart devices player. In his previous role at the organization, Shubhodip was the Chief Operating Office at YU Televentures, a 100% subsidiary of Micromax Informatics. The announcement comes in light with the current Micromax CMO, Shubhajit Sen deciding to move on to pursue other interests.

Taking over the new role, Shubhodip will be tasked to focus on leading all marketing, VAS and online sales efforts for the company globally (including Micromax and YU business), while strengthening the overall brand communication. He will focus on consolidating Micromax’s strong presence in the market, driving relevant business partnerships and strategic alliances while strengthening the organizational capabilities within Micromax.

Commenting on Shubhodip’s appointment, Rahul Sharma, Co-Founder, Micromax Informatics,  Shubhodip has been instrumental in brand development for Micromax at various stages – be it his previous role as the CMO for the company or his most recent role as the COO for YU. As Micromax takes a new growth trajectory in 2017, focusing on becoming an evolved player across categories, Shubhodip with his added responsibilities will play a vital role in growing the brand. He has a proven ability to create strategic clarity, drive innovation and growth, ensure disciplined execution, and deliver results. With his strengths as a marketer and strong business acumen, I firmly believe Shubhodip will be a strong partner to the brand and take it to newer heights.”

He further added, “While Shubhajit has decided to pursue other interests, his contribution in the past 2 years has been immense and we would like to thank him for his contribution and wish him great luck ahead.”

With an end-to-end marketing, VAS P&L and online sales responsibility, Shubhodip is excited and ready to take upon his new work profile.

Commenting on the new role Shubhodip Pal, CMCO, Micromax Informatics, “Micromax has always been close to my heart and I am excited to take on the new role, especially when the brand is experiencing such a phenomenal transformation. Having been a part of Micromax family for some time now, I look forward to taking additional responsibilities and creating bigger, better successes for the brand in the coming time. It indeed is a great opportunity for me to lead multiple divisions as the brand looks at further strengthening its position in the Indian & global markets.”

Shubhajit Sen, outgoing CMO, Micromax Informatics said, ““It has been a great journey at Micromax over the past two years; one which I have thoroughly enjoyed being a part of. As I leave Micromax, I feel satisfied that there is an excellent marketing team in place, deep relationships with strategic partners and a compelling future roadmap for the business. These present multiple opportunities for growth for Micromax going forward and I wish the leadership team all the very best for an exciting future.”

Shubhodip Pal comes with over two decades of consumer marketing experience in launching, building and managing brands from consumer durables to the banking/financial, IT hardware sector and telecom services sector. He has worked on the whole spectrum of marketing, specializing in Product Management, Retail, Marketing Communications, Media, Sports and Entertainment Marketing, Online and Mobile Marketing.

He has previously served the role of CMO at Micromax (Oct 2012-Jan 2015) and was an intrinsic force to take the company to the next level. It was his vision and marketing excellence that helped the company grow and be the part of top handset manufacturing companies in the world. In Feb 2016, Shubhodip joined YU Televentures as COO, and he was tasked to focus on strengthening the organizational capabilities of the company while emphasizing on connecting the users to their devices through meaningful service integration; thereby making life easier & more convenient.

The partnership will add breadth to the ‘local connect’ for the international chain and resonate with Dineout’s tech-savvy diners’ quest for amazing eating experiences.

Dineout, India’s largest table reservation and restaurant promotion service announced its partnership with Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group, one of the world’s largest hotel groups today. Building on the grand success of a pilot exercise undertaken in 2016, Dineout is taking that success to the next level with this partnership - helping Carlson Rezidor Hotels Group accelerate their growth in their F&B segments in India.

Today’s consumers have an increasing penchant for discovering new and unique dining experiences and technology is the driving force in their quest. Dineout, India’s first and largest table reservation service, helps them discover and enhance their dining experiences making them even more rewarding. From finding the right restaurant and booking a table, to paying the bill, Dineout enhances every step of the way.

This partnership will enable Dineout users access to the Carlson Rezidor Hotels Group's portfolio of hotels across India. Guests will be able to experience award-winning cuisines such as Neung Roi, fine Thai dining at Radisson Blu Plaza New Delhi or The Great Kebab Factory available at many hotel locations, and enjoy ongoing promotions by booking instantly, 24/7 on Dineout's dynamic table reservation system.

“As one of the leading international hospitality operators in India, we have established a nationwide presence and deep understanding of this key market. Food and Beverage (F&B) is an important component of the hospitality business, bringing about a culinary experience for guests as well. With the evolving technological landscape aided by increased Internet penetration and use of smartphones, we recognize the need to provide a solution for our F&B outlets and are delighted to partner with Dineout, India’s premier table reservation service,” said Raj Rana, Chief ExecutiveOofficer, South Asia, Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group.

“The Indian F&B market is changing every day, and Dineout has the pulse of the discerning Indian diner – from discovery to destination we consistently provide them amazing dining experiences. We see tremendous value in being able to offer our users world-class F&B from one of the world’s largest hotel groups. We will leverage our experience and insights in the industry to help the Carlson Rezidor’s F&B offerings realize their full potential in India,” said Ankit Mehrotra, Co-founder, Dineout.

“As India grows economically with increasing urbanization and rising disposable incomes, the new middle class is increasingly eating out and seeking authenticity and unique dining experiences. Dineout is their first port of call to research F&B destinations and discover unique dining experiences. Dineout’s technology exposes customers to more brand experiences through their devices and social media, while helping our hotels and their F&B outlets achieve greater competitive advantage,” said Sandy Russell, vice president, Asia Pacific, Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group.

iProspect India, the global, leading, multi-award winning digital agency from Dentsu Aegis Network, has hired Srikar Nagubandi as Senior Vice President – Operations. He comes with more than 15 years of experience in the digital space with a focus on Search Engine Optimization, Search Engine Marketing, Social Media and Web Analytics. Nagubandi’s core responsibilities at iProspect India will comprise leading the SEO and Analytics verticals and overseeing the Paid Media mandates.

Prior to iProspect India, he was Director, Media Engagement & Technology at W20 Group, New York. Some of his stints before this include those at Razorfish & Razorfish Health which is a part of the Publicis Group, He has worked in international markets like New York and Australia throughout his career.

Given his digital marketing and analytics background, Nagubandi is adept at both the planning and technical implementation side of the business having been a developer earlier in his career. He is also an industry thought leader who has spoken at numerous conferences and written articles focused on search innovation and best practices related to eCommerce, social media and blogging, particularly in healthcare.

Commenting on the new appointment, Rubeena Singh, CEO, iProspect India said, “We are elated to welcome Srikar on board the iProspect team. He brings immense value to the company’s capabilities with his extensive experience in global markets. We want to increasingly bring on board senior talent who can carry forward the learnings of developed and evolved markets to our clients, providing them with innovative and effective business solutions and helping them stay ahead of the curve. I’m positive Srikar will drive higher RoI and propose effective digital solutions to our existing and potential set of clients.”

Speaking about the new role, Srikar Nagubandi, Senior Vice President – Operations, iProspect India said, “In my experience in working with some of the best brands in the world, I have come to believe that it’s crucial to make the complex simple and the simple understandable and actionable for the client. Digital is only growing in complexity and the agency of the future needs to harness deep learning to innovate relentlessly and delight our clients. I am thrilled to be starting a new chapter with my role at iProspect India, and be a part of this ongoing evaluation in not only the fastest growing economy in the world, but an economy where digital advertising spend is experiencing double digit growth.”

Nagubandi will report into Rubeena Singh, CEO, iProspect India and will be based out of Mumbai.

MEC India Appoints Ex-eBay India Digital Marketing Head, Ravi Sekhar KV as Chief Digital Officer

MEC India, a leading media agency, announced the appointment of Ravi Sekhar KV as Chief Digital Officer. Sekhar’s role at MEC will be to drive the agency’s end-to-end digital service. He will be based in Mumbai and will report to T Gangadhar, Managing Director, MEC South Asia.

Sekhar is an avid technologist and has been closely involved in the setting up of several start-ups. He recently founded, an artificial-intelligence-powered product discovery engine. In his previous role, he headed digital, marketing technology and retention marketing at eBay India. During his stint at eBay, he led first-of-its-kind innovations such as eBay Daily, a tailored shopping experience offering FMCG and gourmet products and a third party affiliate cash back programme.

Speaking on the appointment, T. Gangadhar, MD, MEC South Asia said, "From my conversations with him, I find Ravi to be an exciting combination of passion, exuberance and expertise. Given his strong background, I have no doubt he will help scale our digital service even further. I am looking forward to working (and learning) from him.”

Sekhar also has a strong background in FMCG and telecom and has had stints with CavinKare and Nokia.

Ravi Sekhar KV said, "The industry is witnessing exciting growth. Both, traditional and online companies are acknowledging the impact of data and digital marketing on their business. This is a fantastic opportunity for us to build the relevant technology stacks. Given the scale at which MEC operates, I look forward to collaborating with our teams in India and across the global network”.

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