South Africa’s Mxit To Rollout Service In 11 Indian Languages

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Written by Kevin Mwanza

South African mobile instant messaging service Mxit plans to roll out its service in 11 regional Indian languages in the next six months, after it launched in the country two weeks ago, Business Standard reported.

The mobile app Mxit, which is wildly popular in South Africa, and 127 other countries due to its ability to be used on the most basic of cellular phones and smartphones, has over 7.4 million users and its accessibility has allowed the app to beat Facebook in popularity and active users in South Africa.

“At the moment, India is our number one growth market,” Business Standard quoted Mxit chairman Michael Jordaan telling the weekly Sunday Times.

“Part of our rollout strategy is to be in 11 local (Indian) languages in the next six months, with a good user base in each of those 11 regions. The goal we are working towards is 10 million active users by the end of this year,” Jordaan said.

Tough Compatition

Conceding that the competition in the Indian mobile messaging market was strong, Jordaan said the other players were almost exclusively focused on the smartphone market, while Mxit worked across all platforms.

Jordaan also said that its strongest competitor was the vanilla SMSD, which had the cheapest SMS rates in the world.

“India has 900 million mobile phone connections, of which 750 million are potentially Mxit-capable. Our primary focus is the 550 million feature-phone market, which has so far been overlooked by our competitors,” he said.

Given Mxit’s very low charges to users, Jordaan said the company would first target a loyal customer base before commercializing it, but revenue would also come from other sources.

“The three significant revenue streams we see are advertising, market research, and creating customized app solutions for enterprises. We may also look at introducing paid services like stickers and ringtones down the line,” Jordaan told the weekly.