Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Lateral Marketing and Hindu Hymns

The other day I wrote a review on Lateral Marketing by Philip Kotler and Fernando Trias de Bes.

However, more interestingly I was getting some crank calls on my cell phone for last couple of months. Same number and always it would get disconnected as I pick up my phone. Finally, I decided to block the number called up my cellphone provider who asked me to register a police complaint. I realized that blocking a call in Indian phone system is next to impossible so I decided to put the number in my do not pick up list in the phone and relaxed. One day when I looked over to realize that the phone is actually flashing backlight means it was ringing again from the same number and when I picked up it got disconnected.

I called back and to my surprise a PCO (public call operator) picked up the phone. I told her if I get one more call then I am going to give their number to the police. She is doing it for a living and more over the place is some 500 miles away from where I live. And finally she admitted that some one used to call into my number because I had a nice hello tune which is basically a small piece of music that is played when you are waiting for the other person to pick up her phone. Luckily or unluckily I have the Hanuman Chalisa (Hymn for the great lord Hanuman) as my Hello Tune and there are enough people you would like to listen to this. I didn't know what to say. I cannot say no to someone's religious sentiments.

However, it definitely made me wonder all religious groups in India can start their telephone radios where people can dial in and listen to their favorite devotional songs for free. More revenue for mobile operators, for some software development companies and greater penetration for the religious community. There are some definite gaps in this mobile space where newer products can come in.