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Mon 20 Oct 2008 04:00 AM

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Mapping the path to success

SMS systems vendor RouteSMS says Middle East consumers respond more strongly to text-based mobile marketing efforts than other regions.

Indian enterprise messaging systems specialist RouteSMS solutions (RSL) is looking to establish a beachhead in the Middle East through its participation in GITEX Technology Week, with eventual plans to open an office in Dubai Internet City later this year.

The firm provides mobile messaging systems which allow enterprises to send out large quantities of targeted SMSes to customers and clients in the region.

Rajdip Gupta, managing director of RSL says that the firm has already signed up more than more than 50 clients in the Middle East, including major retailers such as Marks & Spencers, Choithrams, Sony TV and  the Debenhams chain.

He explains: "We started marketing in the Middle East four years ago because I knew that the potential here was huge, since SMS is one of the hottest marketing tools anywhere. The response we got was tremendous. We have grown in a big way with the support of the Middle East, especially in Saudi Arabia and UAE.

"This year, we thought we will start our marketing here again, giving visitors an idea of what our products are and what they can do for these Middle East clients," he adds.

RSL has 24 professionals in India dedicated to handling clients in this region - forming a significant chunk of the firm's 110 total staff. 10 employees are devoted to handling technical issues.

 Gupta says the large number of personnel is a measure of the resounding appeal of SMS marketing.

"For SMS messaging, everyone needs the product. It can be malls, insurance companies, media outlets and so on. For example, if clients like Marks and Spencer have a new kind of product to launch, they can just blast SMSes out to their clients. UAE Exchange is another instance - they send SMSes out to their clients when they send and receive money.

With two SMSes per transaction, that means that they  send out in actuality about 40,000 SMSes out every day," he adds.

He believes that the market here responds more strongly to SMS marketing than other regions such as Asia and the Far East.

"The people in the Middle East are more mobile savvy and are coming up with more ideas. People actually read those SMSes and follow those promotions, going to the sales counters in malls and so on," he adds.

Gupta expects to sell at least 30 to 40 copies of his software at GITEX and adds that his future plans are extensive: "We do want a presence here and that's the reason we want to participate for the next three years continuously. With more clients on the cards next year, we plan to double the space we have right now."

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