Interview With Rajiv Kumar, CEO and Founder, RockeTalk

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The passion of social networking is now seeing a new shift from desktop to mobile. RockeTalk seems to be a clear leader now in the mobile social networking space.

As per mobile analytic firm Informate, RockeTalk is ahead of Facebook and Twitter on mobile in India. Within approx 19 months of its operations, RockeTalk has over 9 million users, of which a majority 4.2 million are Indians.

RockeTalk is the brainchild of Rajiv Kumar, an IIT Alumnus, who has always been associated with path-breaking technologies and is one of the founders of the Bluetooth Technology with three patents on Bluetooth registered in his name. Recently Telecom Talk went behind the scenes to have an exclusive ‘talk’ with Rajiv Kumar, CEO & Founder, RockeTalk Inc.

TelecomTalk : First of all congrats for crossing nine million registered users so my first question is - what next for RockeTalk?

Rajiv Kumar : Thank you. RockeTalk is growing leaps and bounds and the immediate next is 20 million, 50million and 100 million active users. We at RockeTalk we very strongly believe in the concept of activity and engagement and hence the only metric that we live by is active users, users who come in again and again every day, multiple times a day and not just registered user.

TelecomTalk : Do you have any tie up with handset makers in India?

Rajiv Kumar : RockeTalk's unique value proposition and growing popularity is creating a lot of excitement among handset makers. We have all ready tied up with LG, Micromax, Lava and Redd who are preloading RockeTalk Application on their handsets. Recently, RockeTalk has been in pact with Samsung India. To enrich the consumers’ experience on its proprietary ‘bada’ platform available across its WAVE series of mobile handsets, Samsung is now making available RockeTalk. Through RockeTalk application, Samsung mobile phone users will now be able to use RockeTalk’s unique and interactive features of voice and video blogs directly from mobile phone, sending of photos and video clips, live multimedia discussion forums and much more. In addition to being a personal gateway to communicate with friends, family and the world at large; RockeTalk will facilitate an enriching experience of hassle free and smart mobile social networking.

TelecomTalk : How Rocketalk has changed since its launch?

Rajiv Kumar : Its been quite a exciting and eventful journey for RockeTalk as a product and as a community since its launch in last 20 months or so. It feels good that since, the time RockeTalk was launched; it has been gaining popularity tremendously. Industry reports and analysis has also time and again proven that RockeTalk is gaining more popularity than any other players in the market.

RockeTalk is an underground trend where mobile users are not only adapting RockeTalk themselves but it’s also emerging as a multi utility platform; people are using RockeTalk in the most innovative and interesting fashion.

Rocketalk has evolved in more than just one way, it started as a peer to peer communication application and have now become more of a social and community interaction platform. Our focus have always been on power of expression and so when we started out we moved a needle and RockeTalk launched with voice messaging and then we added pictures and then video and then interaction around all of it. Being used by millions of loyal and very vocal users help as it is them who tell us what’s next they want us to develop for them. Every new feature or even a color change of how the next iteration of Rocketalk will look is decided on the basis of feedback given by users.

TelecomTalk : Is there any story behind the name Rocketalk?

Rajiv Kumar : We started off our life as a company with the charter of transporting voice messages between our users. So it was all "talk" messaging on the phone versus "text" messaging. Our proprietary technology was sending out these messages at rocket speed. The name came in from my son who just combined "Rocket" and "Talk".

TelecomTalk : How often have you experienced RockeTalk being used differently by mobile users?

Rajiv Kumar : At times we are amazed to see how mobile users employ RockeTalk for different purposes. Some use it to get their 2 minutes of fame, others use it to talk about their interest, business, shopping tips, hottest party updates, live multimedia forums and so much more. Everyone can find something they like here. RockeTalk has over 100,000 communities bringing together people interested across different genres - cricket, romance, travel, humour etc.. Of the various communities on Rocketalk, ‘Mehfil’ — started by aspiring RJ Shafiq Khan from Muradabad is one of the oldest communities on the application with more than 55,000 members. Khan uses Mehfil to share his own poetry; upload pictures and videos of events that he has attended. Besides Indians, Khan has fans from across the world. The second group is ‘Karistani with Karan’, put up by a second-hand car dealer from Delhi. The group allows you to discuss everything that you need to know about cars with Karan through Rocketalk. Communities like Roopsi Bangla, English classes are some of the few favourites.

TelecomTalk : Who is your biggest competitor in the industry now?

Rajiv Kumar : RockeTalk is the biggest competitor. On one hand, where we are experiencing such a tremendous growth in our user base; we are setting a new targets for ourselves each day, each hour, each minute. We are quite an energetic team and we believe in creating new goals for ourselves. While our prime focus remains on users, we also are getting innovative day by day to offer the most unique marketing solutions to our clients. From entertainment to FMCG to matrimonial portals we have had brands who have experienced the most successful campaigns that any other media vehicle .

TelecomTalk : Android market is booming can we expect an Android version of Rocketalk soon?

Rajiv Kumar : Demand for an Android version for RockeTalk has been building up for sometime now, not just from the users but also from our handset and other partners. The Android version is in our lab and we will be starting a beta group soon. We are also handpicking the beta group to give the first sneak preview.

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