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India's love for the 'missed call' phenomenon

Dec 26, 2011 09:20 AM IST India India

Mumbai: The new phenomenon of missed calls has been gaining popularity. It was used in popular forms of protest during the Anna Hazare movement as well. Stingy or not, we Indians love giving missed calls.

A missed call can be a pre-arranged signal or pre-arranged message to mean something specific like, "I have left the office and headed home," or "could you please bring the car to where you dropped me off?"

There are 900 million mobile phone users in India,but the average revenue per user is only Rs 150 because when it comes to getting the message across, missed call is our first choice. In fact, so profound is our love for missed calls that a Bangalore based company called ZipDial has actually used missed calls to generate business.

ZipDial Chairman Sanjay Swamy said, "Instead of using texts we now make people convey the message by a missed call. Say our client will send you a message asking if you liked their service or not. You can give missed calls on specific numbers to convey a yes or a no."

According to a study from the Learning Initiatives on Reforms for Network Economies a couple of years ago, over half of Indian cellular subscribers made missed calls to convey a message.