Monday, November 2, 2009


SMS and win or SMS and make another win.....

For the mobile providers and their partners in business the above was a very brilliant idea which continues to reap harvest after harvest.

I am yet to waste my SMS but yesterday Hubby’s interest was caught by the cricket match (the one that was lost to Aussies) and I got to see yet another such call on TV. I believe it was the Bindaas Khel by the Indiatimes (Times Group) whereby one could win the following prizes by answering a few questions and these answers are to be SMS’d at premium rates.

Daily Prizes: Daily 5- Gold worth Rs. 1,000 each

Bumper Prize: Bumper- Gold worth Rs. 125,000

The site does give enough warnings and disclaimers which take out every kind of responsibility and those who indulge in messaging can do so even if they have closed the contest before a winner is even announced.

TIL expressly disclaims all warranties of any kind, whether express or implied. Neither does TIL make any warranty that the items / products made available under the contest will meet your requirements, or the delivery of the item / product will be timely, secure, nor is TIL responsible for any damages done in transit.

TIL reserves the rights to terminate / suspend the Contest at any time and/or withdraw, or extend the Contest without any prior notice and no correspondence in this regard shall be entertained.

If the above is in hope of winning a prize for oneself there is yet another by the Reality TV shows where your SMS will decide the winner (so they claim).

The one from Kerala called Idea Star Singer (Asianet Channel along with Idea Cellular Limited) has been very successful and continues to keep millions glued onto their televisions sets and many among them faithfully send their SMS too. This year’s grand prize will be a Rs 1 crore villa.

Is it the love for art or a personal desire to make the contestant win that makes a person part with an SMS?

I am sure there are individuals and groups sending their requests to friends and co-workers (I myself have received emails) for a particular contestant and this may eventually influence the decisions of many.

Whether it is out of selfish interest or selfless interest, it has been proved beyond doubt that enough and more money can be amassed for a cause through SMS.

The below is an excerpt from

At the end of Aug-2008, the top 5 GSM Mobile Service Providers in India based on no. of subscribers are,

• Bharti Airtel -74.8 mn
• Vodafone - 52.8 mn
• BSNL - 38.5 mn
• Idea Cellular - 29.3 mn
• Aircell - 13.1 mn

If the following news is to be believed,

By 2010 the Number of Mobile Subscribers is Expected to Increase to 348 Million in India!

This set me thinking as to why our NGO’s or even the mobile providers themselves are not teaming up for special projects.

Or have they already?

If one is ready to part with their SMS without much ado won’t a lot more do if a specific cause or a project is featured.

Right now I can think of Projectwhy which could use a lot of help in this manner. Let those who are conducting the business along with the mobile providers take their share, still there should be enough for any project in our country. (Of course one can have the normal checks and balances too.)

But this excericise would also have involved millions in the process of giving for a good cause.


  1. Cool one...Thanks for such a superb idea Happy Kitten.I have a few friends working with NGO's over here.I will discuss the same with them.
    @Idea star singer - I hate that program,there judges are so arrogant and also rude to the participants.They also faced some allegations about the SMS votes.

    @ Disclaimer(*not related to this post) - recently i saw an intresting ad .In that they claimed that there particular product is the first one in india exclusively for male.But in the disclaimer they mentioned that(that 2 in a micro mini font) first product exclusively for male from that particular brand :D .These marketing peoples are so 'crooked'.

  2. That is a very good idea, Happy Kitten! If so many people are ready to part with an SMS for just any reason, NGOs and activists could definitely use it to campaign .. Makes a lot of sense.

  3. Mobile subscribers have already crossed 400 million
    They are expected to be 500 million by Jan 2010!

    Money, money, money through SMSs! One can imagine how much more they must be raking in through those votes for various songs and dance shows!

  4. Great idea. They can even tie up with these reality shows and say that so much % from votes received on a particular day will go to such and such organization.

  5. Everything has changed to business...

    Nothing is done for good cause. But your idea is worth thinking.

    Idea star singer led to great loss for the husbands who have wifes as serial-freaks.

  6. It is pure business.I believe,for all those SMS contests on the TV,the booty is shared which runs into to crores.

  7. Anish: Thanks u... as for the ISS program, even i dont watch it and thought I was the odd one out! I may watch it if I can get the clip with just the singers.. some of those youngsters does have talent and they are working hard... it did have a lot of allegations yet people dont mind parting with their SMS.. shows the attitude... so if they show the same attitude for a specific project, it would bring in a lot of money..

    Disclaimers or no disclaimers people still biy.. nd recently someone sued Unilever for the AXE advert :)

    Smitha: that is the point.. if they are ready to part with their SMS for such reasons then give thema a good reason.

  8. Vinod: thanks for the info.. guess I did not land on the right page..

    They are making a lot of money thru the SMS...I guess after the initial investment there is not much recurring expenses for the mobile providers and hence anything that comes in goes straight as a profit...

    Dreamer: I read that Recently ISS did conduct their show at the RCC.. not sure if they gave any money..

  9. Manju: if only someone would do it...or have they already?

    Abhi: now everything revolves arnd the TV and the women has managed to win over the Husbands too :)

    BKC:Yes it is pure business.. nd if only they would part with a small amount of this booty, one could give it to many deserving ones...

  10. I think the idea is being put to use in various parts of the world though not in a wide scale in India.

    These reality shows and the sms-lure is helping these mobile phone companies laugh all the way to the bank. I appreciate the business mind behind this but as you said how good it would be if these companies decide to donate one penny per sms to those needy.

  11. Great idea! You have brought it out so well.

  12. Scorpio: I did see a version of it in Indiavision's VKC Street Light - Reality show... it is a nice venture and I hope more will follow..

    Indrani: hope we shall have more of its kind... millions in India and abroad can contribute in a small way...


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