Opera Software, the Norway-based web browser provider, is betting big on the Indian market. The company, which has a minuscule presence in the PC browser market, is currently looking at increasing its market share through new features.
The company enjoys around 60 per cent market share in the growing mobile browser market in India and is adding more customer-friendly features to tap the opportunity in the browser market.
Christen Krogh, Chief Development Officer, Opera Software, said, “In India the mobile penetration is increasing and we see it as a huge opportunity. Our major focus in India is to use the mobile platform to increase our market share.”
As the browser war kicked off after the Internet boom, the company which offered its products as a paid solutions started offering it for free.
Though the company enjoys a significant market share in the mobile phone browser segment the use of Opera for PC in India is minimal compared with its peers like Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer, Google Chrome and Netscape.
“Our share in the PC market in India is very low. The main reason for this was that at the beginning of Internet age, Opera was a paid product. Another reason why we didn’t succeed in many markets was that our competitors offered their service as a bundled package and they used marketing channels like Google,” said Krogh.
Opera has now added new features for the products and is using more channels for marketing as part of the new strategy.
For example, the new feature called Turbo helps to compress the webpages to 20 per cent. This feature helps users download pages quickly even if the bandwidth is low. It has also created an application in the browser that will help to bookmark sites on the phone and the same can be viewed on the PC.
“Through these initiatives we plan to bring in a more user-friendly experience. In India, bandwidth is the main problem and this application is designed for countries like India. Around 41 per cent of the people using Internet via the phone do not use PC. We want to leverage our strength in the PC market through our phone browser,” added Krogh.
It has also partnered service providers like Vodafone, MTS and Tata Teleservices for a co-branding exercise. Apart from this, the company is planning developer meets and other promotional events, including partnering educational institutions.
Opera Mini recently hit the 100 million users mark globally, and its Indian user base is ranked number three globally.
“We are getting a good response from developer community. The application store, Opera Mobile Store, which we launched recently, has around 100,000 applications. Of these, most applications are built by Indian developers, added Krogh.