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Truecaller, one of the world’s largest caller-identification and spam-blocking services firm, on Thursday, opened its first exclusive office space, in Bengaluru. This is the company’s largest office in the world outside of its headquarters in Sweden.
Since its entry in the country a decade ago, Truecaller has today grown to 338 million monthly active users, of which about 246 million are from India. India presents unique opportunities to launch new products and services on the Truecaller platform and obtain feedback to improve solutions further.
“Today, we have around 55 per cent of connected smartphones in India using our service every day. India is expected to have around 700- 800 million connected smartphones by 2026,” said Alan Mamedi, chief executive officer and co-founder at Truecaller. “So in three years, if we continue to evolve and grow as we already are, we should be at around 400 million to 500 million users.”
India is the firm’s biggest market. It contributes 71 per cent of its global business. Mamedi said, globally, 80 per cent of the company’s revenues comes from advertisements and the rest comes from subscriptions and Truecaller for Business. Having started its operations in India, Mamedi said that Truecaller for Business has expanded to 35 countries. “We manage all these global clients from India and this business is booming,” said Mamedi.
The company’s Bengaluru facility occupies a renovated space of 30,443 square feet and can accommodate up to 250 employees, offering top-of-the-line technology and amenities. Truecaller plans to use this facility as its primary hub to deliver India's first features and serve users globally.
The office was virtually inaugurated by Rajeev Chandrasekhar, minister of state for electronics and information technology.
“The decision of opening an exclusive office in India is representative of the growth of India as a trusted technology partner to the world,” said Chandrasekhar. “The government’s vision and focus is on enabling entrepreneurship and expansion of a vibrant innovation and startup ecosystem in India.”
Truecaller has set up the facility at a time when technology companies continue slashing jobs and are reducing investments amid the uncertain 2023 economy. Mamedi of Truecaller said the strategy for the firm has been to be efficient, responsive and lean. He said the firm has less than 400 employees globally, serving a global customer base of nearly 340 million users. He said the company has been profitable for a long time.
Telecom operators and tech companies recently expressed concerns over a proposal to make it mandatory for them to display caller ID or calling name presentation (CNAP) across telecommunication networks. The mandatory caller ID display forms a major component of the draft Telecom Bill 2022. Just as the Truecaller app displays the names of people calling, the Centre through this bill is seeking to establish a more authentic feature as part of the telecommunications network.
TRAI consulted companies and other stakeholders for feedback on the proposal from the industry. However, most companies and operators that took part in consultations have said that this cannot be implemented due to privacy reasons, technological limitations and consumer consent.
Mamedi welcomed the move by TRAI. He said that there's a legitimate public interest to solve problems such as fraud and spam calls. “This problem that we're trying to solve is extremely hard,” said Mamedi. “And if we see other players trying to prevent this from happening, we welcome it.”
In responding to a question related to concerns around user privacy and data security, Mamedi said that Truecaller has since day one, always been an opt-in service.
“There has always been an option to unlist and remove your information,” said Mamedi. “ I always say this, ‘everything we do in this company, we should be able to stand in front of you guys (employees), and talk openly about what we do'. The moment we feel uncomfortable about saying what we do then we're doing the wrong things.”
Truecaller recently formed a partnership with the Delhi Police to combat the growing incidents of cybercrime, impersonation, and fraud, and promote safety in communication. This partnership aims to raise awareness about cyber safety to empower Delhi citizens with tips to improve safety in digital communication. Citizens will have access to all verified phone numbers of Delhi Police on Truecaller's Government Directory Services. In addition, Truecaller will provide technical support to the Delhi Police in conducting cyber safety training for police personnel and vulnerable sections of society - including women, first-time internet users and college students.
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First Published: Thu, March 16 2023. 22:55 IST
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