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How MapmyIndia Is Challenging Google Maps In India With Its GPS and Map Services

How MapmyIndia Is Challenging Google Maps In India With Its GPS and Map Services

In 1993, after being un-banned in India, Coca-Cola obtained the Indian cola organisation Thumbs Up and observed itself with a hassle surprising to groups aware of developed markets: very few accurate maps existed at that point. Thumbs Up had a good sized community of bottlers, every with an assigned distribution territory, but nothing depicted the overlapping of boundaries of the territories (descriptions together with “along the river” substituted for maps). Not pretty even though, Coca-Cola wasn’t the simplest multinational facing any such cartographical dilemma in India: for example, a joint challenge of Essar and Cellular One turned into suffering to discern out where to vicinity cell cellphone towers.

This created an possibility for Rakesh and Rashmi Verma, who had started licensing US mapping software with an aim to enhance India’s map-making capabilities. They approached Coca-Cola, Cellular One, and different businesses and obtained contracts to create virtual maps that contained data that might aid these respective businesses with enterprise (bottlers’ territories) or topographic features (high ground appropriate for cellular towers). They obtained improve bills from the companies, which enabled them to make splendid maps that they could later modify and promote to different customers, along with the Indian Defense Department.

This became step one for a organisation that became looking to create a digital repository of geographical data that might exchange the way companies function. During the 2000s, MapmyIndia commenced producing online maps and it subsequently migrated into consumer navigation gadgets, fleet-tracking solutions for taxi and trucking companies, and cell apps. Today, the company claims to be India’s most comprehensive GPS navigation & monitoring solutions provider, enticing the user on a couple of systems.

Currently, the organisation gives an entire API stack, IOT gadgets, a map app, and has the heart to compete with the global large Google. It has mapped over 10.54 Mn precise destinations (Points of Interests), multiplied coverage of over 2 Mn kilometres of avenue network, 7068 towns at road degree with house cope with degree facts for 80 towns, 6 Lakh villages, and 3-D & 2D landmarks in 86 towns.

Here’s the way it does all of this and extra.

MapmyIndia: A Top Down, Bottoms Up, Customer-Funded Business Model

Quitting their comfortable jobs inside the US, Rakesh and Rashmi Verma have been passionate to start some thing in their domestic u . S .. After coming back, they realised that the geographical maps repository of India had not been updated for the reason that Colonial times, in 1931. Realising a solid possibility and need, they approached the authorities for information. When the method did now not work, because of bureaucratic inconsistencies inside the procedure, the Vermas zeroed in on a ache point and a unique commercial enterprise possibility.

They had been decided to do some thing for the u . S . A . And as a consequence, determined to make it their lifestyles’s work to construct a primary-of-its-kind digital map database of India – an asset for the u . S .. It changed into a herculean assignment, because of India’s massive and varied geographical and topographical diversities.

Realising this, they took a totally practical technique. They determined to build the database: Top Down and Bottoms Up.

Top down: some thing paper maps had been to be had, they traced them digitally the usage of pills and other IT and electronic devices. This allowed them to zoom in and out on numerous attributes of statistics. Bottoms up intended virtually going and surveying special elements of the country. The duo prepare a group, who almost walked down the streets and bylanes of the u . S . A . And carried out physical area surveys.

25 years of research, a crew of extra than 400 surveyors, post-physical and satellite tv for pc surveys and the organisation now has a repository of greater than 2 Cr records points, which includes 3-D records visualisations, telematics, and navigation systems beneath its belt. All this through a consumer-funded business version. Their journey began with Coca Cola coming onboard as an employer purchaser. Later on, they counted gamers like Marico, Hindustan Unilever, and the Indian Defence offerings as their eneterprise clients.  The wide variety of organisation clients for MapmyIndia grew to 500 by the early 2000s.

How Does Map Data Collection Work

Let’s simplify and give an explanation for this through an example.

It’s very much like the procedure that is going into making an Aadhaar and, and on the equal time, may be very distinctive. When getting an Aadhaar ID, an man or woman is going to an enrollment centre and the authorities officials accumulate one hundred attributes. Eighty% of them belong to an person’s physical features, and the rest is achieved by using the information manually provided. They professionally map human beings as individuals with specific identities.

MapmyIndia has executed some thing very comparable by means of sending four hundred+ surveyors within the subject. Over the ultimate 25 years, in which they went and accrued loads of attributes approximately each place. The collected attributes consist of constructing footprints, doorsteps, ground wide variety, flat variety, photos, types of homes and so on, among other matters. It is thru this statistics, that the organization has created a facts repository, a digital map of the united states of inter-linked records with all those geographical markers and coordinates. It has additionally entered into more than one hundred strategic partnerships with tech and advertising organizations, to facilitate the manner of facts collation quicker.

In terms of verticals, MapmyIndia addresses four key markets — direct clients (through loose and paid app/maps), car (forty% of revenue), cell Internet (20%), and organisations and authorities (40% of revenue).

2004: MapMyIndia.Com Becomes India’s First Interactive Mapping Portal

1998 noticed satellite tv for pc imagery becoming to be had inside the u . S .. This brought about quite a few productivity enhancement for the employer. Collecting records have become way easier and the entire system turned into improved hundreds. That’s what enabled the organization to release MapMyIndia’s website in 2004 – claimed to be the first interactive mapping portal of India. Within months, as reported with the aid of the organization, it turned into getting five,000-6,000 particular traffic an afternoon.

The yr additionally marked the entry of the prodigal son, Rohan Verma, a Stanford engineering graduate and currently the CTO of MapMyIndia. He constructed the portal where everyone should get admission to these maps free of charge.

Rohan begins candidly, “So, I did my initial studies, and discovered that India had not anything like this. In america, Yahoo! Maps were very famous then. The UK had it, as did Singapore and Australia. So I had some excellent examples to analyze from. By reviewing these products I were given an awesome sense of what the business should be like, how need to the products paintings in this Internet mapping global and we, accordingly, released the first interactive mapping portal of India.”

After three years, the corporation launched a pan-India GPS navigation device in 2007, known as MapMyIndia navigator. This became exceptional from the net portal, because now customers had a device in their motors that they might just observe to reach their preferred destination. It presented turn-by way of-flip help in real-time, to the destination. This flow led the corporation to capture a huge amount of the automotive marketplace share. Car groups started imparting the organisation’s GPS tool as an add-on, a further accessory.

They began supplying a hint display screen navigation system built into the auto. Marquee clients like Ford, General Motors, Mahindra, and BMW have been a number of the first few essential clients for this contact display navigation machine launched via the business enterprise. The vehicle corporations licensed the navigation programs from MapmyIndia for an undisclosed charge.

Companies like MagicBricks, MakeMyTrip, Hyundai, and Honda joined the listing of MapMyIndia’s customers for his or her navigation tool. It in addition began offering place-primarily based services and navigation solutions to telecom companies like MTNL, Blackberry and so forth.

Adds Rohan, “The GPS product that we released led us into the automotive region in a very massive way. One of our most critical boom drivers of the company was getting embedded into the navigation structures in the cars.”

Fast ahead to today and 14 car manufacturers have forty vehicle fashions in general that come with built-in navigation from MapmyIndia. The employer also boasts of a ninety% market proportion on GPS navigation, by vehicle offers. Says Rohan, “if you see any automobile with a hint screen navigation machine, in all probability, its MapmyIndia’s.”

The startup raised investment in 2007 from Sid Talwar’s Lightbox Ventures. Lightbox’s funding in MapmyIndia become followed by every other $30 Mn being poured in over the following 4 rounds, over 12 years with the aid of Nexus Venture Partners, Qualcomm Ventures and Zenrin, a Japanese firm engaged inside the manufacturing and sale of map databases. Flipkart additionally has a stake inside the organisation.

Thirteen Years Later: Freemium APIs, IoT Device, A Map App & More

The corporation for the time being has divulged into a whole gamut of services. It has a whole MapMyIndia API stack. It aids developers who're seeking to build exciting apps powered by way of a geo-locational element, so the stack is hired there – as an instance, groups like OLX, Flipkart, Maps for blind and handicapped, smart parking systems. It gives navigation capability, monitoring and telematics, and area-based analytics.

The employer very consciously determined to go freemium for its API stack. When requested why, Rohan answered that it become performed to growth their attain. “We were sizeably worthwhile and have been considerably making desirable sales. So, the next logical step become to boom our reach and that best occurs while you supply the users the freedom and the capability to pick out from the first-rate feasible alternative. That has caused a massive upward thrust in builders adopting our APIs.”

The organisation now has 5,000 organisation clients. It additionally claims to have captured 80% marketplace share in sales within the region intelligence space. It has greater than 2,000 customers on its SaaS structures, that is used for fleet management, place analytics, etc. Amongst different things.

Also Read:- How Cosmetic Sellers use Product Packaging for Attractive Displays?

Other smaller players that it faces opposition within the IoT-powered GPS devices encompass Asset Tracker, TrakNTell and CaRPM. HyperTrack which had been in non-public beta due to the fact that February 2016 also launched in June 2016. Inc42 suggested just today that HyperTrack acquired Series A investment from the Founders Fund too.

Google Versus MapMyIndia: Taking On A Global Giant

For the longest time on this 25-year journey, the largest mission for the enterprise according to Rohan has been of scepticism and disbelief. “People came to us and stated, India does no longer have a map analyzing culture. In 2007 they instructed us, why could every person pay for a map? We stuck with the aid of the conviction, that if you construct some thing that has fee and is useable, it will generate commercial enterprise. We stayed targeted like that. It’s lucky that we were clever and we observed methods to monetise it.”

In 2006, Google have become popular in India. And, for this reason, MapMyIndia got here face to face with their biggest competitor: the worldwide tech large Google.

Says Rohan, “Most of my adult life has been spent seeing Google Maps do things after we've performed and gain more visibility. The way we've got attempted to deal with this is: our maps should be much higher and the answers that we provide must be of fantastic cost. We have now not performed by using the identical business version.”

Google does no longer fee an character for the use of their maps. It’s a free app at the Google Play Store. A consumer’s interest and time spent is the product. The enterprise also centered agency clients rather than the person person. “They focussed on being top enough so you use them, we focused on being better, so that you pay us. In a manner, it has labored out. I am no longer saying either is the loser, but we think that we've made the better solution. Of course, Google could be very famous, and we deliver it to them. Over time, I suppose they’ll try and get higher, and we’ll try and turn out to be greater popular.”

The organisation claims to under no circumstances being like Google Maps. It has nearly consciously tried to now not grow to be that. Rohan gives four fundamental areas wherein it’s beating the worldwide corporation: accuracy, availability, the quantity of complete facts they offer and their audience of organizations and organizations.

Google Maps is an app that lets in users to visualize information, however, the records supplied through MapMyIndia permits users to examine the geo-demographic information. Furthermore, the latter additionally claims to provide customised and supply bespoke answers. For eg, for a person looking to open a restaurant, MapmyIndia will inform them approximately the population density, the predicted monetary abilties of people residing in the close by regions, a 3-D visualisation of roads, and parking areas, among other matters.

It has visible a forty% y-o-y increase for the beyond decade. The predicted turnover for FY 2017-18 is pegged at $30 Mn (INR 200 Cr). The enterprise is concentrated on to reap a turnover of $a hundred and fifty five Mn (INR 1,000 Cr) with 30% PAT ( (Profit After Tax) inside the subsequent five years or so.

ELoc: A Digital Code To India’s Maps

MapMyIndia has supplied eLoc (electronic region) because the united states of america’s key to digital addresses. ELoc through MapmyIndia is, actually placed, the Aadhaar of addresses. The eLoc of any vicinity, be it a building/flat/office/enterprise/metropolis/village/locality/avenue and so forth, is a quick, 6-individual code (for e.G. 8GDTYX, or MMI000), which is easy to bear in mind, percentage, type, and offer.

ELoc claims to offer a comprehensive, accurate, and specific door-step stage, 3-D digital map database and flip-with the aid of-flip navigation solution. Hence, the strength of eLoc is such that once a person, commercial enterprise or respectable searches for a place by using getting into the code, they are able to see the appropriate map vicinity of that area, get turn-with the aid of-turn guidelines to the exact front doorstep, and additionally see statistics approximately that vicinity besides its region, including critiques, pictures and other information furnished by way of the area’s proprietor, companies, and governments.

Addressing the safety issues of sharing statistics through these codes, Rohan says, “The eLoc is intentionally impersonal. It’s an address and does no longer share any records that isn't publicly unknown. Plus, the codes generated are only algorithm-based totally. You can choose eLoc to be personal or public.Professionally moderated and quarterly reviewed by way of MapMyIndia.”

eLoc will potentially help various industries in India including logistics, cab aggregators and ecommerce, which collectively form a chief portion of the u . S . A .’s evolving virtual zone. Personalisation and localisation are the two foremost elements that MapMyIndia objectives to provide efficiency to, through the use of the brand new eLoc characteristic. As of now, almost 2 Cr points were mapped beneath the same.

With a team of extra than six hundred human beings which incorporates 400 surveyors, MapMyIndia updates its digital database each quarter. It takes into consideration the remarks of company customers, character users, on ground workforce, and its own surveyors as well.

A Consolidated View Of The MapMyIndia Offerings

The corporation is currently functioning in diverse verticals. Some of the modern day projects it has divulged consist of:

CBDT – It permits inside the growth of India’s taxpayer base by mapping out transactions on a virtual map, and consequently gives a extra correct assessment of earnings the usage of the region issue. The locational detail here is linked to a PAN card, that helps pick out where they (the taxpayers) are placed.

MapmyIndia is further powering the SBI Finder App. The app allows discover ATMs, cash PoS, cash petrol pump, nearest branch etc.Amazon Prime to call some ecommerce customers.

Furthermore, it also offers dependable humans-tracking and automobile tracking solutions. For e.G., MapmyIndia Safemate is a small-sized IoT tool with an extended battery life that can be used as a personal protection device for girls and kids.

Another offering, DriveMate – is a universally well matched (throughout all brands of motors manufactured inside the beyond 15 years), plug and play, GPS-based totally, automobile-tracking IoT tool. The product offers correct real-time information on motors viz. Place, pace, battery circumstance, engine (idling or killed), course violations and so forth.

MapmyIndia is likewise playing a key function in growing clever cities and Swacch Bharat tasks. The organization currently carried out India’s first GPS Guided Biometric System for the staff and Safaai Karmchaaris of the Ambala Municipal Corporation.

In April this yr, MapmyIndia announced the acquisition of Bengaluru-primarily based pioneer in VideoMaps, VIDTEQ, which allows a person to view a video clip of the complete path from any supply to any destination within a city.

Building A Digital Twin Of The Real World

Rohan and anyone in his agency consider in being loopy enough to dream the not possible and then do it. As to what their destiny plans are, he is taking a second and says, “The center of the agency is that we construct maps. When my mother and father commenced it, that they had a vision that 80% of all the facts available in India can have a locational element to it. The end result is what you see these days. The vision we've can sound audacious, and ridiculous, but if we will model the real world digitally so that we will simulate how that reality works, it'd boost up our selection-making power by multi folds.


A real-view. A virtual dual of the real world. This ultimate map, this big undertaking that we've is to construct a virtual map of the actual global, in which we've got modelled the actual world. A complete 360-diploma, indoor, out of doors, wherein we've got an idea of how the arena capabilities. The idea is that in the future, the virtual dual of the world must be made, for virtual international revel in. And we simply trust this.”

The enterprise has additionally grow to be an quintessential part of the experience-hailing atmosphere too, running with Ola Cabs, Uber, and Avis Car Rental. “From the transport attitude, with out desirable places, factors, right-first-class maps and a robust database at the building level, no cellular Internet organization will be successful,” says Verma.

Editor’s Note

Maps are getting more and more crucial for each businesses and individuals. The Indian location-based offerings (LBS) marketplace was infrequently really worth $7.7 Mn (INR 50 Cr) approximately seven years in the past. Contrast that with nowadays, whilst it is estimated to be a $310 Mn (INR 2,000 Cr) market. Players inclusive of Google, Tele Atlas, Nokia, Binge and TomTom are the groups which can be the important thing drivers and are continuously making an investment to keep the mapmaking business up to date. Among them, whoever has the right transport version will prevail.

At the quit of the day, much like some other companies, cartography too is being disrupted with the aid of new technology. As navigation gadgets lose their physical contours and emerge in an embedded avatar, MapmyIndia will have to keep looking at opportunity routes to attain its final vacation spot.

Author Biography.

Editorial Team
Editorial Team

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