Carving a model success in mobile marketing
Venturing into a revolutionary industry requires one to be
constantly updated of latest developments and be vigilant of the ever
changing consumer tastes and demands. zMessenger (Pvt) Ltd CEO, Jayomi
Lokuliyana the premier mobile marketing company in Sri Lanka, considers
meeting the challenges of every day life as a stimulant to be
As the Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer at zMessenger she has
played a pivotal role in shaping the mobile marketing industry in Sri
Lanka. Jayomi has led mobile marketing and campaign strategy for major
brands, agencies, direct marketers, social missions and other
enterprises. Her appetite to make a difference in a field where numerous
business opportunities are available is a proven success as she was able
to carve a niche market with a novel approach. Jayomi’s journey to
success is sure to inspire emerging young entrepreneurs in selecting a
sustainable business proposition.
She was interviewed by Daily News Business.
Excerpts of the interview.
Q. How do you describe your line of business?
A. zMessenger is a mobile based business solution provider.
The services range include bulk SMS enterprise management, aggregator
services, SMS and 2D code campaigns, brand mobile sites, mobile
sweepstakes, sampling and contesting, mobile video, custom mobile apps,
social media integration, mCommerce and NFC solutions. This is the tenth
year of operation and was started with an initial capital of Rs one
million under technology incubator concept which was an initiative to
promote IT businesses where start- up facilities were provided. With 3
to 4 employees at the inception the venture has grown to employ over 40
members including the developers. We made painstaking measures to
educate and explain the potential customers regarding the concept and
scope of our services and the business grew gradually.
We do citizen’s journalism, market research and gather quick opinion.
Initially we tied up with one private TV station and now we have a
number of media stations. The company was involved in successful realty
and live shows. This is the most cost effective communication medium.
This was the first level of business and we expanded the same platform
to media stations which generated a new revenue stream with interactive
programs with value added services by providing a variety of products
including astrology, beauty tips, grooming and cricket alerts and have
build up a subscriber base of 700,000.
We will be venturing into mobile commerce this year and we recently
started “Star Friends” involving 16 registered stars where the full
service will be available from next month through all the mobile
Q. How do you manage time to handle your personal life?
Yayomi with Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa
A. I have two sons Dhivyan 8 years and Dhirain 4 years. Due to
heavy involvement in business finding time is not easy. I work on a
particular time schedule and allocate sufficient time for them. My
parents give me a great support in bringing them up and this has made my
Q. What motivated you to venture into business?
A. I have this flare to take risk. I believe in something new
and innovation, it gives me the drive to move forward. When business is
taking off it gives immense pleasure and venturing into a new medium was
my dream where a market study indicated huge potential.
Q. What are your goals?
A. My goal would be to steer a technology based company to
expand its horizons to become a global company venturing into parallel
markets of Bangladesh, Nepal and Maldives. In 2008, we partnered an
Indonesian company where the market is well ahead in the IT industry.
As the country has very good developers we will be able to go into
the global market easily. I want to be a role model for female
entrepreneurs and broad base their outlook as the support system is more
towards the males.
Q. How do you face the challenges of competition?
A. We are a small company competing with giants in the
industry. We always change our playing field which allows us to keep
We constantly innovate adding new features and in-depth services. We
recently introduce mobile video and promoted the use of mobile specific
ads where it became a whole new dimension in mobile application.
Q. What are your views on facilities for emerging
A. While more encouragement is necessary by way of system
support and guidance the banking industry should look at the business
projects in more positive manner. Its approach should be to promote
entrepreneurs and not to turn down their applications for funding. This
proactive role needs to be more entrepreneur- friendly.
Q. What is your specialty?
A. Constant innovation and creativity for a total solution
make us stand out. We take up challenges and never give up. We present
our products to operators and when they accept them it become public
Q. What are your achievements in family and business?
A. We were the 2005 winners of the Sri Lanka Institute of
Marketing’s Brand Champion for the Most Innovative Brand of the Year at
the SLIM Brand Excellence Awards.
I have also served on the Executive Committees of Chartered Institute
of Marketing and Sri Lanka Institute of Marketing.
I impart my knowledge as a lecturer for marketing and has lectured at
several leading marketing schools. I earned the Master of Business
Administration from the Postgraduate Institute of Marketing, University
of Sri Jayewardenepura and an Postgraduate Diploma in Marketing from the
Chartered Institute of Marketing UK.
As a CEO responsible for the company’s overall operations, marketing
and sales, we have successfully completed mobile marketing campaigns,
subscriber acquisition campaigns, interactive game shows and
I was also responsible for the implementation of long-term mobile
advocacy campaigns for several social missions, of which the campaign
for ‘Monitoring Election Violence via SMS’ won a commended award from
World GSM Awards for ‘Best Use of Mobile in an Emergency”. The company
secured the Sri Lanka Cricket mobile rights where it is recognized under
the law for commercial purposes to provide updates.
One of our products ‘my horoscope” was given an award at the recently
concluded e-Swarnabhimani ceremony.
The company entered into exclusive agreements with Unilever,
SriLankan Airline and HSBC among our prestige clientele.
Q. What is your message to society?
A. My message is more directed towards the youth and they need
to have a pragmatic shift in thinking when embarking on a career path.
They should look forward to entrepreneurship and become entrepreneurs
driving the development of the country. In this era they can do great
things with the technology. I am working towards a society of this
nature where prosperity becomes the centre stage.