Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The SMS Story.

I have been wanting to post some incidents which have taken place during our journey with IBD. The "SMS Story" is one of them. I dont know whether you see these are coincidences or someone out there helpling us.
Our SMS helpline was ready. The Servers were setup. And the system was working well. We decided to send mails to our 32800 active donors to register on our sms helpine. In the initial days it took 5 sms to register as a donor. The cost of one SMS according to our SMS plan was .30 Paisa. We made our mail to be sent to our donor and suddenly we realised that if all our 32800 active donors were to migrate to our sms helpline we would have to pay for 164000 SMS x .30 paisa + taxes. This amount would come to 49,200/-. Now this amount was beyond us. We did not have so much money to pay for the SMS bill. Just for migration of our donors. There were other alternatives like just copying the data into our SMS helpline database. But we did not take that route. I was quite disturbed . I could not sleep the whole night the day i realised the implication of runnging the sms helpline . How could i pay so much money. Where would i go. I had already exausted all my funds for the SMS helpline. I needed to pay for the application. I needed another server. Other hardware .
I put the plan on hold to send mail to the donors to register on the SMS helpline. I though of an option that i would write to Mr Sunil Mittal Owner of Airtel if they could sponsor our SMS. I made a proposal and sent it by Fax to the Airtel Corporate office. I then met Mr Parimal from Airtel who had helped me get the Premium Number 9665500000 from Airtel at a discount (this is another story) . I told Mr Parimal my story. And how i has sent a letter to Mr Mittal for sponsorship of our SMS. He said sir i have some good news for you. He told me Airtel has launched an Unlimited SMS Plan for Rs 99 per month where we could send 15,000 SMS in a month. I was just stunned. I could not believe him . I told him that he must be making a mistake. He said no sir i got the mail an hour back. Yes indeed Airtel had launched an SMS plan with 15,000 sms in Rs 99. I was so relieved that my work will be now done in a few hundred rupees. Mr Ravinder my friend from Dharamshala then asked me to get the donor registration done in 2 sms. Which we implemented quite successfully.

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