Mobscale: how to pivot and hack foreign languages

It seems to be almost a tradition of having an Indian team in our batches. This time it is marketing automation platform for mobile Apps – Mobscale. Their COO Pavan is sharing his experience with pivoting and hacking large tech events with Google Translate.

When building our previous product – a smart home solution – we were one of the first 2 or 3 people across the world doing such a thing. We got a lot of media coverage and did really well on Kickstarter campaign. However, there was something wrong with our calculations, so we needed more funds than we initially thought to actually build the product. That’s when we realized that by the the time we raise those funds and come into the market, our competitors would have already been way ahead. But we wanted to be the first ones, the pioneers. We lost that window of opportunity and took a strategic decision to not move forward. In convincing the team to radically change what we were doing, living together at the same house, being really honest with each other and being young enough to take another leap of faith, helped.

Another thing I wanted to share was how to hack language wise difficult conversations at tech events. I went to Mobile World Congress in Spain. On the first day I was walking around, trying to talk to people, and lot of them could not speak English properly or had trouble understanding my Indian accent. I had a really hard time. Next day I started using Google translator – I would say something, then give mobile phone with translation to my conversation partner, they would say something back and give the phone to me. I’m sure from aside it looked super funny, I was laughing at myself while doing that. But it actually worked, we got a collaboration partner in Spain. My learning was that sometimes things that feel funny or seem that would never work can actually be really helpful to you. So don’t stop trying!


Mobscale is a marketing automation platform solving the problem of churn in mobile Apps using personalized, contextual notifications through push, in-app, email and SMS channels. Team: Kallidil Kalidasan, Pavan Kumar, Nandakumar K S, Harikrishnan C V, Akhilesh JayaKumar