When was the last time we ever sent an SMS to our friends? With the advent of messaging apps like Whatsapp and Hike, SMSes have become passé, but they are still a huge channel by which information can be provided to the masses. The only SMSes that we receive these days are usually very important like bus or train ticket confirmation, alerts from banks about transactions, or messages that parents receive from their child’s school, although one would get the odd spam message as well. Now, do we really know which ones are important and which one deserves being ignored when the notification message pops up? TBOX, which creates a better SMS experience, provides a solution.
Mihir Mohan, 34, founder of TBOX and a Mechanical Engineer from the 2002 batch of IIT-Kanpur, worked as a Software Engineer with Virtusa India and BEA India and was also the co-founder of N-Net Technologies and Unamia.com. He was also a Consultant for NewsHunt, Mchek, Smartowner and ZipDial before starting TBOX.
A team of four worked on TBOX for almost nine months before it went public in May 2014. All of us have heard of the new age saying ‘There’s an app for that’, which implies that there are apps even for the most mundane of things. Imagine an app where your SMS experience becomes smart and secure. TBOX does this and more.
Currently, anyone with access to your phone can read details about your banking transactions. TBOX not only organises and cleans up your SMS inbox but it also secures your messages. TBOX automatically categorises your message as business or personal and tags your messages based on the sender. Different tabs are assigned for each of them, such as banks and shopping among others. One can also add custom created tags and messages, while messages of a certain category can be password-protected.
A TBOX user can chat for free with another TBOX user, one can also block and filter unwanted messages and spam. Mihir says TBOX is also going to introduce a TBOX web companion making it possible for people to access their communication anywhere on the web.
Available only on Android 4.0 and above, TBOX was dubbed by a user as “the gmail for SMS”. The biggest learning for Mihir, who has worked with many a startup, is that no matter the size of the setbacks, the people responsible should have a razor sharp focus on the company and nothing else.
To gain more traction, TBOX is interacting with its existing users, tracking issues and fixing them fast. We use Facebook campaigns and are also planning a ‘Swacha SMS’ campaign requesting people to clean up their inbox and reject unwanted SMSes, adds Mihir, piggy-backing on the now popular Swachh Bharat tagline. Started with an initial investment of `10 lakh, TBOX’s short-term goal is to get to one million users by the end of this year.