SMS advertisements, which used to irritate cellphone users, could soon turn out to be money- spinners with a Bangalore-based firm claiming to pay those who willingly receive the messages.
MGinger.Com, started by three engineers, works on the principle of "permission-based marketing".
"People can make anywhere between Rs. 300 to Rs. 1,600 per month through this," Chaitanya Nallan, its CEO said.
"When users get paid by us, whether it is Rs. 300 or Rs. 500, it can atleast cover their mobile phone bills," he added.
Chaitanya, an alumnus of IIT Kharagpur, who graduated from the Indian School of Business, Hyderabad last month, said the idea originated from Veerendra Shivhare, the Chief Operations Officer of the firm.
The third member of the team is the chief technical officer of the firm, Anil, an alumnus of IIT-Kanpur.
"People generally get SMS carpet-bombed. Advertisers get mobile phone numbers illegally and bombard them with unwanted ads without permission. Veerendra was so fed up with such messages. We hit upon this idea of targeted advertising with users' permission, for which they get paid," Chaitanya said.
He said people could log on to mGinger.Com and register themselves along with their mobile phone numbers and the ads they want to receive. They can choose any number of ads and these will be sent at the time they want, he said.
"For each ad received, the mobile phone user gets paid 20 paise. They can refer their friends and relatives for which they get 10 paise per referral and 5 paise for every ad their friends referrals receive," he added.