Marketing, Technology

Whatsapp – The meteoric rise and Impact in India in 2013

Whatsapp and its rapid market capture in India

Whatsapp groups are immensely popular in India

When the world talks of Social Networking, they talk of Facebook or twitter, but when India talks about social networking in 2013, Indians talk of Whatsapp. Facebook is still the application that the web-enabled junta use, but in terms of engagement, whatsapp has clearly beaten them all.

In fact, a lot of Mobile telecom companies are claiming Whatsapp to be the trigger why people have started using their GPRS or 3G plans. Whatsapp has become THAT utility which has started making people look at stuff like 3G seriously. While this sounds incredulous, India as a country is totally capable of actually exhibiting that behavior.

2013 could be summarised as a year of true smartphone adoption ( even commoditization in India) . With such smartphones, users are becoming aware of the utility of 3G etc. For example, my family members today ask me of 3G availability in some region of India before they leave for that place. But in this age, conventional wisdom would have placed a bet on Facebook becoming more and more dominant on mobile in India. However, that hasn’t happened. How did whatsapp actually capture mindspace in India? Here are my top three reasons ¬†why Whatsapp became so popular in India –

1. “BBM for all” – Around 24 to 30 months back, Whatsapp actually started growing due to its positioning as a cross platform messaging. At that time, BBM was immensely popular in India.

2. Made free by Android – As part of Android’s growth, Google was promoting Whatsapp as a free app on the Android ecosystem which lead to zooming adoption rates across the world, particularly India

3. Simple, ad free & Social – With the social network coming on Whatsapp, there was an inherent lock in, and now, it was further increasing due to simple usability of Whatsapp per se.

Whatsapp – the utility and impact it has caused –

1. Largest personal & enterprise social network + collaboration – A lot of teams at the workplace have an internal whatsapp and this is increasing collaboration

2. Largest Alumni networking tool – Be it your school group, college group or graduation class group- every major institution that people joined have a corresponding Whatsapp group now.

3. Always on, Always Live, easiest – You can whatsapp when travelling, listening to music or as a refresher during office hours. This wasn’t the case with Facebook as it was blocked in a lot of offices

Right from a wife telling her husband that she is safe but under the rubble after a building collapse in Africa to wishing Happy Independence Day to Indians all over India, Whatsapp has had a deep impact already & in my opinion would be the top mobile app in India by a long way.

Like what you read? Share in your network!
Business, Entrepreneurship, Public Issues

Micro-Insurance in Mumbai Local

Mumbai LocalEvery major city in the world needs a lifeline in terms of transporation. In London they call it tube, in NYC they call it subway and in our very own amchi Mumbai they call it Local.

Quoting from Wikipedia

The system carries more than 6.6 million commuters on a daily basis and constitutes more than half of the total daily passenger capacity of the Indian Railways itself. It has one of the highest passenger densities of any urban railway system in the world.

Traveling in Mumbai Local is an experience in itself when it is fully crowded. But this post is about something else, it is about how Indians can find opportunity almost anywhere!

During a visit to Bombay I heard about this new innovative Micro-Insurance scheme for Mumbai Local. Everyday when a person goes to his office and comes back by Mumbai Local he spends atleast Rs 15-20 on his travel. If he gets a monthly pass then it is definitely more than Rs 150 for a month. If you get caught without a ticket or a pass then their is a fine of Rs 250.

Now here is how the micro-insurance model works-

  1. You pay Rs 50 per month to the insurer and travel without any ticket or pass.
  2. In case you get caught then you pay Rs 250 and keep the receipt of the fine.
  3. The insurer will give you Rs 250 for the receipt but you will be barred from the program for a fixed duration.

Now the insurer is basically counting on 2 factors – number of people who take up his scheme, and probability of getting caught without a ticket / pass. If 1,000 people adopt for this scheme in a month then he collects Rs 50,000 from them. If 200 people out of these 1,000 get caught then the insurer makes nothing. Thus if the probability of getting caught is less than 0.2 then the scheme works! With more than 6.6 million commuters each day, this probability can be easily achieved by insuring people across different routes and stations.


Is this legal? No Way!

Is this working? Yes!

Is it profitable? An even bigger Yes!

Like what you read? Share in your network!