India has a diverse population consisting of multiple regional ethnolinguistic groups. In simpler words - “Unity in Diversity.” What’s amazing is the way it all functions. To a 3rd person it may seem chaotic but we Indians have found an order amidst all of this. Even in case of technology - we find our own novel ways 'Jugaad' to use it. 'Whatsapp' is one such app that is the most popular among Indians for uses beyond personal communication. It enabled one to send friendly forwards and form groups but now has become the preferred choice for business communication - easily replacing email in many cases.
I would be a millionaire if I made One Rupee every time someone said, “Whatsapp Kar De!” (Send it on Whatsapp). The introduction of Whatsapp Business literally is a case where the user behaviour has hinted upon the direction the app should take.
Let’s take a look at some numbers
- 1.5 Bn Monthly Active Users as of Dec 2017
- 60 Bn Monthly Messages
- 200 Mn users in India (Feb 2017)
- 84% Indian SMB’s consider Whatsapp as the means to communicate with their customers
- 80% Indian SMB’s consider Whatsapp helps them grow their business
The Indian Condition - is such that we have found innovative ways to push through the limitations of our environment. Whatsapp started off as a messaging app but found itself becoming the preferred choice of the older generation. So much so that it has reduced the usage of Facebook in many cases.
Think about it, slow internet, a consistent interface and a simple user experience make it the go-to app for all things information, communication, as well as entertainment. Businesses also found their space out here with people utilizing WhatsApp groups as their own micro-marketplaces.
You want to post about your sale, class, or even fitness schedules and diet plans - just find the right group and off you go.
The future - is messaging as a platform (MAAP). As can be seen, more and more apps are integrating their own chat systems to interact with customers. This creates a more personalised experience for the end user. It truly is the simplest way to provide a better service experience.
Now consider the reverse - we know people are using WhatsApp or other messaging services. So why not provide service on a platform where we know for sure people are present. This simple statement truly underlines the strategy behind WhatsApp business.
Whatsapp business is one step towards a more personalised economy. The field is opening up more with each new upgrade. It’s totally not about the features - it’s more about the Market Demand. And this time Whatsapp has supplied with a new set of solutions that is going to enable small, mini and micro - businesses all over the world to communicate, solve and help their customers - through literally a tap on the screen.
P.S - Whatsapp Payment goes live in India (still in beta though)
As I am writing this article on Whatsapp Business, I am seeing reports of WhatsApp Payment going live, albeit in beta though. They have been working on digital, peer-to-peer payments for quite a long time now considering they got the approvals from the government in July last year.