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Discover ‘Messaging As The New Internet’ At India Internet Day (IID) 2016

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As per NASSCOM, India was ranked at the third position in the startups across the globe with over 4200 startups. In 2015, there was a 100 percent jump in the startups. The funding touched $5 billion. Out of these billion dollar investments, over $700 million were invested in the early-stage financing. India surely made a striking hit with respect to startups and entrepreneurship.

Well, the good news is over. In the first three months of 2016, there was a fall of investment deals. A fall of 35% in the first quarter of the year was noted. It is worrisome that startups are not doing well and the fall has been significant. This is the aim of India Internet Day (IID) 2016. The focus is on the ways we can pull those investments back and attract the investors. The growth with respect to smartphones, data usage, and internet access is the focus of this great event.

The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE) is one of the largest non-profit communities for entrepreneurs across the globe.

The niche of this organization is the power of ideas that can change the face of entrepreneurship through mentoring, education, networking, incubating, and funding. Among the social media partners of the India Internet Day (IID) 2016, the list goes like BookMyShow, Collegedunia Web Pvt Ltd, Digital Defynd, Indian Angel Network, Ah ventures India Pvt Ltd, Startup Grind, MotivateMe, Justdial, Tech In Asia, DrumUp, and Digital Vidya which is Asia’s largest Digital Marketing Training Company.

What is the Theme of #iDay 2016

The tagline of one of the India’s largest event, the India Internet Day (IID) 2016 is ‘If you are reading this chances are you have a stake in the Internet economy’ which beautifully explains the theme of this event. The India Internet Day (IID) 2016 is the largest Internet Conference of India with an aim of ‘Emerging from the Froth’. Some of the key areas that will be focused at this conference are what are the factors entrepreneurs should focus on to build and scale sustainability, what are the changing models of growth in Entrepreneur 2020, what are the tools and perspectives to focus on for creating a strong foundation, new ways of efficiently doing mobile marketing, and benchmarking against the successfully scaled companies

Happening every year, India Internet Day is held by TiE at Delhi-NCR. This year, the India Internet Day (IID) 2016 is happening today, 29th April at Delhi, the capital city of the country. The event is taking place at the Leela Ambience, Gurgaon.

There were many sessions like Entrepreneur 2020 Changing face of Indian Entrepreneur, Panel Internet India Report: Connecting a Billion Indians, #iDayTalk, Workshop Mobile Marketing, #iDay Stars: StartUp Showcase, Panel Love Conquers All: Customer Delight for growth, and more.

Among these, one of the most interesting session is a panel discussion on Messaging as the new Internet – Opportunities for Startups. The key takeaway from this panel discussion is how you grow your company by leveraging on the messaging ecosystem. This panel discussion was moderated by Dev Khare, MD, LSVP India. There were interesting panelists in this discussion that is Kavin Bharti Mittal, Founder, and CEO, Hike; Nilay Arora – Country Head, WeChat (Tencent India); Pratyush Prasanna, Co-Founder, MagicX, and Saurabh Arora, Founder and CEO, Lybrate.  The moderator started by asking about what the panelists’ companies are like and the size of the opportunities in India by asking the panelist about the usage of internet in India. Dev Khare also talked about the trends of messaging saying an average person has 3 to 4 apps on their mobile.

Kavin Bharti Mittal – Hike

Kavin started off by talking about how Hike is the new kind of messaging apps. He further talked about the massive opportunities available in India to do something different as there are billions of people who are coming online for the first time via mobile.

As put forward by the moderator, Dev Khare on what is the real 3G and 2G in India and the size of opportunities, Kavin Mittal talked about 170-180 million active users in the country. Out of that, 30% are on fully monthly active pack. For these 80-90 million users, the monthly active pack is like the second nature of life. His thoughts on properties of messaging go by comparing browser and desktop to mobile and cloud computing.

Humans are social species and messages are important. However, today, smartphones are dumb. This is because the interaction model is broken. Messaging plays a huge role where most of the market is long tail. For instance, nowadays warehousing can be in people’s houses. This is the power of messaging.

When Dev Khare questioned about payment on mobile messaging? Who will do it? Mittal talked said there is going to be no room for independent payment companies to survive in India. This also happens in messaging people through transactions, B2B, and financial services.

Nilay Arora – Country Head, WeChat (Tencent India)

Nilay Arora started off by telling the expansion of WeChat. There are 700 million active users monthly across globally. WeChat is a multi-purpose platform over messaging. Talking about scale, there are 8 million official accounts which are running through the official system.

Messaging serves as building blocks that OS can’t provide. For instance, social layer. My friends are present on that app and it makes easy to interact with them. Another point is about authentication. The presence of others makes it authentic. The payment need not rely on service provider on weChat. Notification is another building block

There are unique trends are coming up. For instance, in China, you can go the ATM without ATM card as long as you are linked on Wechat. You can withdraw money without using an ATM card and enter a secret pin sent on your WeChat message. Another example is consulting with a doctor is happening on the chat.

Also, commerce and messaging are becoming interlinked. Commerce will be affected by the messages as long as you are influenced by social circle. For instance, you see something on Amazon and share it with your friends over messages to decide whether to buy it or not. What is available on WeChat and not others is that if this app becomes one more tab in the browser, it becomes one more friend on your address book.

Pratyush Prasanna, Founder and CEO, MagicX

Pratyush put forwarded his company in words as ‘conversational commerce platforms‘. People use interaction for information and then move towards doing commerce and other transactions. They will do commerce on this platform via chat. They are first movers in this space.

From consumer perspective, there are two things to note:

1. Natural language interaction: That is you are actually chatting with someone. If you pose a question, you will get an answer from someone.

2. Messaging is stateless. For instance, I send a question but it is not necessary to get an answer in real time. If you do the same on messaging apps, you will get a response within no time.

You can leverage upon these two phenomena. This is a richer way of engaging users. On being asked if . He said consumers do a lot of product discovery and then buy. However, a lot of that information is lost because of the present incumbents as don’t provide these two things. Strong messaging can do that. The importance of payment is crucial. Once you download the app, payment is one button away.

Saurabh Arora, Founder and CEO, Lybrate

Lybrate is India’s first and largest doctor online consultation platform. One can get consultation from doctors via text, voice or video. There are over 90,000 doctors and monthly 5 million interactions take place.

From app developers perspective, there are two things to keep in mind while developing apps

1. frequency use case.

2. depth of information required to fullfil that need

For the mobile app, if there are low frequency use case and low in-depth information then it is good. For example, you have to use it once in a while. Messaging is a new browser. It is important to focus on better user interaction model which is required for a transaction to happen. Today discussion on health can be done via messaging. However, utlizing messaging is mainly for light weight interactions. For instance, asking the doctors about backache you are having for last 5 days. These light weight questions were earlier done by google but now we have the messaging apps. Lybrate takes payment taken from users through the normal payment gateways.

Do you feel messaging can take the startups to a new level? We would like to hear from you on the same!

Sakshi is a content marketer during the day and a reader by night. She writes content sprinkled with a twisted imagination. She has done her graduation in psychology from Delhi University and has an insane love for history.
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