An increasing number of companies is bringing out apps, if not shifting to apponly mode, to reach out to more customers, including those on the move.
Rahul Chandra is managing director of Helion Ventures, the venture capital firm that’s perhaps the most bullish on mobile-first companies in India today a partner once commented that he would not consider any startup that did not have a mobile app. However, Chandra himself has only 18 apps on his phone.
“It is prime real estate,” the investor who has backed companies such as Make-MyTrip, TaxiForSure and Ezetap said about the space on this phone. “The people who have been incentivised with discounts may install something, but keep it for as little as a few hours.”
An increasing number of companies is bringing out apps, if not shifting to apponly mode, to reach out to more customers, including those on the move. A mobile application is recognised for its high potential of boosting user engagement and sales conversion.
India is emerging as a mobile-first country with one of the fastest-growing smartphone penetration rates in the world expected to reach 213 million next month, according to the Internet & Mobile Association of India. The number of mobile-app companies founded in India almost doubled to 444 in 2014 from 240 in 2013, according to data from startup industry tracker Tracxn!. Businesses ranging from ecommerce giant Flipkart to food tech company Faaso’s are investing heavily in mobile strategy.
However, the average Indian stores no more than two pages of applications on a smartphone and is unlikely to have more than one app for each category food, ecommerce or payments. The question is: Which apps will make a successful “land grab” for precious app space?
“There will be three main categories the essentials such as entertainment; the criticals such as health and travel, and the discretionary such as ecommerce and local commerce,” he said. In this competitive landscape, relevance is key. “If a product has utility for the consumer to open it at least once or twice a week, they will keep it,” said Sameer Grover, founder and CEO of offline marketplace CrownIT.