Creating tribes that conquer: Karam Malhotra tells SHAREit’s India story
People across Tier I and Tier II cities in India largely depend on this app for entertainment and social engagement. And no, we aren’t talking about WhatsApp or Facebook. The app is SHAREit.
Today, the startup is India’s largest content-integrated distribution platform, and the app has consistently been ranked among the top 10 apps on Google Play, across various markets including India.
While the rise of the platform’s popularity in its initial days in India can be attributed to its being a sharing platform with an easy interface, today it has evolved into a full-fledged digital content ecosystem.
Karam Malhotra, CEO, SHAREit, decoded their success story at TechSparks 2018. Defining what the startup is all about today, Karam said, “SHAREit is a platform where users share content and digital products like apps by leveraging social connections. In essence, it’s really a platform where people share, discover, learn and enjoy.”
Referencing the digital revolution in India where everyone has access to low-cost internet and online content, Karam said, “I get asked if people use SHAREit even now. And, the answer is more than ever. People now download more data, watch more content, and share even more.”
He shared some interesting facts about SHAREit:
• 30 percent of SHAREit’s users don’t use Facebook. This makes it a very interesting, different and incremental user base
• SHAREit can monitor all Android app installs in India that take place through the platform. This information helps them decode users’ true interests, and what are the top apps that get shared, installed and deleted.
• SHAREit accounts for 30 percent of all app installs in India
“We use a lot of our technology to understand what people are sharing,” he said.
Making users work for brands
Karam is a serial entrepreneur who is the co-founder of South Indian OTT platform FastFilmz, a startup that SHAREit recently acquired. He also co-founded Greatest Common Factor (GCF), an edtech company. Earlier, he worked as a senior analyst with McKinsey & Company. The self-professed numbers geek said,
“If we look at our growth story in India, it is humbling. Today, we have 400 million users on our platform and we are adding four new users every second.”
SHAREit has 1.5 billion users globally. While it has a dominant presence in Southeast Asia, and has been growing in the US. India continues to remain its largest market, where they have been present since its beginning three-and-half-years ago.
Karam also delved into the four ways in which SHAREit is reinventing user reach. This includes:
• Making their community organically work for brands
• Having KPIs that ads can’t move
• Having a 100 percent share of voice – both online or and offline
• Driving mobile popularity index
Karam shared a number of case studies from clients such as Coca Cola India and Dream11 – a leading fantasy cricket and football gaming platform – to highlight how SHAREit enables brands to achieve reach and omni-channel engagement. This includes offline and online actions such as visiting the brand’s website, downloading the app, or related engagements with task-based activities.
The SHAREit founder spoke about how their MissionClub strategy enables brands to engage users in areas where traditional ads failed, for instance getting dormant users to move from Sim 2 to Sim 1 and getting people to share content. “Essentially, through MissionClubs we are creating tribes that conquer, we drive micro-interaction between brand and users, and users’ tribe who earn rewards together."
He explained SHAREit’s new features, one of which includes enabling ads to work even in the airplane mode. Karan says, “That’s how we are able to deliver on our promise of being ‘always on even when data is gone’.
YourStory's annual extravaganza TechSparks brings together the best and the brightest from the startup ecosystem, corporate world, policy makers, and of course, the investor community. Over the years, it has grown to become India's most loved tech and startup platform for knowledge sharing and networking. The ninth edition of TechSparks also marks YourStory's 10th anniversary. A big thank you for all your support over the years and keep reading and watching YourStory.