We want to create impact in rural India, says WhatsApp India head

Speaking at the Brands of New India Mega Summit, Abhijit Bose, Head of India, WhatsApp shared his thoughts on the scale and impact WhatsApp can create in empowering every business from across sectors.
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“Equality, no bias, democratisation… is what the internet today is all about and India is so well placed. Currently, India is the most democratic version of the mobile internet anywhere in the world,” said Abhijit Bose, Head of India, WhatsApp, while highlighting the opportunities WhatsApp sees in the Indian market and WhatsApp’s efforts of digitising and scaling India’s small business economy.

Speaking to Shradha Sharma, Founder and CEO, YourStory on ‘Why is this India’s decade and what the future holds’ at the recently held Brands of New India Mega Summit, Abhijit spoke about “leveraging WhatsApp to do more”.

“In order to be more proactive, apart from starting new programs and deepening our services, we understand that we are in a position where we can be an ally for India and provide solutions [that’ll help the country grow],” he said.

Simplicity with solutions

“To strengthen small and micro businesses, we have added many features to the small business app while maintaining the user experience WhatsApp is known and loved for,” said Abhijit highlighting that the platform has more than 15 million active small businesses conducting their business through WhatsApp.

The fireside chat also explored the various solutions WhatsApp has undertaken in the past few years to deepen its access in India wherein financial and healthcare inclusion are some examples as more and more regulated financial entities and hospitals are switching to WhatsApp to connect with citizens seamlessly.

“WhatsApp adds a layer of simplicity, trust, and reach which makes it an ecosystem that can help right from a micro business to someone as huge as the Government of India … the innovations and micro solutions can come from the entrepreneurs and our platform gives them the reach and the scale,” added Abhijit, speaking about their plans of adding community and empowerment groups on the platform to help them to scale.

The road ahead

“A lot of things are going to come together in the next five years,” quipped Abhijit while presenting an overview of the future of WhatsApp payments. “For us the problem statement is not scaling payments, it’s about scaling services and transactions and payments is the last leg,” he said.

Reiterating WhatsApp’s efforts in strengthening operations and reach for startups, Abhijit spoke about the company’s aspirations of building a full-stack solution for various sectors and economy at large. “Irrespective of the sector, ours is a democratic platform. If you have a good idea, you can get it up and running, and get the scale. So WhatsApp is available for everybody,” he added.

“What we can uniquely do is get the next 400 million [online and give them access to digital services]. Our aspiration is to create impact especially in rural India,” said Abhijit, signing off.

You can watch videos from all the sessions of Brands of New India Mega Summit here. Don't forget to tag #BrandsOfNewIndia when you share your experience, learnings, and favourite moments from the event on social media.

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