Customers are biased towards bundled services. Do you agree with Vijay Shekhar Sharma?

Paytm founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma tweeted that "there is a significant bias for prebundled products" when talking about MapMyIndia versus Google Maps.

Customers are biased towards bundled services. Do you agree with Vijay Shekhar Sharma?

Friday March 04, 2022,

2 min Read

Earlier this week, founder of MapmyIndia, Rohan Verma, put out a tweet asking his followers and the Internet as a whole to amplify the message that his company was building maps for India that were better than their foreign counterparts.

A user responded by pointing out that the best product will win in a marketplace, and there is no need to bring in nationalism and the concept of Atmanirbhar to beat out competitors like Google Maps. In response, Paytm founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma entered the conversation to support Verma.

Saying that while good products do tend to win, customers tend to favour bundled products more.

What are bundled products?

Bundled products and services are those products that are provided alongside others from the same company to provide greater value as a package rather than by itself. For example, Apple Maps comes pre-installed on Apple phones alongside multiple other Apple apps and services that can be best utilised across devices such as the iPad or MacBook.

In this example, Sharma is essentially saying that MapMyIndia is not just competing with Google Maps and Apple Maps, but also with the entire ecosystems created by Google and Apple.

Thus, even if MapMyIndia has a better product than Google Maps or Apple Maps, it does not provide as much value as the entire ecosystem combined, and therefore customers may not be willing to try it out.

While the logic of this argument is evident, many replies to his tweet pointed out instances where individual products or unbundled products had succeeded through their products.

One particular tweet provided the examples of Spotify beating out Apple Music and Amazon Music, and Zoom beating out Skype and Google Meet.

In fact, even Sharma's own company, Paytm, holds its own against consolidated competitors like Flipkart's PhonePe and Google Pay.

So, do you agree with Rohan Verma and Vijay Shekhar Sharma, or do you believe that stand alone products can make a splash in the market regardless of bundled competitors? Would you use MapMyIndia if you found it to be better than Google Maps or Apple Maps?

Edited by Anju Narayanan