We will have to walk a tighter rope and convince consumers, says Sameer Nigam on Indus Appstore launch
Sameer Nigam, Co-founder and CEO, PhonePe, along with his team unveiled the company's latest offering at TechSparks 2023, in the presence of Minister for State for Electronics & IT, Rajeev Chandrasekhar.
Challenging the duopoly of global giants Google and Apple in mobile app marketplace, Walmart-backedon Saturday threw its homegrown appstore—Indus Appstore—to developers to offer localised services for Indian users.
Sameer Nigam, Co-founder and CEO, PhonePe, along with his team unveiled the latest offering at YourStory’s TechSparks 2023, in the presence of Minister of State for Electronics & IT, Rajeev Chandrasekhar.
The fintech decacorn invited Android app developers to register and upload their apps on the soon to be launched “Made-in-India” appstore, which will be attuned to the Indian audience.
“41 apps have signed up with Indus Appstore, including the likes of Microsoft,, , , among others. Conversations are on with OEMs/phone makers,” Nigam said during a chat with Shradha Sharma, Founder and CEO at YourStory.
Earlier this year, PhonePe had confirmed that it has already closed a deal with a large Android smartphone maker.
The Indus appstore developer platform will be free for the first year and will not charge developers any platform fee or commission for in-app payments. Further, the developers will be allowed to use any payment gateway of their choice, the CEO added.
One of the biggest challenges for PhonePe is changing the “default practice” among Indian mobile holders to use Google and Apple stores, on the back of their “preinstalled” advantage. With over 95% of Indian smartphones running on Android, the Play Store becomes ubiquitous.
PhonePe is looking to amplify its “Made in India” pitch with homegrown Indus Appstore that would have an advantage of localisation and discoverability of app catering to user’s needs and likes.
This discoverability will come in via ‘Launch Pad’, a section available to the developers for visibility as well as search optimisation along, giving them an option to list the app in 12 Indian languages.
“The annual fee for developers on the app store will not be exploitative. We will have to walk a tighter rope and convince the consumer that this is an app store everyone must have,” Nigam said.
Further on questions around breaking the duopoly of Google and Apple, he added, “Its not that we don’t want any competition. Rather healthy competition makes us better.”
The minister raised the pitch for “freedom and choice of internet”, saying the country is not in any favour of a selected phone makers or providers dominating the space.
“Consultations will soon start for Digital India Act, and there is a whole chapter dedicated to ensuring opening up of the internet and choice of internet. We don’t want any phone company or provider to have a lock hold on Indian consumer. We don’t like locked islands on the internet. Every developer, consumer should have a choice,” Chandrasekhar told YourStory.
(The article was updated to correct a typo)
Edited by Megha Reddy