Startup eSeries: Apps Ka Zamana Hai - Common Sense Living Newsletter
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Startup eSeries: Apps Ka Zamana Hai

Jun 04, 2016

Startup eSeries: Apps Ka Zamana Hai 

It was a bright Saturday afternoon. I was buying a pair of shoes online when suddenly I face a pop-up that invites me to download the website's app.

'Oh man!' I exclaim. 'I thought this was a new site... Look, it already has an app.'

Shantanu Khanwalkar - a childhood friend who happens to be an app developer - is sitting beside me and says, 'Apps ka hi zamana hai, bade' (It is the era of apps).

'Yes... Nowadays all startups have an app,' I nod.

'Especially ecommerce businesses.'

Around two billion people use smartphones worldwide. And that number is expected to grow remarkably each year. By the end of this year, India is estimated to have over 200 million people accessing the internet on smartphones.

Last year when Flipkart decided to go 'all app' on smartphones, it initiated a change. Now businesses can ask customers to download their app to get their service.

India is witnessing a startup revolution. Many internet-based businesses are popping up, and they are preferred by investors. However, before a business goes all app, it is vital they ascertain their aim.

As we get into a candid conversation on apps, Shantanu provides some info about app development.

'Why would a business launch an app?' I ask Shantanu. 'What is their aim?'

Shantanu replies, 'The goal behind creating any app is to cater to a larger audience. If you need a large customer base, then creating an app would be very logical. On the contrary, if you are targeting a niche customer base with a super-specific product, or service, you may or may not need an app.

'Mobile app development is growing by the day. Not only do apps enhance customer engagement, they help market your venture.

'Customers get to know you better and what you have to offer. That said, an app shouldn't be built just for the sake of having an app. It should create confidence in the customer towards the company. If they see you have put in good effort to build your app, then will likely conclude that you put in a similar effort into your product or service.'

'You mean the app must reflect the business?'

'Yes. Your app must stand out. It must be easy to use...incorporating elegant design, fluid interface, and intuitiveness. Aim to build an app that the customer prefers over the competition.

'Design the app with business in mind. For instance, the company I work with - MyGlamm - is a beauty services provider at your doorstep. Hence the app has been designed keeping in mind the target audience. It has a compelling interface and attractive colours. The same design wouldn't work for a grocery app or an instant messenger.'

'So how long does it take to build an app?' I ask.

'Hmm, it depends on the features and the size of the developer's team. For a typical ecommerce app, it takes anywhere from three-to-six months before the app goes live on App Store.'

'And how much does it cost?'

'Again, it depends on the features and man-hours. A simple app can be built for as low as Rs 50,000. But some apps can cost as much as Rs 5 lakh.'

'As a developer, what platform do you think is the best for an app?'

Shantanu answers, this time in a rather obvious tone: 'Android, of course! Android and iOS account for more than 95% of the smartphone operating system market share. If you create an app for both platforms, you will be assured that almost everybody with a smartphone will have access to your app. If you are short-handed for developers, you could start with Android, which has more than 80% of the market share, and then create an iOS app.'

'Well, those are some stats,' I say. 'What other things should beginners keep in mind while going all app?'

Though Shantanu is a developer, not a businessman (yet)...he gives an entrepreneurial answer: 'Getting an app developed is not the job done. There is a long way to go after that. Marketing and promoting the app to make it known to the users is vital. Updating the app regularly is equally important.

'And you can't afford to ignore user reviews. They can provide regular and extremely valuable feedback. It is the only sure way to know how you are doing.'

'True. I never install any app that has been rated below 3.5 on Google Play,' I interrupt.

'See! You said it there. User reviews shouldn't be overlooked...'

'Yeah... Tinder was the only exception that I made,' I say and burst into laughter.

'Haha... That everyone did!' Shantanu couldn't agree more.

Gradually we switch back to our quirky, friendly conversation on a lazy Saturday afternoon...

PS: Apps Ka Zamana Hai... We are not behind! Get the Common Sense Living newsletter about life, wealth, entrepreneurship, and retirement right in your palm on the Equitymaster app. It's available for Android and iOS, so get access today!

Image Source: Pixabay


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1 Responses to "Startup eSeries: Apps Ka Zamana Hai"

Ajit Vahadane

05 Jun, 2016

I have developed a BloodyFast mobile app to save people right at the spot of an accident--Dreaming to be world's largest lifesaving mission surpassing even all UN missions and first app from India that will spread around the world---Looking for investors and collaborators for each country separately ---specially insurance companies of each country as investors---what sort of help can you offer? I am open to any reasonable offer

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