India’s next growth story must have a regional focus, says ShareChat’s Ajit Varghese

Homegrown social media company ShareChat is building diversified monetization avenues beyond advertising in areas such as virtual gifts and video commerce. Mohalla Tech, its parent company, also operates India’s largest short video platforms Moj and TakaTak, in addition to the ShareChat app, which has more than 400 million users. The newly-turned-unicorn told Business Today that with digital penetration rising and touching nearly 600-700 million today, everyone is given a voice.

“When it goes to the 1 billion level, we will see that everybody is meeting either their content needs or usage needs or access needs. To me, that part of India helps us grow in the next decade. And that India is very heterogeneous. So the the next growth story in India has to have a regional focus. And that’s already happening with either translations or using AI (artificial intelligence) to capture a larger audience,” said Ajit Varghese, Chief Commercial Officer, ShareChat.

In June, ShareChat raised $255 million from Google, Times Group and Temasek, reaching $5 billion in valuation. Competing with a number of players such as Josh and Tiki in the short video format, Moj has grown to become a popular short video app with more than three times daily active users and two times daily usage per month. user compared to its closest domestic competitor. , according to the company.

TikTok parent company ByteDance was also planning a comeback to the country, according to reports. “More players entering a certain sector only shows that there is enough room for players right now. Consumer interest is increasing and competition is increasing the focus on product and user experience. Whether TikTok comes or not, there is always Instagram, which is a competition. But any kind of competition improves you in some way. So right now our focus is purely on making sure that the users who have trusted us, how do we make sure that their experience, their retention, their growth path and affinity for our apps continues to grow?” Varghese says.

“The competition will continue to apply pressure, but our job will be to get that experience and retention going right,” he adds.

ShareChat said that with a whole lot of ‘Bharat’ accessing the internet, a lot of hyper-local language content is gaining prominence. “That it actually fulfills a certain need for people, which is not only the popular content, but how can I get more and more fresh content, where both can satisfy my hunger for content, is also to keep it very here and now in terms of . whatever is relevant,” he said.

After TikTok left, Varghese adds, “we kind of led the way in making sure that both at the content level and the language level, at the hyperlocal level, we’re able to build an ecosystem both across ShareChat and Moj by making short video. makes content and engagement prominent.”

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