Story behind the hike of ‘Hike’- An Exclusive Interview with Company Spokesperson

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“Made with love in India, Hike has features that make instant messaging more inclusive”– Company spokesperson,  “Hike”

This week our social media team managed to get in touch with the Hike team to ask about their vision, future plan, target markets and a lot more. Read below the conversation with the Company Spokesperson of Hike.  

Q. Some thoughts on the growing messenger apps market, specially in India

A. Today, the market is inundated with mobile-apps. Most of which, are made in developed countries. But does one size fit all? Is there a clear advantage in developing apps for the home market?
Taking the example of hike messenger, we can confidently say that homegrown apps can create greater value for their user base. The insight that hikeapp uses to build most of its features rest on two simple facts:

  •  India is a unique market.

Instead of accessing the Internet for the first time on the desktop, people are accessing the Internet through their mobiles – contrasting consumer behavior to that of the west.

  • Smartphone Penetration

Even though the smartphone penetration is growing at a rapid rate, in India, there are still a lot of feature phone users and users who hop from one wi-fi zone to the other. Breaking the ubiquitous Internet access.

It is the understanding of this nascent and diverse market, that enables the company to build features that are not only of great utility to the market, but also help the non-internet mobile phone users connect seamlessly with those with Internet enabled smartphones. And hence, enrich the overall communication experience. 

Made with love in India, hike has features that make instant messaging more inclusive. This means you can message friends who may or may not have hike or even a smart phone to install hike on. 

Q. What is the POD of Hike when compared to other messenger apps?

A. One of Hike’s India specific features includes its ability to allow its users to connect with those without smartphones via Free Hike SMS. This feature is critical in India because till date, feature phones account for more than three-quarters of the overall phone market.

Amongst other very popular Indian-youth specific features are the ability to pick and choose whom one shows their ‘Last-Seen’ to and the ability to share localized Stickers and 2-way Chat Themes.

Q. Apps developed by Indian companies are not considered at par with global apps. How or why did you think Hike has been able to change that?

A. Hike has received rave reviews for its appealing UI. Our app store reviews are filled with praises –from Germany to India. The fact that hikeapp has tripled its user base within the last 9 months; crossing the 15 Million user mark from across the globe, it speaks for its world-class appeal.

Q. What are the biggest markets of hike and what is your penetration in those markets?

A. Majority of our users are from India.

Q. What are your target markets going ahead?

A.We’re focusing on the Indian market and being a homegrown app, we’re able to understand India like no other app.

Q. What are the other ventures of Bharti SoftBank other than hike?

A. Apart from hike, at BSB, we’re running 3 more start-ups in parallel: 

  • hoppr:

With hoppr we’re trying to make the real world easier to use. Location based recommendations and coupons to help people discover great places nearby and also to help merchants drive more footfall to their stores

  • Tiny Mogul Games:

Our mobile games studio. We recently launched 3 games: SongQuest, Shiva and Magic Temple. All doing well in the market.

  • Portal:

Our portal vertical aims to build a portal for first time Internet users in India to help them make that first jump on to the internet. We do this by powering operator Portals. We currently run Airtel Live for example where we helped Airtel build the Re 1 store.

We thanks Hike for their wonderful support and sharing future aspects of the hiking company in details.

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Abhirup is our guest blogger on education apps and thought partner. He harbors certain thoroughly misguided self-impressions like he has a refined aesthetic sense (our website’s visuals are NOT inspired by his ideas) or that he has a deep baritone. However, we choose to ignore these as he sometimes comes up with good ideas notwithstanding the fact that they are articulated in confusing managerial jargon; perhaps explained by the fact that he is an MBA from IIM Bangalore.

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