We're Looking To Partner With Other Cos And Works On Multiple Cross-market Promotion Strategies: Shubham Agarwal, Changa

In an interview with BW Disrupt, Shubham Agarwal, Co-Founder, Changa, talks about company, challenges, competitors and more

Brief us about your business model as to how did the idea come into play and how does it work (step by step procedure)?

We were always interested in building a social product that resonates with people and thus, we have been building a community around funny content named lolmenow. Bitcs already had a rock-solid team of developers, designers, product owners, and content creators. The team, basically, saw an opportunity when the drift between India and China started, and that led to the inception of Changa. They keep coming up with innovative ideas to keep the audience engaged and put them into work quickly.

What are the unique key points of your company?
Well, for starters, we are a bootstrapped company that has been successfully operating in the current market and still giving tough competition to 100M$+ funded companies. We are always topping the play store charts and make sure to keep up with the trends. We want our users to always stay one step ahead and have access to all the amazing features and that is bringing frequent updates like TikTok Linking, WhatsApp Status, Advanced Filters & Effects, and more. To sum up, we believe in rapid iteration, customer satisfaction, and maintaining a rock-solid team persona.

How are you different from the existing competitors?
The fact that we introduce new features frequently and prioritize our customers over everything else is what sets us apart from our competitors. Changa has some unique insights that other competitors lack. Not everything can be revealed, but for instance, most of our competitors don't have in-app messaging but we do. And our team is continuously working to launch a better feature every day that aligns with our customers’ needs and requirements.

What is the funding status and monetization model?
We are proudly bootstrapped as of now but are in talks with multiple VCs. Currently, Changa strives to become a video commerce driver in India. Whereas just as we keep proceeding further, we are planning to follow other strategies including native ads and cross-market partnerships. We can’t wait to see how things will unfold.

What challenges are you facing in running your business?
The team is obsessed with three metrics, DAU (daily active user), user retention, and user engagement, and is doing everything to move the numbers up. We are not bothered by any challenges or tasks that come our way because we feel that we are well-equipped to tackle any of those challenges as a team.

How has been the people's response so far?
It has been overwhelming for all of us. We received approximately 5M downloads, 0.5M DAU, more than 3M MAU in a very short span of time. We were also able to track 30 mins of user engagement and that 50% of users have been sharing the app at least once. All of this makes this application to be the most shared app in the category. The overall experience has been decent until now.

How do you look at expansion?
Changa is planning to grow the user base significantly in the early half of next year. Currently, we are active with 10 languages and we are definitely planning to add other languages so that we can reach an even wide range of audiences.

What are your marketing plans?
We don't believe in spending a lot on marketing or running ads on other platforms. At Changa, the major driver has always been word of mouth, and we believe if the product is good, the word of mouth will make the app spread crazily. Although, Changa is looking to partner with other companies and works on multiple cross-market promotion strategies. That is something we are excited about and look forward to.

What has been the biggest learning so far?
From all the experiences so far, we have started to believe that almost anything can break, so you must have a plan B ready at all times. Be ready for viral growth as the internet nowadays is becoming a little unpredictable. Also, just know that the product is the king. Regardless of how much you push on marketing, if the product isn't good, users aren't going to stay. They will always find a better alternative and you will start to lose your customers just like that.

What is the market size and opportunity?
Changa strives to become the TikTok's replacement in India in the near future. TikTok India was valued close to 3B$ and it was growing rapidly, capturing that market is what Changa is looking for now. Our goal obviously remains to become the video commerce driver in India and so is all our focus diverted to.

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