A wise man once said- If your competitors are Tata and Reliance and Paytm, it's better not to compete with them. But PhonePe didn't follow the wise man's advice.
Right now, all 4 of these companies are fighting to make the best super-app for India.
Guess whose super-app is the weakest? PhonePe's ofc.
That's why PhonePe's deal with IndusOS is so interesting- it gives a much-needed boost to PhonePe's super-app, Switch.
In today's article, we'll see why PhonePe needs IndusOS.
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Just like Google's Play Store and Apple's App Store, IndusOS has its own app store- Indus App Bazaar. The App Bazaar has more than 4 lakh apps. This seems very less compared to the 25 lakh apps in Play Store and 18 lakh apps in App Store.
But here's the catch- both Play Store and App Store are in English and need email IDs for registration. How many people in India understand English and have email IDs? Not a very big number, right? Think of the people in villages(65% of the Indian population)- they mainly know their vernacular languages. For them, both Play Store and App Store are useless.
IndusOS has done something incredible- its 4 lakh apps are available in 12 Indian languages! Also, registration on the app requires their phone number, not email ID. This simple innovation makes the Indus App Bazaar much more effective in India than Google or Apple.
Support for so many Indian languages explains the App Bazaar's success- Since its launch, the store has 4 lakh apps and 10 crore users, and 100 crore downloads!!! In fact, this innovation by Indus is so valuable that Samsung chose to partner with it. All Samsung smartphones in India have a Galaxy App Store, which is powered by the Indus App Bazaar!
This is the main reason why PhonePe needs IndusOS- support for Indian languages on Switch. PhonePe can use IndusOS' tech to offer Switch in the 12 Indian languages. Just think of the benefit to PhonePe- a whole new market is open to them! People from villages and smaller cities will prefer Switch instead of competitors like Paytm and Tata.
Isn't this is a solid enough reason for PhonePe to acquire IndusOS?
And the benefits don't end here- the App Bazaar uses AI/ML tools to suggest apps developed by local developers in your native languages. Aatmanirbhar Bharat🚀🚀
PhonePe's payment business will also benefit from this acquisition. The App Bazaar has 4 lakh apps- the default payment option for all these apps can be set to PhonePe. Digital payments business🚀🚀
And the last reason- probably the most obvious reason. Right now, there are around 100 mini-apps on Switch. Once it acquires IndusOS, it will be able to add the App Bazaar's 4 lakh apps to Switch. A huge boost to Switch🚀🚀
After reading all the benefits of acquiring IndusOS, one thing is clear- the main benefit of Indus will be to Switch, PhonePe's super-app.
But why is Switch so important?
It's not as if Switch is some revolutionary tech- Even though PhonePe launched Switch in 2019, it failed to impress everyone. It was basically a copy of Paytm's super-app: lots of mini-apps inside the main app. But Switch had one problem- it didn't work as well as Paytm. Here's one user review-
When you click on the Lenskart app, you expect a mini-app of lenskart with an option of 3D trial of eyeglasses to open. Unfortunately, the mobile website of Lenskart opens & that too with a long delay again.
No, Switch isn't important for PhonePe because of its tech. It is important because of its potential.
Why do I say that Switch has a lot of potential?
Because Switch can be the "internet" for rural people.
Wait, what? How can an app be the "internet"?
Let's take a step back- why do people use the internet? To fulfill different needs, right?
People need to visit a place- they open the Ola app and order a cab.
People need to eat food- they open the Zomato app and order food.
But a lot of rural people are coming online for the first time. They have no concept of the "internet". They don't know about all these different apps. This is the opportunity that Switch, and all other super-apps, are trying to seize. They aim to collect lots of different apps in one app- the super app. For the rural people, they only need to open the super-app to fulfill their different needs.
That's why I said that the super-apps will be the "internet" for them. And if Switch becomes the "internet of rural India", it will have crazy potential and value, right?
With benefits like making Switch accessible to rural India, making PhonePe a default payment app for in-app purchases on Indus App Bazaar, and onboarding 4 lakh+ apps on Switch, now you know why the acquisition of IndusOS by PhonePe makes absolute sense!!
This wraps up today’s article- I hope you found it insightful. Thanks to Adwait Pisharody for his valuable contributions to today’s article.
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