India has been one of the key markets for the Facebook-owned WhatsApp’s growth. However, even with a user base of 400 million, the company has been facing multiple regulatory hurdles.
However, one feature that has worked out well for the company is its WhatsApp Business platform. According to a WhatsApp survey, 77% of Indian SMEs on WhatsApp has said that the online messaging platform has helped them to connect with their customers from across the country. Further, 62% of the WhatsApp Business users agreed that the platform has helped them to increase sales and has become an essential part of their business.
As a result, WhatsApp’s Indian unit, Whatsapp Application Services Private Limited, has reported a revenue of INR 6.84 Cr in its first year of operations. Registered in 2018, the company had zero revenues for FY18, but has significantly improved its business in FY19.
The company spent INR 5.99 Cr for the year, which included employee benefits of INR 3.57 Cr. As a result, WhatsApp has reported a profit of INR 62.3 Lakh in FY19, as against the loss of INR 5 Lakh in FY18.
Globally, over 5 million businesses are using WhatsApp Business app every month, according to the company, and at the moment, there is no subscription fee to get a WhatsApp Business account.
This has attracted several small and medium businesses (SMBs) to the WhatsApp Business platform. The company says it has touched categories such as ice creams and handicrafts with this SMB and SME-focussed approach.