India has a staggering 750m smartphone users. The figure is set to grow to 1 billion by 2026 according to a recent report by Deloitte. Small wonder that the Indian startup ecosystem is teeming with direct to consumer (D2C) businesses which will be a $100 billion opportunity by 2025 reckons yet another research report. The growth will be led by companies from non-metro geographies and from rural India.
It is here that Meta enables a “level-playing field to help companies reach the right audiences at scale”, says Avinash Pant, Director, Marketing for Meta in India.
Take Clovia, a women’s apparel and innerwear brand founded by Neha Kant who saw the need for a “feedback-based brand” that women could trust. “We could communicate with our consumers one at a time with Facebook to seek feedback. At the same time, its catalog tool really helps you maintain a check on your inventory, health check on your SKUs approval status and push different subcategories as per the objective”. 55% of the company’s business comes from tier-2 and tier-3 cities outside of metros. Kant’s goal is to scale up to 50 million consumers up from 4 million currently. Meta’s affordable marketing campaigns coupled with personalized ad deliveries help companies like Clovia to garner insights from constant customer interactions.
Today’s consumers not only demand quality products but also ones that are sustainable. Neeman’s, a footwear brand that banks on sustainability, figured out a novel way to manufacture its shoes using plastic waste. But their challenge was to achieve scale rapidly through differentiated and personalized content for its prospects. “And that's what Meta changed the game for us,” says co-founder & COO Amar Preet Singh.
“It helped people discover our products. It gave a very visual, content driven feel on how the product looks”, he adds. By leveraging Facebook ad Manager, the outfit has managed to reach a wider audience. “We used to do, say, up, say about 100, 200 orders per day. But now, while we use Meta as a consistent platform, we hit around, say, 3000 to 4000 orders per day”.
Such a business impact is industry agnostic. For instance, Kunal Aggarwal, founder & CEO of Credflow, a cash flow management solution for small and medium enterprises, soon started getting requests from customers to have relevant reports sent over WhatsApp. “One thing I realized very early in my journey that WhatsApp is not just a P2P tool; it's a business tool as well,” he says. In the next two years Aggarwal estimates to reach over 500,000 businesses and is “fairly confident that half of those would be attributable to Meta”.
Similarly, Country Bean, an outfit that sells coffee online also got immediate feedback from its customers over WhatsApp. “When we shifted from metal caps to plastic caps due to some supply chain constraints, we received near real-time inputs from our consumers that they wanted us to switch back to metal caps,” says Aditi Somani Satnaliwala, the co-founder. Such product changes which would have taken weeks or months can now happen on the go since inputs are sought in quick time.
Meta also provides a platform for establishments like Daniel Syiem’s Ethnic Fashion House that offers an opportunity to women founders across India and to “give a pedestal they deserve on the global platform because they are involved in a very intricate art”, says Janessaline M. Pyngrope, co-founder and business head. Spreading the word at first wasn’t easy. “But Meta Business Coach that helps build businesses on Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp, showed us how to go about launching an enterprise”.The pages slugged ‘Brand Connect’ are equivalent to advertisements and are not written and produced by Forbes India journalists.