Business messaging and WhatsApp have emerged as the driving forces behind Meta’s growth strategy in India, with the company expressing its strong belief that this journey has only just begun. Sandhya Devanathan, Vice President of Meta India, emphasized the immense potential in India as more businesses transition into the digital realm.
Businesses from various sectors, including banking, e-commerce, gaming, and small enterprises, are leveraging WhatsApp to connect with new audiences and innovate their services. Examples abound, from bill payments to metro ticket sales and banks sending statement balances, showcasing how companies are embracing WhatsApp as a versatile platform for communication and transactions.
Devanathan is optimistic about the future, stating, “Honestly, I think we’re just scratching the surface, if we think about the headroom… I see WhatsApp as the next engine of growth for our company here in India, so absolutely business messaging and WhatsApp are a key priority for India Meta organization.” This reflects Meta’s global priority to monetize WhatsApp in India.
While Facebook boasted 440 million users in India in the past, Meta’s family of apps has seen significant growth since then. WhatsApp Business boasts over 200 million global businesses, and while the specific Indian numbers aren’t disclosed, it’s considered substantial. Devanathan stressed the importance of WhatsApp monetization, as Meta is just beginning to tap into the vast potential in areas such as bill payments and ticket purchases, with more innovations in the pipeline.
The real potential lies beyond marketing; it encompasses customer service, re-engagement, and the entire customer journey, including notifications and orders. Devanathan is excited about the wave of innovation across various sectors as more Indian companies digitize and transform their operations.
WhatsApp’s engagement with JioMart, enabling consumers to shop via WhatsApp chat, marked a global milestone for Meta. The company is keen on learning from this experience to better serve Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities in India, recognizing that messaging apps like WhatsApp will be the primary point of interaction for the estimated 400 million people who will shop online in 2025.
WhatsApp has also expanded its payment services in India, making it easier for users to make purchases directly in chat, utilizing UPI apps and other digital payment options. Meta’s founder and CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, praised India for its leadership in embracing messaging for both people and businesses.
In a bid to enhance the business experience, WhatsApp has introduced several tools, including WhatsApp Flows and the Meta verified badge. WhatsApp Flows enables businesses to create richer in-chat experiences, such as booking reservations, placing delivery orders, or checking in for flights, all within the WhatsApp chat itself. This feature simplifies interactions between businesses and customers, eliminating the need to leave the chat thread.
Meta is committed to revolutionizing the way businesses connect with their customers, and WhatsApp is at the forefront of this transformation. With India’s increasing digitalization, the potential for growth and innovation through business messaging and WhatsApp remains vast, and Meta is determined to capitalize on these opportunities.