Durgesh Kaushik, Head of Market Development, Snap India- Technology News, DD FreedishNews

Despite having a presence among the Indian audience since 2013, Snapchat officially set up its office in India only in April 2019. Today, 21 October, the company hosted its first-ever ‘Snap in India’ event. At the event, Snap announced that it’s daily active user base in India has grown by 150 percent in the past year. Comparatively, in January 2020, Snap had announced that it’s daily active users grew by 80 percent from November 2018 to November 2019.

Ahead of the Snap in India event, tech2 spoke to Durgesh Kaushik, the Head of Market Development, India at Snap Inc, about the company’s growth in India, its India-first features, and its future roadmap in the country.

tech2: How many daily and monthly active users does Snapchat have in India?

Kaushik: We don’t share specific user numbers but I can share that we have grown our Daily Active User base by nearly 150 percent in the past year and we are really happy with the momentum.

tech2: Is Snapchat working with any Indian app developer to add in-app features?

Kaushik: First of all, SnapKit makes it possible for developers to easily build with Snapchat, bringing engaging experiences to our growing community. The first Indian companies to integrate with us were Jiosaavn and Gaana last summer, and today we announced new experiences powered by NDTV and Alt Balaji. Today, more than 800 apps around the world have integrated with SnapKit and we look forward to seeing more.

Second of all, we’re thrilled to welcome our first Indian Snap Games partner to the family. We are working with MoonFrog Lab on an exclusive custom made version of the popular board game Ludo.

 Want Snapchat users in India to feel like the app was made for them: Durgesh Kaushik, Head of Market Development, Snap India

Snap in India

tech2: What has led Snapchat to introduce India-first features?

Kaushik: Back in January, we shared that our Daily Active User grew by 80 percent from November 2018 to November 2019 – so we have been seeing quite healthy growth in India over the past few years. We always believed in the power of cultural relevance and have seen the results of investing in strong partnerships in other markets we operate in. Since opening our office in India last April, we have team members across business strategy, sales, content and creative strategy. As demonstrated today with our ‘Snap in India’ event, we’re only at the beginning of our journey and are looking forward to continuing to build a local product experience, collaborating with great Indian businesses and serving our community.

tech2: What’s the idea behind the new Indian Snap Original?

Kaushik: Since launching Discover in India in 2018, we have aired over 60 local channels from 32 different Indian publishing partners, covering a wide range of genres from News to Bollywood Culture, Beauty, Comedy, Cooking and Sports.

Within the past year, over 40 million unique viewers in India have watched a show on Snapchat, and time spent in Discover has increased by over 200 percent – our audience is growing.

With that in mind, we are looking at a number of new shows including, creator shows with talent such as Anushka Sen and Ruhi Singh, a series following the journey of hip hop sensation Raftaar, a comedy series from Vir Das and last but certainly not least, a Hindi adaptation of one of our most popular and long-running Snap Original series – Phone Swap.

tech2: What is Snap’s vision for the Indian market? Who is your target audience in the country?

Kaushik: India is an important market for us and we are really excited about the growth we’ve seen so far. People here have embraced our core product value of visual communications with close friends and family and that’s a really positive sign.

Our demographic sweet spot is Gen Z – a generation that has grown up with their phone in hand. But that said, talking to friends and family is by no means reserved to this age group! We see people across multiple demographics using our platform in different and meaningful ways.

As we look ahead, our focus remains on making sure when someone opens Snapchat in India it feels like it was made for them. This spans product development, creative tools, community engagement and partnerships.

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