Building Social Products in India

Last saturday saw the 2nd meet of Social Media Club’s Delhi chapter and I along with Dipankar Sarkar spoke about our experiences and learnings from Building a Global Social Product(Kwippy)  out of India.

I personally was quite excited about the talk as we generally don’t talk about products much in the regular Twitter, Bloggers and other Social Media related meets and I feel this is something that we should do often to create awareness amongst the attendees and if possible encourage people to build new products.

smcd (Pic courtesy Gaurav Mishra)

Here’s the presentation from the talk

View more presentations from Mayank Dhingra.

Talking about web products they can be categorized into two categories, “Innovation” (a completely new concept, first of its kind) and “Improvisation” ( a slight modification in an innovative idea and/or a slight modification in its implementation). From what I’ve observed most social web products in India belog to the “Improvisation” category with focus on the Indian market. Be it a social network, a platform to share pictures or microblog.

Though there is nothing wrong in improvising on someone’s concept and building a product for the local market but I guess most of the products in this segment fail to add any substantial value to the concept or it’s localised execution. Also, what  makes me wonder is why there aren’t many popular Indian web products in other categories particularly Global products based on an Innovative concept(from India) and Global products based on Improvisation(from India) of some innovative concept.

I feel there’s a lot of scope in both Made in India, for India and Made in India for World categories and I would keep a close watch for products in these two categories and now that I have moved out of Kwippy(will detail out in a seperate post) maybe work on something myself sometime soon 🙂

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6 thoughts on “Building Social Products in India

  1. abhishek manocha

    Well Mayank,

    I tried to contact you on LinkedIn over kwippy month back too. Well that is that. I wasn’t able to make up to SMC, but as such kwippy is nice idea, not at all bad one. Well, it has niche admittedly, among the status messages buff (I am one of those) and I feel more of its market is abroad not in India, that can be of the reasons why it didn’t succeed that much. (Point to ponder), anwyways still there presentation covered a lot.

    My LI question still unanswered though, is kwippy defunct now?

  2. Indus Khaitan

    Completely share your views on why we are not able to do “innovation” and why we are focusing on “improvisation” to a large extent.

    IMO, there are two main issues :

    1. I think I have felt that brand new products (“innovation”) are getting ignored to a large part by users, media (old/mainstream)

    2. Either users are not able to find the new products or there are few champions to generate the interest.


  3. sameer guglani

    Kwippy is a innovative idea (India->Globe). Your 20k users are testimony to the that fact that it could have grown to become a significant player in the social conversation space & with a dedicated effort it still can. I honestly think instead of letting it slowly die, you guys should:

    – figure out a way to give it minimum 12 months of dedicated full-time effort
    – at the end of 12 months you can decide the future course
    – have a plan which will make kwippy cash flow positive by end of 12 months
    – that gives you infinite runway, removes the dependency on a external funding
    – your dreams are too important, you can not leave their fate in the hand of others (investors, acquirers) etc
    – India has still not reached a point where every good idea + good team manages to find funding and its not going to change anytime soon
    – you have to create your venture in a way that can succeed on it own (funding or no funding)

    Looking forward to the return of Kwippy.

  4. mayank Post author

    @Everyone: Thanks for stopping by and apologies for the delayed replies.

    @Abhishek: I have moved out of Kwippy but my partner Dipankar has some plans for it. So, I am as eager to see the re-run as you are 🙂

    @Indus: Interesting points there. I kinda agree on innovations being ignored by the media because of obvious reasons but talking about users it’s mostly the laggards that ignore innovation as they can’t figure it out (Link:

    Coming to the second point which is more likely that innovative products(could have issues marketing themselves or creating a strong word-of-mouth). In which case the ecosystem should have some provision to help these innovations(assuming they are there) to reach out. What say?

    @Sameer: Firstly I’d like thank you for your kind words and believing in the product/team.

    Though I was and still am quite convinved with what we did and could possibly achieve, I have personally grown out of Kwippy which is a personal thing more than anything else. However if Kwippy is to see light of the day again I’ll definitely try to add some value in whichever way possible.

    Also,do you agree with lack of products in the Made in India, Made for World category? If so, what do you think is the reason?

  5. abhishek

    Aren’t we deviating from the topic a bit here. Social Media discussion might be my cup of tea. A discussion about “why nots of something” is not.

    Still to answer your question, There is definitely lack of “Made in India, Made for World category” products, no doubt about that. Reason can be our culture, our upbringing, our education system, lack of infrastructure anything.

    So, what you are upto now? Life after Kwippy?

  6. abhishek

    And to quote the biggest reason which we miss out very often, its so glaring that it blinds us!
    Where is the internet bandwidth in India, on desktops on mobiles?
    You can’t make a product whose career is in such a nascent stage.

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