NASSCOM, the premier organisation that represents and sets the tone for public policy for the Indian software industry, showcased Indian companies which build successful apps. Rohith Bhat, CEO of Robosoft Technologies was quoted extensively. Here are the excerpts:
‘There’s an App for that’ has become as ubiquitous a statement as ‘Google it’ these days. Whether you’re an Android, iOS, Blackberry, Windows or Symbian user, there is a whole host of Apps you can download on your mobile device, that run the gamut from practical (clock, camera flash, flashlight) to fun (parking and dress up games) , both unpaid and paid. There are companies in India like Sourcebits, Rolocule, Robosoft and Games2win that have been highly successful in developing apps for both B2B and B2C, and some got on board the iOS/Apple train right at the start. There are a number of successful consumer apps developed by Indian companies that rank high (in terms of downloads) on both Google Play and Apple App Store. So, what’s been their path to success, and has geography had any impact on their trajectory? Do these companies build India market specific apps, or U.S. focused ones? Is there a secret or formula to building a successful app? With Apple App Store and Google Play each offering upward of a million apps, the vast majority do tend to get lost, with consumers relying on the ranking in the app store to provide guidance. So is there a formula to push yourself out to the tip of the iceberg?
Helping consumers and entertaining them
The two kinds of apps that companies in India tend to focus on are entertainment apps (which are largely aimed at consumers) and problem-solving/platform apps that are often created for an organization, as a way to solve a consumer pain point. Rohith Bhat, Founder and CEO of Robosoft which boasts a global app business, stresses that focus is key – he believes that a company can get lost in building a large number of apps and get so diversified that it loses focus. Better, he says, to focus on a particular area, preferably one that speaks to the internal team’s strengths, and work towards solving customer problems within that framework and do it well. “Everything we do comes from problems our customers face. They are the best indicators of the future,” says Bhat.
Robosoft has worked right from the beginning – when it was one of the very first to create apps for Apple as an Apple-only developer – in the photo, video and audio space. Camera Plus, the digital flash and digital zoom app the company created at a time when iPhones did not offer either of those features became a top 5 photo app in 40 geographies worldwide, and was also picked by Apple as one of the showcase apps demonstrated in its Apple stores, says Bhat proudly. Today Robosoft has created 1300 apps across the various OS, of which 500 are Apple exclusive. “After games, the photo and video category are the most popular in App stores,” says Bhat, pointing out that people are willing to pay, even upto $7 for an app, if it solves a major pain point.
How important is location?
Bhat believes that geography has not made a difference as such, and says the company creates for a global market. Still there is something to be said for an Indian contextualized space. When they created an Indian audience specific app, Dhoom 3: The Game, based on the hit Bollywood film Dhoom 3, it was downloaded 12 million times in a six month period.