World Has Evolved for Young Entrepreneurs Due To the Power of Internet: Kavin Bharti Mittal

Mittal talks about the blend of virtual reality and social networking, and how the future of social media seems totally different

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Despite coming from a family which owns one of the largest businesses in India, Kavin Bharti Mittal decided to start his own venture. Hike, a mobile messaging platform, became one of the fastest to be a Unicorn startup.

This limelight also meant that all minor and major mistakes along with other shortcomings got highlighted and evaluated by one and any. In an interaction with Entrepreneur India, Mittal talks about the blend of virtual reality and social networking, and how the future of social media seems totally different than it was perceived earlier.

The Journey

According to him, the world has evolved immensely in the last couple of decades for younger entrepreneurs due to the power of Internet and people undervalue the power of Internet where all the information is available in the form of research papers, blogs, books, journals, etc. for free.

“Building a company is not complicated but it’s tough. When we built Hike, out five-point focus was vision, principles, people, product and process.”

He believes principles are essential as they act as a significant part of cultural code to hire people who align to business values. A little bit of processes is added to all the above points to streamline the framework. “This framework was designed by me 2-4 years ago which served the best outcome. This is how we marked our presence and the life has become much easier.”

Pandemic and launching HikeLand

Technology has enabled people to do things which people were unable to do before. And the current situation of COVID has led to the use of more social media platforms for interacting with their friends and family virtually. And this has benefited Hike in terms of traffic.

“We reflected over the thought why do all social media platforms look the same as they were a decade ago. Considering feeds or messaging for 2G, the world has moved on, so, why hasn’t the world gotten up?  The interesting data point was that the peak time of Hike’s usage was 10 PM to 12: 30 AM. And the only reason for that was offline hangout was difficult for them at that time. This is how HikeLand was introduced to fill the gap of the industry by creating the virtual world.”

COVID-19 pandemic has been a learning phase for many including Mittal. He said two-three years ago, the usage of the hike was completely different as compared in this period of two-three months. Hike started with digital avatar and now Facebook does even have a similar kind of thing, he added.

Hike emphasises “great relationships make happy people”.

“Our target audience are from 16-22 where the young generation can build a new network similarly they do when they are offline.”

Monetization Strategy

For Mittal, micro transactions are going to be the biggest achievement for the future growth of the virtual platform.

UPI transactions in India have transformed the outlook of people. “In our realm, relationships make people happier and we are proud to pioneer this business model. Revenue for us was a notable pixel as we experiment with building new features.”

Thoughts on Gaming

“Yes, absolutely! People love to pay for games as compared to investing on a content app.”

Hike recently acquired WinZo. “We consistently check tractions on WinZo. The same insights will be used in HikeLand as well to create great relationships.” HikeLand’s business model is to create relationships through hangouts or gaming and Mittal plans to incorporate gaming in HikeLand soon.

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