WhatsApp Has India as its Largest Market

WhatsApp has big plans for its Indian arm in 2021.


In April 2020, Facebook declared its plans of investing $5.7 billion in Jio Platforms Limited, a subsidiary of Reliance Industries Limited, giving Facebook its largest minority stake. The contract with Jio allowed integration of WhatsApp with JioMart to connect people with businesses smoothly and efficiently.

In November 2020, Facebook-owned WhatsApp India received NPCI’s (National Payments Corporation of India) permission to connect with the multi-bank model’s UPI network. It also began a ‘Shopping’ button and a ‘Carts’ feature on its WhatsApp Business application to facilitate e-commerce transactions.

With 2 billion users worldwide, it has India as its largest market i.e., over 400 million users. It is only reasonable for the company to extend its user base by rolling out products and services designed for the Indian market.

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WhatsApp India received NPCI's (National Payments Corporation of India) permission to connect with the multi-bank model's UPI network.

What to expect from WhatsApp’s India plans in 2021?

It has launched several products this year, and Indian regulators have granted permission for many of its new services.

Digital Lending and Insurance

The company aims to partner with financial institutions to expand banking assistance in rural areas. It also plans to introduce products and services to provide financial aid such as insurance, microcredit and pension. WhatsApp Pay has, till now, grouped up with five Indian banks- State Bank of India, Axis Bank, Jio Payments Bank, HDFC Bank and ICICI Bank.

WhatsApp-JioMart Deal: A Lift in Indian e-Commerce

WhatsApp users can ping ‘Hi’ to a phone number for JioMart, thereafter, a virtual assistant would initiate a chat with the store. Now, the user can trace orders’ status and get an item or refund-related queries.

WhatsApp Business to Boost in India

In July 2020, the company claimed that there were 50 million Business accounts globally, of which 15 million were from India. The company declared its intentions of equipping stores with QR codes. Business owners could put forth the QR codes on their business’ storefront or the product slip and packaging supply.

Instead of saving a business’ number and then beginning a chat, users could scan the QR code to open a WhatsApp chat with the industry. Last year, the company started the catalogue feature for WhatsApp Business, allowing businesses to show their products.

WhatsApp plans to increase its partnerships with business solution providers and charge users of business accounts if they decide to use such high-level cooperation.

Aakash Sharma
Aakash Sharma
Aakash writes on Startup Ecosystem, Policies, Legal and Regulatory aspects of business planning. An alum of Delhi University, he is assistant editor at Dutch Uncles.

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