Building Products for Bharat by Arpit Maheshwari and Smriti Pant "Product people - Product managers, product designers, UX designers, UX researchers, Business analysts, developers, makers & entrepreneurs March 03 2021 True Building Products, new product development, ProductTank, ProductTank Delhi, Mind the Product Mind the Product Ltd 501 Product teams building products Product Management 2.004

Building Products for Bharat by Arpit Maheshwari and Smriti Pant


In this ProductTank Delhi talk, Arpit Maheshwari and Smriti Pant, Product Managers at Hike, take us through how Indian products are being built to solve local problems in cities throughout the country.

Watch the video to see their talk in full or read on for a summary of their key points:

  • What is Bharat and why build for it?
  • Startups solving Indian problems
  • Problems being solved at Hike

What is Bharat and why build for it?

Smriti explains that when people worldwide think of Bharat, they imagine the people seen throughout movies and the influencers on social media platforms. While they represent how a section of the population lives, these Tier 1 people have access to more resources and live a different lifestyle than the rest of the people in Tier 2 and Tier 3.

However, solving these Tier 2 and Tier 3 groups’ problems is essential as they represent a huge untapped market that is now ready to utilize apps due to less expensive data and easier access to smartphones.

Creating a product plan to solve for Bharat requires an understanding of the different user personas, including their online buying behaviours and the channels they frequently visit. “Talking to customers and knowing their problems is the way to go when building for Bharat,” Smriti says.

She also discusses the importance of identifying the distribution channels that will reach a “sufficient number of consumers in a cost-effective manner,” while ensuring usability across multiple languages and literacy levels.

Startups solving Indian problems

Arpit then highlights a few of the major sectors that startups throughout India are targeting and the challenges they are trying to overcome. This includes agritech, which requires fresh produce for supply chains and a fair price for farmers; social commerce, where startups empower the local economy; and ed-tech, where companies are improving access to educational resources.

Problems being solved at Hike

As Smirti explains, one of the major challenges Hike is trying to overcome with their product is the lack of social interaction available for young people in Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities. However, through their social apps, they are providing a platform for friendships and relationships to blossom.

The key takeaway from this talk is that when you can’t relate to your customers very easily, learning about their behavior through surveys and interviews can help you create a product that solves the right problem.

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