Q&A with Michael Qiu, Co-Founder, SHAREit

iamwire got in touch with Michael Qiu, Co-Founder of SHAREit App for an exclusive Q&A session to develop a better sense of understanding about innovations in the mobile app market. Also, to gain insights on India as a growing technology hub.

SHAREit is one of the world’s fastest cross-platform file transfer tool with speed 200 times that of Bluetooth transfer and most of all, it works offline.

Michael

Michael Qiu, Cofounder, SHAREit

How do you see the startup ecosystem growing in India?

“I think the technology is India is rapidly gaining pace. If we talk about the top three startup ecosystems in the world, then according to me after US and China, India has grabbed the spot. An early stage tech startup in India holds a big opportunity to grow and succeed in this country.”

What Problems do Chinese face while dealing with the Indian Startup Ecosystem?

“The Chinese don’t really understand the culture in India as it’s diverse and this becomes a drawback. So the question is how do we enter the fastest growing market in the world? 1) Make a tool to help the Indian community and its users, tap the smartphones. 2) Invest in India.”

Now there are cultural differences between the nations, but here the core is “How to do business in a growing market or how to scale it in an unknown location?” Well, experience tells people how wrong or right they were. Michael has a very straight forward business driven approach and he knows what problems does the ecosystem face. This ‘cultural problem’ becomes a two sided system, on one hand Indian startups need investments, growth and innovative business models and on the other hand, India being one of the fastest growing market in the world, foreign companies want to tap it. Due to events like chindia, a mutual understanding is developed between the two and the cultural gap is filled.

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What differentiates Indian market from the one in China? Also, what similarities do you see between the two?

“In 1999, China was on the same stage as India. The country needed growth. This made players like Alibaba, Baidu, etc make a big impact on the realm and not just that, but they also made the world use their technology. India is growing even faster but the infrastructure is not good enough for the users.” He further added, “To solve this problem Indian government is working hard and spending money to develop an efficient infrastructure and build a fundamental structures for startups.”

SHAREit has over 100 million downloads, What strategy(ies) did your company use for user acquisition?

“We think that the brand is very important and more than that the product is important. Just build the base of the product with a good UX. We share our product everywhere possible including websites like Quora, Facebook, twitter etc, anywhere you can find Indian users.” Talking about UI Michael said, don’t add too many things, keep the UI simple and let it do the talking. We focus on the main feature of our product, so just two buttons – Send & Receive. No learning cost.”

“Talk to users, gather feedback and act on it.”

What was on your mind while developing the UI of the app- investors, market, users? How did you go through it?

“We kept the problems in mind. We went through the basic three step process. Once the developer is done with the app, we test it, give it to the people we know and gather the feedback. Then we give it to another million people, gather feedback and make required changes.”

Future Plans?

Michael told that they’ll be setting up an office at Gurgaon. Also we’re planning to build a foundation to invest in Indian startups. “We came in here as we’re setting up India. Also, to build relationships with Indian startups and understand their basic needs like traction, user support, technology etc, anything that we’re capable of providing.”

One of the key highlights of the Q&A session was Michael’s advice on developing the UI. Concentrate on the main feature/s of the product, keep the UI simple and make the user perform actions on the need. This will not require teaching a user how to use the app, moreover it’ll highlight the main function/base of the product. You save cost, keep the app simple and acquire users, all at the same time.

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Disclosure: iamwire was an Event Partner in Chindia2016 TMT Dialogue

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