“There are over 400million India users on SHAREit” – By, Global VP, CEO (India) of SHAREit, Mr. Karam Malhotra

SHAREit CEOTell us about the features that differentiate SHAREit from most of the other content and gaming applications?

I would say SHAREit is unlike any other content and gaming platform in the world right now. While most platforms are focused on either gaming or content, SHAREit is one that serves an all-encompassing purpose of catering to the consumers’ entertainment needs.

Through its holistic approach, SHAREit not only serves as an amazing content discovery and consumption application but also a viable gaming and data sharing application. There are There are about 100 gaming apps already on SHAREit platform. SHAREit hosts “simpler” HTML5 games such as Subway Surfers and Hill Climb Racing on its game center, allowing casual players easy access on the go. We also focus on hardcore games and we help first time users discover them so that they can download and play them separately

How important is localization – in terms of vernacular language, media etc. – in driving up numbers and scale?

India is a diverse country with a rich mix of cultures and ethnicities. Thus, it does not come as a surprise that a large number of languages are spoken in India. With over two-thirds of the population residing in Tier II and Tier III markets, vernacular content becomes indispensable.

Another observation in recent times is the increase in smartphone users in these areas. Therefore, to provide them with something they actually connect with, vernacular content becomes all the more important.

There are over 400million India users on SHAREit, only about 15% of the audience is English speaking while 30-35% users are Hindi, 18% Telugu, 17% Tamil, 15% Kannada and Malayalam, rest counts for other languages like Bhojpuri, Marathi etc. 

What are the factors that are contributing to an uptick in consumption in Tier II and Tier III markets?

This growth can be attributed to a number of factors. Firstly, in the last decade, there has been a conscious effort towards building a more digital India which has completely revolutionized the digital landscape of the country. Newer avenues like digital payment solutions, e-retail and e-health services have grown to become important industries.

Over and above that, India has a huge audience that comprises of internet users in the rural areas. This population has flourished over the past few years due to affordable data prices and easy access to smartphones.

And lastly, the ongoing pandemic has only increased this demand for content. With this increase, comes a plethora of opportunities for localized and vernacular content that we at SHAREit aim to provide for.

What are the changes in the consumption trends that SHAREit has observed in the gaming and content space?

The past 5 years and especially the past few months has brought a whirlwind of changes in the digital entertainment sector. Considering the larger timeline, the digitization of the country and the mobile-first approach was already moving the entertainment sector to the digital front, with platforms like SHAREit flourishing.

However, the ongoing lockdown has catalyzed the growth even further and led to marked changes in the consumption patterns with some reports suggesting that video-streaming platforms have seen over 113 percent rise in the number of average users since the nationwide lockdown.

How has the ongoing pandemic affected SHAREit’s growth? Are there any steps that SHAREit has taken to fight the crisis?

SHAREit has performed fairly well despite the onset of the crisis. Not only have we been able to keep our performance figures high, but we have also helped hundreds of businesses to grow through our advertising services.

During the COVID-19 lockdown, a sharp spike in the time spent on playing games and watching videos has been observed. By offering millions of short videos and online games on its platform apart from its sharing utility, SHAREit offers various unique and high-performing branding and advertising solutions. These solutions not only prove efficient, but are also very effective in driving sales for brands reaching out to their users in markets like India, SEA, Middle East etc.

We believe that these are the times when brands need to stand by the users and only then will we be able to overcome these unfortunate times. We have taken a number of steps to counter the crisis and help the people in need. To increase awareness about the virus we set up a live updates section on the application which updates people about the number of cases discovered both in India and globally. The application also offers a helpline number to ensure safety. Additionally, we also partnered with the Akshaya Patra foundation and made a sizable donation to help feed over 500,000 people in India. 

How do you see the gaming industry progressing moving forward?

No other sector has probably seen more growth since the lockdown as the online gaming sector. The industry was already on an uptick since the past few years penetrating across age groups and regions but 2020 was supposed to be the year of massive expansion of the industry. According to a KPMG report, online gaming segment is estimated to be a $1.1 billion opportunity by 2021 with about 628 million gamers in India. However, the global crisis we are currently fighting, has had major impact on the gaming sector. With people having more time at hand due to the lockdown, recreational gaming has become a go-to for most people. Gamers who earlier used to play usually in the evenings, now have the time to play even in mornings and afternoons. At SHAREit we aim to meet this growing demand by offering one of the largest range of mobile games, from developers across the globe. We are definitely very excited for what the future holds for the sector.

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