BIGADDA.com Betting on ‘Local’ Strategy
Date: Sunday , March 01, 2009
"Bigadda is truly global in its look, feel and technology, yet it is local in spirit to cater to the teeming Indian social networking enthusiasts," says Shivanandan Pare, COO, Bigadda. This 18 months old venture, owned by Reliance ADA group, is one of the fastest growing web and mobile Indian social networking sites today. With an aim to cater the diverse 'Local' needs of youths in this country, bigadda.com is enabling networking based on Individuals (Friends and Friends of Friends) and Interests (self-expression by create–upload- share of videos, photos, and music). Blogs and scribbles, which help the users express, comment and connect, addas (communities) and Forums – all of these catering to one of the most important needs of the youth today-'Identity Creation' and 'self expression' are some of the features of this youth destination.
"There is a huge potential and untapped opportunity in localized social networking platform in India. As in the countries like Japan, UK where localized social networks rule the space, we too felt the need for building a social networking platform, which caters to the local needs as it offers value to its users in other dimensions also like local information, useful services, administrative features and more," explains Pare. Orkut or Facebook is designed for a world user. "We are providing the people of India the tools they need to live their lives online," he adds.
With Internet penetration growing across India's Tier-1 and Tier-2 cities and foraying even into hinterlands, which should be crossing 50 million mark in next year, is another compelling reason for us to be in the game. With a registered user base of 3.6 million in a year and a half time, we needed to sensitize the platform to local aspirations and needs of the market. Today, Bigadda is hot among the youth by attracting a large section of young visitors. Almost 85 percent of the registered users are between the age group of 18-30 years with almost 32 percent being between 21-24 years.
Certainly, advent of mobile Internet would further incite the growth of Internet, which in turn will spur the growth of Internet applications like social networking. In fact, nowadays the number of mobile users far exceeds the penetration and usage of PCs in India. To cash in on this opportunity, recently Bigadda introduced 'anywhere-anytime' mobile version of Bigadda namely MobileAdda, and is all set to reach additional 50 million mobile Internet users through their mobile platform. "This will enhance our reach to the masses," informs Pare.
Interestingly, Bigadda scores high when compared to the global social networking websites like Myspace and others who even have India focused social networking websites. The Internet research firm, JuxtConsult study reveals that BigAdda is the No. 1 site in India when it comes to overall website user friendliness. It scored 6.9 on the WUF Index, while MySpace.com scored 5.4."User friendliness is the important parameter for an average guy. That’s where Bigadda scores," states Pare.
What sets Bigadda apart from others in the game is that it has community and social media drivers, which are relevant and important to the Indian youth. The site spans the genres of Addas like sports, fashion, photography, books, art, apart from just music and movies. It does not focus only on one genre, thereby making it a site catering all tastes and interests across categories. "We already all geared up for next wave of 'Local' social networking in India. Also, we believe that soon social networking sites would be the greatest place for advertisers to reach their targeted consumers," concludes Pare.