Haptik – All-Round Personal Assistant
Be it – Searching for Information, Completing a Task, Setting a Reminder, Placing an order, or anything else – Haptik is your All-Round Personal Assistant!
What is Haptik.co? What is their Business Model?
Haptik is a mobile messaging assistant for information and support that was founded by Aakrit Vaish and Swapan Rajdev in 2013 and is registered in San Francisco.
It was founded with a goal of making Customer Service more approachable and is based on a Customer Support / User to Business Messaging model.
Haptik is like normal text messaging that enables one to chat with experts for any query related to any company or service.
As a user of Haptik, one gets to leverage a one-point access for majorly all queries, to almost 200 companies and brands such as – telecom, cable services, automobile, shopping, airlines, banks and others sectors across 13 categories.
Since text communication is the most used medium than any other application on our phones, Haptik acts as a Personal Assistant to help you complete the lesser important tasks through a chat-based module.
Be it – searching for information, completing a task or buying/ordering anything, their Assistants are trained across various verticals to help you get your work done within an average response time of 5 minutes.
How does Haptik Assistant works?
- Install the app and choose the company from the list of companies, your query is concerned towards.
- You can either choose from a predefined set of questions or write their unique question to Haptik representative, and accordingly, the Expert on the other side gets the Chat.
- Be sure that, their experts have immense knowledge about the given topics. They go through complete training and are also embedded with unique mechanisms at the backend to help the customers as well.
- And if the query is beyond the reach of the Experts, then in such cases, the Expert reaches out to the concerned company itself, on behalf of the user, and would also keep the customer in the loop.
- Lastly, when the issue is resolved, the chat is considered complete.
Other than company-specific queries, Haptik also offers other generalised services such as: – Searching the best Mobile plan, Cable/ DTH plan, etc, Troubleshooting of Phone or Computer, Car/Bike prices search, Coupon Search, Movie Timings, Finding the nearest ATM, Restaurant Reservation, Tracking of Online Order Status, Web Check In, Search for a Rental Flat, File a Complaint, and many more…!
How are the Experts selected?
Well, to become a Haptik representative, there are certain criteria’s that one must meet.
- Bachelor’s Degree.
- Excellent and Quick Problem Solving Skills
- An Excellent command over English language
- Apart from these, having skills in a particular category among the various ones listed on Haptik, adds a few Brownie Points to ones profile
TRIVIA: – The name was chosen after writing about a 100 names on an excel sheet, and then zeroing down on Haptic (which means non-verbal feedback). This was further changed to Haptik from the German translation ‘Happik’.
What Are Their Strategies, Market Segment & Revenue Model?
Customer Service still remains to be a pain for both the ends – Companies and Customers. A recent research disclosed that, less than 8% of customers believe they have experienced “superior” service from companies, while more than 73% believe otherwise.
On the other end, many users spend an awful lot of time on searching for information on the internet about information such as – services provided by companies, which is even more complicated and painful when done through the mobile.
This is the segment that Haptik is trying to target. Their whole one-stop shop nature layered on top of a messaging interface, not only solves the customer service issue, but at the same time also helps the customers save time by helping them search the information they need.
Haptik has opted for a business model that not only is an unsolved pain-point, but also targets both – Customers and Businesses, and strategically positions them in the market as well.
For the Consumer – Haptik positions itself as a one stop solution for all customer queries, due to which they are relieved from the whole process of different customer care centres. It wants to be the alternate means of communication for consumers which can be dealt at their own pace of time, convince and space.
This is one of the reasons that have greatly helped Haptik to grow fast and win customer’s trust and confidence.
While for the Business / Companies – They are positioning themselves, to become the frontend or the face of the company, which would also take away their pain and help them build their customer base even stronger.
Now all of that has been achieved and their growth has been purely organic. Majorly, they have chosen to grow using the word of mouth publicity than any other medium. Yes, they have performed basic digital marketing to end users using social media, content, press, etc, but the credit for their popularity definitely goes to Word-of-Mouth.
Lastly talking about their revenue model – Haptik charges the businesses to come on board and directly engage with their users, and the pricing is determined by number of messages transacted per company, which again, could be anything from Rs. 25,000/month to Rs. 100,000/month depending on the volume of messages.
Who Are The Founders?
Haptik was founded by Aakrit Vaish (CEO) and Swapan Rajdev (CTO) in 2013, who collectively manage the Management Team which includes: – Ashim Jolly (COO), Raveesh Bhalla (Number 10) and Akhil Aryan (VP, Product & Marketing).
Currently the CEO of Haptik, Aakrit is also an active investor too. As an investor, Aakrit favourite spots start ups in India are in the areas of ad tech, SaaS and Mobile, and is also on the board of a family run business of home textiles and interiors called – Winmark.
Aakrit has completed his Bachelors in Industrial Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
He started his career with in May 2006 by working for Motorola as a Consumer Engineer for about 4 months, post which he moved on to join Chicago Transit Authority in June 2007 as a Financial Analyst.
This stint lasted for about 3 months, post which, he joined Deloitte Consulting LLP as a Business Technology Analyst in July 2008, and managed to stick around for almost 2 years.
In May 2010, Aakrit moved to Flurry Inc as a Manager of Business Operations and in about a year and a half got promoted to Director of their India operations as well.
After successfully setting up their India office in Mumbai, and after running the show for another 2 years approx, Aakrit decided to become an entrepreneur.
In 2013, he cofounded Flat.to – a real estate platform for college students and bachelors across India!
Now around the time, when he had started Flat.to, he had also begun work on Haptik as well. But turns out, Flat.to didn’t last for long and eventually got sold to CommonFloor.com in April 2014, whereas, Haptik took off!
Swapan is the co-founder and the Chief Technical Officer of Haptik. He and Aakrit have been friends from since the Engineering days at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Swapan began his career as an Intern into Sales and Marketing with IBM in March 2006, post which he also joined Accenture in June 2007 as a Summer Analyst for the next 3 months.
In 2008, Swapan again joined Accenture but this time as a Full-time Consultant in August 2008. After working with them for around 3 years, he moved to join Radius Intelligence in April 2011as a Software Engineer.
In 2010, he had also ventured out into Entrepreneurship with Zing! Apps – that makes native and web based iOS applications, post which he then joined Aakrit to start Haptik.
What Is Their Story? How Has Their Growth Been So Far?
It all began during Aakrit’s days with Flurry!
While at Flurry, he worked alongside with companies like WhatsApp, TextFree, and TextPlus, etc., noticed their high growth and also believed strongly in the potential they held.
As a result, he along with his cofounder Swapan began working on different ideas, and eventually landed to the Eureka moment.
Since, texting was and is the most used form of communication; they decided to create a messaging app for customer support, and began prototyping.
After several attempts, they launched their final product for the market in 2013.
In just about 10 days after the launch, Haptik received a tremendous response, and in the next 18 months with a total of 100,000 and 40% monthly active users, they had managed to become one of the top 25 apps on Android and top 50 on iOS.
They were now providing support for more than 100 brands and had processed more than 45,000 messages on the platform as well. They were now being covered by all the leading publications of the country, and were also getting new inbound inquiries from companies and brands too.
After being self-funded for more than a year, Haptik received more than $1 Million from Kalaari Capital in September 2014.
In the year of 2015 – using these funds, the company brought about some remarkable developments. They launched the 2.0 and 3.0 Version of Haptik, which included some 28 major changes such as a new look that incorporates Google’s Material Design spec, a shortcut menu to frequently asked queries and the ability to add images to messages, along with reduction of all interactions to just two screens, home screen serving as an Inbox, with list of permanent “channels”, etc…
Other than that, by the mid of the year they had also increased their team to 33 individuals and 210 contract workers, had recorded over 900,000 chats since initiation, had grown 10 times in the past six months, and were witnessing over 50,000 users accessing the app at least once a month.
The company was providing their service to companies including DineOut, Mr. HomeCare, CoverFox, CouponDunia, BookMyShow, eCourierz, etc. and had also partnered with Ola to extend their cab booking functionality to Haptik as well.
More recently, they have also begun monetising about 10% of its chats and are seen to be experimenting two revenue streams which include – a customer support engagement channel for brands, and the second making is taking a commission on influencing purchases. Currently, their partners include Amazon, Freecharge, and several more.
Going ahead – Haptik aims to continue their 40% Month-on-Month growth, reach 50% monetisation of their chats in the next few months, and also reach their target of achieving revenues worth Rs. 5 crores for FY15-16.