After establishing a credible presence in the domestic digital audio domain for retail with 170+ clients and around 7,000 stores adopting the service, Radiowalla is now in the process to expand its presence in other countries. COO Harpreet Singh tells Pratik Mukane about growing demand for dedicated radio segment, which will see 100% year-on-year growth.
This is quite a niche segment. How did you recognise the need for a product for corporates and retail stores?
How does having a dedicated radio channel help a company or retail store?
Having their own radio station gives standardised companies an opportunity to reinforce the brand by using the audio medium. For corporates, this is a very effective tool for employee engagement. They can talk about the latest happenings in the organisation, share leadership vision, recognise employees, etc.
How has Radiowalla evolved and helped retail chains?
Radiowalla has evolved from being a pure-play music curation provider to a company enabling customer and employee engagement using audio as a medium. Today, retail chains use our services for advertising, music curation, employee engagement, trainings, and so on.
How much money have you raised so far? This segment has not seen much funding in India, why?
We had raised one round of about $1 million and have subsequently raised another bridge round. The space has been rather muted in India simply because the space is still evolving. We expect the segment to continue to see strong growth of over 100% year on year.
What is the client base and how is the company going to stay ahead?
We currently service 170+ clients across 7000+ stores in India and Middle East. Our application has been downloaded at least 40,000 times. We are working on a revolutionary new technology that will enable retailers to gain insights into the customer shopping behaviour. It is completely different from currently used technologies and will be a pioneer in the space. It will help in identifying the time spent by customers in the store.
While the LGBT issue was gaining momentum, you launched India’s first dedicated queer radio station – ‘Q radio’…
Q Radio was indeed a unique initiative. Though the initiative received a lot of support from the fraternity across various countries, it was ahead of its time in the Indian context. There were challenges in terms of keeping the community involved, especially since the community still is closeted and is not really willing to come out in the open.
Are you planning to come up with any other new radio stations?
We are evaluating the option of launching niche radio stations delivered through mobile app ‘Radiowalla’, which is presently available on Android and iOS platforms. Our belief is that there is a space for specialised content in the fields of health, farming, financial management, etc.
Are you planning to expand to any more international locations?
We are currently working on our launch in Sri Lanka and plans are afoot to launch in other countries also. This year will see us launching in 3-4 new countries.
First published in the print edition of dna