Evernote, the note making tool was started by Phil Libin and Stepan Pachikov launched in 2008 has a freemium model (both paid and free services), apart from various extensions such as Evernote Food, Evernote Web Clipper, Evernote Clearly etc. A company funded by Sequoia Capital, DoCoMo, Morgenthaler, AGC Equity Partners/m8 Capital and Valiant Capital Partners, Evernote recently announced that it reached 1 million users in India. Linda Kozlowski, Evernote’s Director, APAC Market Development, spoke with MediaNama on the company’s plans for India, their target audience in India, customizing product for India and the launch of Evernote Business in India.
Evernote And The Indian Market
Medianama: What is the significance of the Indian market to Evernote? How will you gain from the Indian market?
Kozlowski: India is one of the top markets for Evernote in 2013. It is one of the large markets that we are targeting. India is a market with an interesting mix of personal and business uses to Evernote. We are looking to engage with more users in the Indian market in order to understand and add value in India. We are especially keen on engaging with the companies and entrepreneurs in India with their adoption of technology.
Kozlowski: As you know we recently crossed 1 million users in India. We have 50 million users worldwide which is also growing very fast. So you calculate what 1 million out of 50 million is. Of course, this base also comes with an extremely strong growth rate. In fact, the interesting factor is the growth rate in India. Right now adding India is adding 92,000 users per month. Last year, this number was 23,000 per month. So we feel India can be a larger market than it currently is.
MediNama: What is your goal for the Indian market?
Kozlowski: Indian user growth is our main goal. We have a version that is free. We do have a premium product. We want to grow more users in the market for our core product. More people using our product is more valuable to us. So we want to educate users on the variety of ways in which they can use the product in India.
MediaNama: When and how do you plan to launch your operations in India?
Kozlowski: Currently we don’t have plans to launch base in India. We have contractors in place who are helping us with the marketing. That is working pretty well for us right now.
Target Audience for Evernote in India
Medianama: Who is your target audience in India?
Kozlowski: Evernote has different types of users. Most of them are technologically connected. They have smartphones or connected to internet and are professionals. These are people who are comfortable with using technology in both personal and business spaces. These are people who also want to collect and save information about hobbies and their other interests. We have had a person from India who has saved both information on planning his wedding and also added information for his professional work.
Medianama: What has surprised you about the Indian audience?
Kozlowski: One of the things that surprised us is the creativity with which they have used Evernote. Bloggers use it to gather information and collect tweets and to track what they are reading and research for their work. Yes this happens even in other parts of the world as well but this is happening even in India. Like I mentioned before, wedding planning is another thing. The speed at which our user base has grown in India is also a surprise to us.
Medianama: Do you see any interesting trend in the Indian market and audience?
Kozlowski: Android is a very strong market for us in India with 42% of the user using Evernote on their mobile through Android. In other markets it is usually iOS. Also, 17% of the users access Evernote through the web which is the next largest segment in India. They are also accessing Evernote on computers with internet even where the web app has not been downloaded. We see that people are accessing the information that they have stored irrespective of the device and even in the absence of an app.
Customization of Evernote for India
Medianama: How do you plan to customize Evernote for the Indian audience?
Kozlowski: Right now we don’t plan to customize for India. The benefit of Evernote is that it can be used for different things and it can also be shared with your friends. If you are planning a trip, you can start a notebook and share it with your friends for all to access any information about the trip that you are planning together. For this sort of sharing, having a single platform works quite well instead of customizing it.
Medianama: What are your views on language customization of Evernote, and views on customizing for india
Kozlowski: The stories in our education program are done in Hindi. Users are ok with the application being in English but the stories we share are in the local language. We do localise the applications around the world. The request for application in local languages are low in India. Based on the feedback we have received from our customer service department, we realised that the requests that are coming from users in India are not for language customisation. We can do this in the future though. However, even now you can write on the Evernote platform in any language within the application and the technology that we have.
Launching Evernote Business in India
Medianama: How do you plan to bring the Evernote solution for small & medium businesses to India? Do you think there is a market for it in India?
Kozlowski: We do have an Evernote Business in 30 countries which we launched in August, last year. We want to bring Evernote Business to the India market as soon as possible.
Medianama: What do you think will be the challenges in bringing the business product to India?
Kozlowski: Educating each user on how to use the product would be our biggest challenge. Many people download Evernote and use it quickly. But for businesses, the information that they require has to be there for them use the product. We want to spend time speaking to businesses and making it useful for them. We have not had a sales team before the launch of our business product. Now we have a sales team to go talk to them on the number of ways in which they can use the product. We don’t like to be hard on the sales. It is about putting our product in their organisation in the right way if they are interested in using our product. It is not about convincing those who are not interested in the product, to use it.