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Global Startup Community: Entrepreneurship is hard - Let's help each other succeed in business.
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Kaustubh Katdare
Kaustubh Katdare • Feb 4, 2015

How to use WhatsApp for business?

A lot of businesses are adopting whatsapp to do business. In the last 2 months, I've had at least 3 people asked me for my 'whatsapp number' (that's regular phone number, you see!) so that they could share product photos, videos and other details. I was looking to get photo frames done for a group photo shoot at our school reunion and the vendors I contacted asked me to send the details of my request 'via whatsapp' and also offered to share the photographs of the frames via whatsapp. If whatsapp didn't exist - they'd have to use email; which still looks quite 'geeky' to average non-techie business people. "My email server is down, I will send the brochure via whatsapp", offered one of the vendors.

I also see whatsapp being used to market product and services. One of the apps that lets you connect with the doctors in your city seems to have taken the 'forwarded messages' way of marketing. I'd not take their name because there is no way to know if they are the ones who initiated it. Their strategy is simple - forward a message that people are likely to forward to their whatsapp groups or friends and then have a link to their service included. The message talks about 'miraculous cancer drug' found and being distributed free of cost by some of the hospitals in India. The message requests the users to spread the message so that everyone is aware; and it also contains a link to the app. Since everyone loves to forward messages on whatsapp; the app gets cheap free publicity. I do not recommend this - but that's how whatsapp is being used these days for business!

Do you have any new ideas, tips or tricks to use whatsapp for doing business effectively? Share them below!
One of our group companies has manufacturing at many locations in India. Whatsapp is used real time for product development, process trouble shooting and much else. The test lab in Bangalore conducts a test for the unit in Karzan and videos the result immediately.
Saves much unnecessary discussion on phone and reduces travel of senior people.
Anoop Mathew
Anoop Mathew • Feb 4, 2015
Whatsapp is used very much at work. Sales team can contact the Technical and Accounts team, as well as other departments and coordinate payments and other issues quickly through Whatsapp. Often i've faced clients who wanted our 'whatsapp' number to get things done. But the fact is not everything can be confirmed through Whatsapp (eg: Payment Confirmation where the old Telephonic Conversation and Authentic E-mailing still plays a major role).

Also, bosses find it easier to 'give-out' work (tasks) to their team through Whatsapp. Many people in India as well as here in the Gulf keep a separate smartphone for 'Work' with a separate Whatsapp ID (too bad you can't use Two-IDs in one phone.

Kaustubh Katdare
In the last 2 months, I've had at least 3 people asked me for my 'whatsapp number' (that's regular phone number, you see!) so that they could share product photos, videos and other details.
Been seeing this since the time Whatsapp started!
lal
lal • Feb 5, 2015
Yes, it is used quite a lot these days. But, I doubt how safe/reliable it is for confidential works or details. Product development and manufacturing status of many sub-contracted jobs are followed through whatsapp by many too, even some of the most superior officers at the place I work. Projects and details which are otherwise stated 'confidential' are uploaded to whatsapp servers! What is that now? That is total stupidity or not the right way in my humble opinion.

It might look easy and time saving. But, I strongly disagree to that practise. People should use proper channels to ensure security and confidentiality of important works. Whatsapp is not made for that. All the important and confidential informations sent over whatsapp are at the stake of a finger tip gesture!

Post script: I'm not talking about a ready-made clothes' business.
Mayur V. Nayak
Mayur V. Nayak • Feb 12, 2015
The idea is great as you can access your work on the go. But confidentiality is the only major issue. But still it will work !
Raffu
Raffu • Feb 17, 2015
The usage of Whatsapp for Marketing has become a norm these days.

But the major issue is, as most of the replies mentioned, is confidentiality.
It couldn't become a business media for the people sharing their project work. because, the chances of eavesdropping & comprimising Confidentiality are very high.
The possible solution for corporate use would be bring out a media which will send the acknowledgement (with phone numbers/date-time of recepients) to the moderator.

Although, its still a good medium for marketing purpose such as product catalog.

Regards
Rafeeq

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