Connecting 1.25Billion Indians With A Smart Phone-Book App


Context: SharkID App.

SharkID is connecting 1.25Billion Indians by making your phone book smarter.

The Product:

  • The app has 1.5lakh installs
  • 60% of the user base is via referrals
  • The extended SharkID network has 2crore+ unique Indian numbers

The Challenge

  • To get to 10K installs/ day run rate by Feb 2018
  • Improve product UX - that leads to growth

What Do I Seek From This Group?

  • Your suggestions on ‘growth by improving UX’
  • Key learnings from product growth/ managers on reaching the first million installs for a ‘network based product’ like SharkID

Thank you.

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@vinitgarg83 @surbhi @guneetchadha90 What do you guys think?

@UNCV few questions:

  1. How are referrals defined?
  2. What is the current install rate?

Some ideas top of the mind:

  1. Partner with professional conference organizers
  2. Connect with speakers at events and ask them to share their sharkID
  3. Build a feature to share the sharkID via a simple text/voice command - especially needed by heavy networkers. Additionally, this sharing should automatically be geotagged and connected with event (as picked from user’s google calendar)

I believe this product is a need for heavy networkers and they can act as great evangelists. These networkers will be able to recruit a great number of users pretty quickly.



Some quick thoughts (haven’t seen the app etc). Seems you guys have 90K installs via referrals already. That is significant data/core engine to build upon:

So, inside-out:

  1. How many unique people were involved in referring ? How many invites each user sent ? How many really converted ? Speak to these users who are already sending this
  2. What’s the velocity of sending referrals ? If it’s like the 3-4 step, can you experiment shortening the cycle ?
    Essentially K-Factor thinking and optimising each step.


  1. Talvinder’s suggestion to identify persona who need this
  2. Potentially partner with OEM/Phone manufacturers can be big swing
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+1 @talvinder @vinitgarg83 !

Adding some more food for thought below.

Engagement -

  1. What is the LTV for the 90K referred users? Are they engaged and how does their engagement compare to your loyal / organic user base? This would feed into your target user base. Building a more engaged user base of these 90K users will give you a higher pool of users who are now willing to bring in more engaged users.
  2. Building Nir Eyal’s HOOKed model will also help with qualifying the core reason for users to return and continue returning to the app. For a network-based product, this is one of my favorite frameworks.

New channels for Activation -

  1. What does your channel-matrix look like? I would segment channels into high-performers, fast-growing channels, low-yield channels and look at cultivating more in the first two buckets in the near term to seed growth.
  2. Cost of activation per channel is an important consideration here.
  3. New channels I would explore: partnering with recruitment cells in engineering/MBA colleges, tech conference organizer partnerships, introducing it as the official central school directory in schools for parents, aggregating a business-contact directory/look-up & signing businesses up, working on a launcher for Android, core-OS work to give users the option to make this the primary phone book on their devices, etc. Some of these are direct acquisition channels and others are enablers.
  4. Original content creation and SEO

New feature launches:
Launching new, viral, fun features could give you a push. Such a launch would need to be seeded well in advance, planned and executed well.

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For “network based products”, I think the key to growing the customer base is having an incentive for referrals. Looking at this product from a consumer stand point, I would wonder "What do I get if I refer this app to others. From the description of your product, I see the incentive being offered in two folds:

  1. An incentive to just refer, and the chain ends there
  2. An incentive if the referral actually downloads and installs the app.
    Obviously the incentive given in the second case should be more than the incentive offered in the first case.
    I am going to use a very simple example of this that I noticed recently. So in the place that I am located in, Uber and Lyft are the most preferred ride sharing options. Of the two Uber has been in business longer and has a bigger customer base than Lyft. Both these companies depend on referrals to grow their customer base. But here is an interesting thing. In case of Lyft, if you simply refer someone you get $5 off on 2 rides. If you refer someone and they use your code, you get $20 added to your Lyft balance. Uber on the other hand requires someone to refer atleast 5 people, and the referred people need to use the code, and then you receive a $20 incentive. Now because of this, more and more customers are shifting to Lyft. They know that the turn around is faster in Lyft, in terms of getting an incentive.

In my example, obviously the incentive is monetary, but it does not need to be. It can be something that customers will relate with immediately.

I hope this addresses your second point under “What do I seek from this Group”.


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