Figuring Out Product Strategy in Your Startup?

Creating a product for the Indian audience is equal parts exciting and scary, because no other country boasts of such diversity in language, culture and people. When it comes to India, there is no one size fits all.
Sridhar Rajendran
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May 28, 2020

India, with its billion-plus population, is one of the most sought-after markets in the world. It is no wonder the number of startups in India has increased several-fold in the past few years to serve the growing demand for products and services. Starting your own company or working in a startup has gone from a risky career choice to cool 😎

Creating a product for the Indian audience is equal parts exciting and scary because no other country boasts of such diversity in language, culture and people. When it comes to India, there is no one-size-fits-all.

Gone are the days of mimicking the West. Silicon Valley knock-offs that failed to adapt to the local milieu bit the dust. The same product has to be customised based on the different audience. What works in a Tier-1 city might not work in a Tier-2 or Tier-3 city or rural areas.

India is a creative chaos.
Source: Pexels

Silicon Valley behemoths like Facebook, LinkedIn andUber figured this out, and put out a lighter version of their apps to run on low-end mobile phones. Indian companies like Ola, Gaana and DailyHunt soon followed suit.

If you are a startup, how do you figure your product strategy?

A big organisation has deep pockets and the resources to do in-depth research before launching a product, but time and resources are critical for a startup. A startup is free to move fast and pivot to a new solution that has better traction. Changing product strategy rapidly in a big enterprise is not possible without inviting the ire of the shareholders.

What is a pivot?

  • Turning one feature of a product into the product itself, resulting in a simpler, more streamlined offering.
  • The opposite of the previous point is also considered a pivot, in which one product is turned into a feature of a larger suite of features as part of another product.
  • Focusing on a different set of customers by positioning a company into a new market or vertical.
  • Changing a platform, say, from an app to software or vice versa.
  • Employing a new revenue model to increase monetisation. For example, a company might find that an ad-based revenue model may be more profitable than freemium.
  • Using different technology to build a product, often to cut down on manufacturing costs or create a more reliable product.

The "aha!" moment

We hope now it is clear as daylight the importance of user research and design in determining the success of a product. A common reason quoted by startups is they don’t have time or resources to do detailed user research and design.

While there are many merits of detailed ethnographic or anthropological studies, there are several rapid and lean UX secondary research techniques (such as a literature review, competitor analysis, speaking to subject-matter experts and usability testing) that yield significant results and help companies to decide, go or no go? 🚀

Now you no longer need a crystal ball to determine the fate of a product before launching it. A Design Sprint is a perfect process to go from an idea to a tangible prototype in a week. And the best part — you get to see your users interact with the mock product saying ‘Meh’ or ‘Holy crap! Take my money'.




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