Akosha, an online complaints redressal company, has pivoted to a messenger-based personal assistant platform called Helpchat. An app-only platform, currently available on Android, it assists consumers in daily tasks like recharging phone, tech support, travel booking, holiday guidance, grocery or food ordering and shopping assistance, among other things.
Kali Charan Shukla, VP - marketing, Helpchat, says that the nature of queries at Akosha prompted them to start Helpchat. "Around 61 per cent of the queries we were getting were related to transactions or seeking information or assistance about an array of things. That's when we realised that the consumer demand is in this direction."
Unlike Akosha, Helpchat is an app-only platform which Shukla believes will not hamper their consumer base, as most of the queries being received at Akosha was through mobile only.
"WhatsApp's reach is largest in India and, hence, we wanted to build a SMS kind of messaging environment. Our app is extremely light in size and most of our Akosha user base was from the mobile platform. Mobile is a very native platform for our TG," he further explains.
The company has earmarked Rs. 60-80 crore of advertising and marketing budget to promote Helpchat, through an exhaustive 360-degree campaign utilising television, print, outdoor and digital.
Helpchat claims to provide access to brands, including major players like Aircel, Voltas, Eureka Forbes, MakeMyTrip, Bookmyshow, Oyo Rooms, HDFC Life and Spice Mobiles. More than 100 local businesses in Bengaluru (Kormangala and Indiranagar), across categories like grocery, fitness, laundry and beauty, are using this app to help their customers.
Currently free for users, the company's business model is supported by Akosha's One Direct software for brands which helps them in connecting with consumers.
"Being a mobile app, we are fighting for precious real estate. We want to become default behaviour. Have to get something done? Put Helpchat in action," states Ankur Singla, CEO and founder, Helpchat.
To answer the customer's queries, Helpchat has built a team of over 600 experts. IN May 2015, Helpchat (then Akosha) had raised Rs.100 crore from Sequoia Capital.