In the old times, marketing efforts involved a medium, a brand and an audience. The brand marketed themselves to the audience through a medium. In this way brands were able to reach mass market and medium was able to earn for the promotion. The poor audience, however, wasn’t able to benefit from the whole activity apart from getting awareness.
But a Pakistani app named ‘Slide’ has changed all this. The app which is currently available in Pakistan and in India has brought the audience on the front-line by providing it cash for its efforts. Users of the app in Pakistan and India are able to earn real cash by reading content.
Morenews interviewed the CEO of Slideapp, Junaid Malik, and found why people are in love with his app. Junaid Malik was raised in Canada and moved back to Pakistan around five years ago. He has a decade of experience in sales and marketing and had been associated with many IT companies in Pakistan including Pring as VP Customer Development and Bramerz as COO before starting his entrepreneurial role.
He quit his job at Bramerz in order to launch his own startup. “I wanted to do something bigger for the country and IT sector specifically”, he says.
Junaid Malik says that brands invest a ton of money to reach their target audience. Similarly agencies make a ton of money by promoting the brands but the customers do not benefit from getting brand awareness. Therefore he thought of ideas that could shift the paradigm. “I wanted to come up with an app which gives you reward for any action you take on it, whether you are reading an article or inviting a friend to join the app.”
The idea was to make the user benefit from his own actions – to let him reap the profit.
In order to bring his idea to work, Malik picked up a wise team from various places including Pakistan and India, while the tech operations are operated from Seoul, South Korea. The Slide team consists of 30 people who are managing the overall operations in the Indian Subcontinent.
Malik himself is the CEO. But as it happens with all the startups, he has worn many hats from managing the UI & UX to marketing efforts.
“From UI of the app to a polished UX, I am involved in each and everything that has to do with the app”, Junaid Malik maintains.
According to him, the key to success is to assemble the right team. “A team that shares the same sentiments of the company and is as eager to grow as you want the product to grow will help you attain success pretty quickly – and that is exactly what we did for Slide app.”
Due to these efforts, the app has crossed three million users in less than 12 months. Malik says no other Pakistani app has achieved this much penetration in so little time and is proud to be one of the pioneers of Pakistani startup ecosystem. His goal is to cross five million users by the first quarter of 2017.
While talking about obstacles in the way of Slide app, Junaid Malik says that hurdles are part of startups. There are times when everything is going as planned and then there are times when the force is not with you.
However, what he believes and promotes is “to learn from each step and adapt to move ahead.”
He says his team is learning every day and that users are of prime importance when it comes to managing hindrances.
Around 300,000 people are becoming users of Slide app each month.
Moreover, as Slide has now a decent user base, the company has opened its platform to advertisers.
The plan is to first capture the market in Pakistan and India and then move on to other horizons, Junaid says. He is optimistic that his app has gained a good amount of user base and the journey ahead will hopefully be easy.
A good thing for Slide is that it has no competition at this time. The company entered and acquired user base at a time when Pakistani and Indian market is ripe. Now, another startup entering the field will either have to innovate itself or face a good amount of competition from Slide.
Junaid Malik says that they are the first one in this market and they have not seen anyone else capturing the market or doing similar business.
To those entrepreneurs who are eager to learn the art of establishing a successful product, Malik’s message for them is to plan, execute and fail. But the circle doesn’t complete here. He further adds, learn, plan again and execute – Repeat.
According to him, “you should know one thing that is you don’t know anything.”
The slide app can be downloaded from Googleplay.