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Enterprise-focused WhatsApp platform makes USD 1 million profit for its India unit

One million small businesses in India are using the WhatsApp Business app.

Photo by Benjamin Dada on Unsplash

Since the launch of WhatsApp Business app in India a year ago for businesses to interact closely with their customers, the India arm of the Facebook owned WhatsApp has turned profitable in the fiscal year 2019.

According to financial filings submitted to the Registrar of Companies, WhatsApp, which is still awaiting the green signal for its payments service from Indian government, has posted revenues of USD 0.96 million for FY 2019 and a profit of USD 79,899 for the same fiscal through IT-enabled business process and outsourcing services.

While it didn’t reveal its revenues for fiscal 2018 it reported expenses of USD 7,005 in the last fiscal year.

Equity and liabilities for WhatsApp India accounted for USD 826,640 which was the result of trade payables like total outstanding dues to small and medium enterprises.

“Startups and small businesses are the lifeblood of Indian communities and are a powerful driver of local economies. India’s entrepreneurs are at the forefront of bringing impactful social and economic change, and we at WhatsApp are committed to providing them support in achieving success,” local media Mint quoted Abhijit Bose, head of WhatsApp India.

It claims over five million enterprises globally are using WhatsApp Business app every month. In India, one million small businesses are using this application to reach out to potential customers. Users can scan a vast repository of photos, study the product description details, and compare price points to facilitate purchases. A WhatsApp Business account can be availed without paying a subscription fee.

Recently, the company promised an investment of USD 250,000 to help Indian startups scale up by collaborating with Startup India, a much-talked about program of the Indian government. WhatsApp on approval of India’s Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade will give each of the 500 chosen startups, USD 500 of free Facebook ad credits. On receipt of the ad credits these startups will be able to create ads with a chat option that can be used to communicate with their customers and drive sales upwards.

During the past three years, over 19,000 startups have registered with the Startup India program having roots in 513 districts across the country. WhatsApp India boasts of a user base of 400 million, making India its biggest market in the world. It is looking at monetizing this collective strength in numbers but has not been able to go full-throttle as it faces multiple regulatory issues in the country, one of them being non-compliance with India’s data localization rules.