Mitron app has taken the India app ecosystem by a storm – 5 million downloads within a month, with (I am assuming) no paid ads.
While the app has been touted as ‘Made in India’ and a TikTok alternative, the reality is that it (right now) running on a CodeCanyon script, which anyone can buy for $34.
“We expect our customers to use our code and build something on their own. But Mitron’s developer has taken our exact product, changed the logo and uploaded it on their store. There is no problem with what the developer has done. He paid for the script and used it, which is okay. But, the problem is with people referring to it as an Indian-made app, which is not true especially because they have not made any changes.” [Irfan Sheikh, founder of Pakistan based Qboxus which sells code of app clones online/via].
What has Mitron app achieved?
Well, it’d take years of growth hack to reach what Mitron team has achieved in such a short span – a truly viral product hitting 5 million downloads in a month, without any external funding (I am assuming this) or paid ads.
Mitron is one of the smartest growth hack experiments
If you are an observer of human behavior, you have a lot to learn from Mitro app’s growth experiments:
The name “Mitron” itself is..courageous and catchy.
There could have been a back clash (from the ‘bhakts’) on using PM Modi’s fav word and creating an app on that – but typically, such names which junta relates to always works.
Most of the ‘normal’ developers would have stuck to a very safe name – but kudos to these guys for going all-in.
Playing on human emotions
Well, a lot of consumer behavior experiments cross the line of what’s right vs. wrong. Mitron team positioned the app as ‘Made in India’, which boasted the ‘desi chests / chaatis’ to more than 56 inches (pun intended).
The Mitron app team ensured a LOT of video reviews using #IndiaKaSocialMedia among the right TG, i.e. Bharat users. Average views of these videos are quite high, as compared to most social media trends – which can put a lot of marketing agencies out of business.
I totally love this because most of the funded startups have been trying to achieve the same by burning $$s, with no real results (they do get invited to ‘Make for Bharat’ panels, though).
The affiliation with ‘patriotism’ always works (in India) – and is a very standard playbook (ask any ad agency / look at ads during Aug 15 / Jan 26th).
Yes, this isn’t the first time an Indian company has played on ‘Made in India’ tag to attract the audience. This is pretty much a norm among any Indian startup taking on a US/Chinese Goliath – that is, playing the ‘India card’ sentiment even though most of these companies are headquartered in Singapore or US.
Haven’t we seen exactly the same phenomena when Zoom was being crucified by media and government? Most of the companies who positioned as ‘Made in India’ Zoom alternative didn’t even have their servers in India!
Of course, timing helped the Mitron team given all the back clash against TikTok is facing in India and then, PM Modi’s call for being #AtmaNirbhar (self-reliant).
But this is..bloody $34 script..ugh
Of course, this is $34 script – buy that and try achieving the same results. You will realize your amazing growth hacking skills.
It is very easy to bring this down as a ‘hey! this is fake’, but let’s respect the makers for creating a game bigger than most of us would have imagined.
A funded startup with similar growth numbers would have multiplied its valuation by min. 10X – and here, we are talking about developers just tinkering with ideas.
If we want to build a maker ecosystem in India (we are currently -10 in a scale of 1 to 100), we need to start respecting the ones who tinker / grow.
Note to Mitron team: The MVP experiment is a success. I hope you have a plan beyond MVP. I sincerely hope so.
What’s your take? How has your perception changed after you heard about the $34 script story?