In the series of interviews with market leaders, change-makers and innovators, we bring our next interview with an innovator and entrepreneur, Mr. Manoj Singh, Co-Founder, Airmeet.
In 2019, Lalit Mangal, Vinay Kumar Jasti, and Manoj Kumar Singh founded Airmeet. Airmeet is an online meeting and event hosting site, where participants can communicate for one-to-one and one-to-many online interactions with other event attendants instead of simply broadcasting the event.
The online-first startup claims to be an all-in-one platform that helps organize, discover, and attend virtual events such as professional meetups and conferences for its users.
- What was the idea behind creating Airmeet?
All three co-founders of Airmeet were at Common Floor. Lalit was co-founder, I was heading operations and Vinay was Engineering Manager. After Quikr acquired CommonFloor, all of us went on to different paths. It was January 2019 when we got together and started discussing what to do next. During this time all of us were at different locations such as Noida & Kanpur. We started working with remote collaboration. We realized that we were as effective as we are working from the same location. When we were in Bangalore, we used to attend a lot of events. These events are very important as you can meet future hires and prospective co-founders. But due to our geographical restrictions, we couldn’t attend events. This was the trigger behind the idea. So we decided why not introduce technology to the world of remote collaboration where people can share knowledge and network. Around July 2019 we started working on the idea and the journey started.
- I have read that Airmeet is helping event organizers in organizing different events. Can you tell us how big is the online event market?
Our focus is more on peer to peer interaction like a real-life experience. More than a webinar, we are focusing on making online peer to peer interaction more realistic. I would say this is a very new market. Video conferencing is old technology and it has evolved with time. We are targeting the market for office meetings and communication in big organizations where there is a huge market of online meetups. If you build the right kind of product for this market, it will work. Since online is the new behavior and people are adapting to it. Online meetups involve fewer things as compared to offline meetups where logistics and a lot more planning is involved.
- How has coronavirus pandemic affected video calling apps and their user base?
We have experienced a massive surge in demand from all walks of the industry. When we started out in the market, we were primarily targeting people who have a community and are interested in organizing meetups. Now due to the COVID19 situation, even traditional people who were used to offline events have moved to us and are doing their events on Airmeet. In terms of usage, we have seen a huge rise in the last month. We were having 5000 minutes a day usage during the early days and we are seeing 500k minutes per day.
- A lot of companies are facing security issues. How are you tackling that?
We are built on an open standard. We follow every W3C open standard procedure. We are not an application, we are browser-based applications. Simply you have to enter the URL in your browser and it uses only a microphone and a camera. We follow the usual https standard and encryption. The peer to peer connection is completely encrypted and is done among their own network.
- How important is brand value for any brand?
Branding is very important for any brand. If a brand is strong and popular among the users, then the user becomes your evangelist and attract new users.
- Role of Digital Media in recent times.
Digital Media is a part of our lives and lifestyle. Whatever we used to do traditionally is now moving to Digital Media. With time, it has become an integral part of today’s ecosystem and life.
- Can Airmeet become crucial in community building in upcoming times?
We have been in touch with a lot of community managers who organize meetups offline and traditionally. We have noticed a change in behavior of people after the COVID19. Everyone is taking online event platforms seriously now. Experience on the online platform is good and it is not much expensive to build a community and engage it online as compared to offline. In the online event, you don’t have to worry about the physical limits of people, travel, logistics, and certainly not a geographical location. Community managers are pretty excited about this and even after COVID is over, I am sure online events platform is here to stay and grow
- How important has been the role of team for Airmeet?
One thing unique about our team is that we are remote from day 1. No one was convinced that a startup can be built remotely in India. We have been able to attract people and talent who understand why are we remote and we don’t have a traditional office and setup. We are lucky to find people who align with our view of staying remote and working. Right now, Due to COVID19, everyone is working from home but we are working from home since and have built the right kind of culture.
Team Next Big Brand extends heartiest wishes to Manoj and Airmeet. Kudos to him for such an amazing and fun interview.
You can find our other interviews here.