[Exclusive Interview] This Is How Indian Messaging Platform ‘Flock’ is Setting Aggressive Competition to Slack and Microsoft

Trak.in's exclusive interview with Flock about the company's vision and developments.
Trak.in’s exclusive interview with Flock about the company’s vision and developments.

With remote working and virtual meetings being the flavors of the present, workspaces are migrating towards tools and platforms that enhance advancements in office communications, now more than ever.

Organizations, whether multinational, startup or local are realizing the need of a secure and cohesive communication layer, which connects all departments of the system.

One such platform gaining massive traction and providing seamless communication to numerous organizations, is the team messaging and collaboration tool, Flock, founded by billionaire entrepreneur Bhavin Turakhia in 2014.

Present across 150 countries, Flock is becoming one of the most popular professional messaging apps, giving a solid competition to the likes of Slack and Microsoft Teams.

We conducted an exclusive interview with Gaurang Sinha, Director, Go-to-Market Strategy at Flock and received detailed insights about the company’s vision and why it is the need of the hour.

What is Flock?

Flock Messenger is a workplace team collaboration and communication platform, which integrates numerous tools, from basic requirements like video conferencing, file-sharing and reminders to advanced ones like data-security. 

With major competitors like MS Teams and Slack, Flock Messenger provides a list of compelling tools and offerings, which surpasses the expectations of its competitors.

With remote working and virtual meetings becoming a necessity rather than a luxury, more and more companies are now migrating towards remote tools and platforms that enhance advancements in office communications, now more than ever. 

And this is where Flock is proving to be a gamechanger.

Here are a few excerpts from the interview.

Question: How big is the market for team communication/collaboration apps?

Gaurang: If we look at the total number of users of this market globally and total them up, you will end up with a relatively big number of active users. Then, you think of every single user using email at the workplace. This comes out to be over a billion people.

From our perspective, this market has gotten only 6-7% penetration. This means about 95% of people who could potentially be users of our product, have never used a product like ours. That’s where we can tap into.

Question: Why Does An Organization Need a Platform like Flock?

Gaurang: Flock provides a unified communication channel to your business in the most secure, interactive and productive manner.

A large number of businesses still rely on instant messaging channels like Whatsapp groups to communicate with each other.

This not only strips the opportunity of using all the required software tools on a single platform but also provides no guarantee of official messages being circulated to undesired sources.

This is where a platform like Flock steps in.

Not only does it integrate major software tools into a single space, it also ensures data security.

We heavily rely and take into account all the feedback and requirements, shared by our active users.

For organizations with a number of employees over 1000, there comes a dire need of administrative control. Data security is becoming the vital requirement for businesses.

In respect to data security, some users asked us to restrict Flock to only specific devices. So, we came up with a feature called ‘IP Whitelisting’.

IP Whitelisting is restricting where you can access Flock from. We let people access Flock on their official computers and certain devices but not outside that. This ensures security of data.

A feature like IP Whitelisting is currently missing from all of Flock’s major competitors. 

Question: How has Covid-19 Affected Flock’s Business?

Gaurang: In just a period of 180 days, Flock has witnessed a rise of 600%-700% (6-7 times) in the number of new sign-ups.

There has also been a simultaneous meteoric rise in the number of paid users in the US and India, as they attract a significant slice in the company’s revenues.

The awareness of such tools and platforms are only increasing among businesses and with Covid shifting entire workplaces to remote stations, businesses are now depending on Flock more than ever.

Despite massive increase in new sign-ups, the numbers that matter the most is an encouraging increase in the amount of time people are spending on the platform.

Pre-Covid, an average user used to spend only about an hour or two on the platform, while now our most active users are spending over 7-8 hours on the platform, which is a 60-70% increase.

However, our foremost priority isn’t to convert users from its competitors, or increase the number of users but to provide a product which 100% satisfies its customers.

Question: Can you give a brief insight on all the new features on Flock?

Gaurang: In order to make communication seamless across teams and departments and enhance the work from home experience, Flock has added some new features.

  • You can integrate Zoom meetings directly on Flock, instead of launching it separately.
  • Users can request the features they want to see in Flock, right within the app itself.
  • Flock has witnessed an 800% increase in the number of video calls. Consequently, we have added a ‘Video Recording’ feature.
  • Also, to add flavour and some colour to our platform, we have added certain Emoji updates.

In the next 4-6 weeks, users will also be able to preview all of their files and documents within the platform itself.

Gaurang: Flock has been actively providing its support to COVID workers.

During the Covid period, the major areas we ended up serving were edtech companies like Embibe, along with schools and universities.

Schools, universities, even non-profit organisations have been a great part of beneficiaries of a tool like Flock. For their benefit, Flock has been free of cost for the last 6 months, even the paid plans.

We have also extended the same for anyone fighting Covid, like hospitals or frontline workers. Depending upon how the pandemic turns out, we may expand these services accordingly.

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