MouthShut.com, one of Asia’s first and largest user-generated portals with over 32 lakh registered users, is eyeing over 120-150 per cent growth in all terms – from revenue generation to site usage and registration, and so on. Apart from its growth targets for 2009, MouthShut.com is also on a hiring spree. The company recently announced salary hikes for several of its employees this year.
Faisal Farooqui, CEO, Mouthshut.com, told exchange4media, “We are constantly hiring employees, we have not experienced any effective slowdown and the only reason for that is because we hire only when we really need to. We intend to hire at least 10 more people this year. We have 32 people working full time only in Mumbai.”
Mouthshut.com has grown on purely word of mouth campaign, the company prides itself for being innovative in their approach, for instance, in 2001, mouthshut.com ran an autorickshaw campaign, which it said was their only organised campaign so far. Following this campaign, the company focused entirely only on word of mouth recommendations.
On some upcoming innovations, Farooqui said, “We are currently looking at revolutionising deal alerts – how to find the best deals on a product. Despite the economic slowdown people still want to buy products, and everybody wants the best deal. Mouthshut.com is working on a concept that will help people find the right price on a product and a price that one is willing to pay across the world for any product or service.”
So, how do brands benefit from a user-generated portal like Mouthshut.com? Farooqui explained, “People wrongly think that reviews are negative. In fact, 60 per cent reviews on Mouthshut.com are positive reviews, recommending products or services and complimenting them. It’s only 35-45 per cent reviews that are negative, so if consumers like a product, they will talk about it, and if they dislike it, they may complain about it.”
“It will help a particular brand because it is a true reflection of what is to be done in order to sustain one’s consumers as it is easier to retain a customer than to lose the customer,” he added.
Automobiles, movie reviews, electronic items reviews, banking, etc., are by and large some of the biggest contributors to the growth of the company.