Amid the comic book craze, TBS Planet is working to bring Indian superheroes into the spotlight.
“When I started TBS Planet in July 2016 with comic book ‘Ved,' it was a hobby,” says founder Rajeev Tamhankar, who was fond of sketching and doodling from an early age. “But soon we got contracts from Balaji Motion Pictures and Ajay Devgn FFilms to create comics for their movies ‘A Flying Jatt’ and ‘Shivaay,’ respectively. That’s when I quit my job and started this venture full-time.”
Jabalpur-based TBS Planet, which develops comics in six languages — Hindi, Telugu, Kannada, Bangla, Marathi, and English — began as a printed comics company and when they wanted to move to a digital medium, they couldn’t find a sustainable way to reach customers. They even created a mobile app but at Rs 200 (roughly just under USD 3) per subscriber, the customer acquisition cost was too high. That’s when they decided to use the WhatsApp Business app.
“WhatsApp Business helps establish the authenticity of the brand"
“Since almost everyone uses WhatsApp, it helped us scale distribution quickly. No one needed to download a new app to read our comics,” says Rajeev.
As they started building a subscriber base on WhatsApp, it dramatically reduced their customer acquisition cost. Today, 100 percent of their revenue is dependent on WhatsApp. Customers buy an annual subscription and every day new comics are sent to them via WhatsApp. Since they started using the WhatsApp Business app, Rajeev says they have seen high growth rates, up to 40 percent month over month. TBS Planet has approximately 14,000 subscribers — some from as far away as Dubai and the United States.
“WhatsApp has helped us reach customers it was difficult to reach earlier,” says Rajeev. “Patna, Indore, Lucknow, Bhopal are among our top cities and Hindi is the most preferred language.”
As TBS Planet continues to capitalize on the comic craze, it's found an indispensable tool to help it grow.
Says Rajeev, “The biggest advantage is that WhatsApp Business helps establish the authenticity of the brand.”