Community, in general, is essential to the way people live. And with the rise of social media, communities have entered the digital world, too. Over the past few years, online communities have grown tremendously. They have become a great way to meet and engage with like-minded individuals.
Today, there are online communities for almost anyone — whether you are a sports fanatic or a foodie or a techie or even a business owner. But not every community grows to a massive scale and thrive, many remain small, and even wither.
This is where platforms like Parva comes into the picture. Parva not only supports community entrepreneurs grow but also help them build a reliable income stream from subscriptions and community access programmes.
To know more about the online community domain and how Parva is playing a vital role in it, we got in touch with Abhijeet Katte, founder and CEO of Parva.
Excerpts From The Interview with Abhijeet
1. Thanks to the internet and social media, neighbourhoods now exist online — the entire definition and concept of a community have evolved. What’s your take on this?
Communities have been an essential part of humanity for thousands and thousands of years now. What the internet now enables us to do is build our own social milieu and build a sense of belonging irrespective of geography. So, the axes of community building have now changed. In the past communities were built based on caste, geography, and some other pre-decided vectors, but now communities can be built around topics, objects, and concepts. This change inherently unleashes a lot of human potentials and has in the last 40 years of the internet, but Parva wants to take it to the next level. We want to understand and explore what happens when online communities figure out a way to share incentives to become more productive and happier and how a new set of entrepreneurs can emerge out of this space.
You can visit Parva to understand what we have been doing.
2. Lately, online communities have grown significantly. Internet users are moving into a way of sharing that has community at its heart. However, do you think, there’s something still missing? How do these online communities grow?
The missing part has been monetisation and empowerment of community entrepreneurs and organisers. What tools can we build for them and how we can help them earn an income from what they do. At Parva, we have a few ideas on how these organisers can monetise and keep the experience great for their members. The online communities grow very organically by word of mouth. One enthusiastic member recommends the community to others.
3. Let’s talk about Parva. How did Parva happen and why is the name ‘Parva’?
I had an experience of hosting AIMINDS, a successful data science community with more than 7000 members. What I understood at that time is that not many tools exist for organisers who want to do great things for their community and earn an income. I decided I would build that tool for them. That’s how Parva was born.
The word “Parva” is present in many Indian languages such as Marathi, Sanskrit and Kannada. It means an “era” or “chapter” or “time interval”. We want to say that Parva is a new way to see the internet and communities and hopefully, it brings a new era of the internet.
4. Let’s go more in-depth. Tell us how Parva works and how community organizers/community entrepreneurs and community members can be benefited?
Parva makes it easy to set up paid communities. You can essentially create a community on Parva, transition your community members on Parva and create great value for them. Once you create great value for them, Parva helps you charge your members a subscription fee and earn a stable income.
Organisers have to recognise the monetary value of hosting great communities and how they can essentially convert this into a profession. We at Parva are on a mission to help improve how community organisers and entrepreneurs actually work.
5. What does the future roadmap of Parva look like? How will the company battle it out for a bigger market share and diversify its offerings?
The future for Parva is working closely with these organisers and reaching a product where it’s easy and actually comfortable for them to use and onboard members. We will create tools for these organisers to create great content, events and discussions for their community and ultimately create productive and engaged communities.
We currently have more than 50 organisers and are looking to onboard more than 200 by the end of 2020. And 5 years down the line, we are very much sure that Parva is going to become the best platform to host digital societies — a platform where community magic happens.
6. There are many folks around the world who are really keen towards the idea of starting their own online community. However, many tend to be clueless about how to go about it and scale it. Any words for them?
It’s okay to be clueless about community entrepreneurship because it’s really new and it’s the future. At Parva, we are working hard to create an ecosystem for community entrepreneurship and everyone should just try this out for some months before making a decision.
Anyone who wants to start a community or want to know how this entire domain works can always reach out to me at [email protected]. Me and my team will personally talk to them and guide them on how they can create a vibrant community.