WhatsApp mobile messenger service user base in India has sprouted to 70 million active users, and that’s over 1/10th of WhatsApp’s global users, stated its business head Neeraj Arora on Wednesday at the fifth annual INK Conference held in Mumbai. He added that the total user base for the company, which was acquired by Facebook earlier this year for a whopping $19-million, is 600 million and growing. With over 10% of users from India, the country is one of the biggest markets for WhatsApp, and connecting billions of people spread across markets like India and Brazil is what the company is aiming at, he added.

Arora, an alumnus of IIT-Delhi and ISB Hyderabad, maintained that even after being acquired by Facebook, WhatsApp shall continue to possess its unique identity and will not get merged with the social network, but stated that their company, which has just 80 employees, shall highly benefit from the learnings of the social networking giant.

Interestingly, Arora believes he would have paid a fraction of the sum (some “low tens of millions”) to buy WhatsApp three years ago, and the $19-million deal is just proof to how much the company has grown since then. The user base has expanded from 30 million then to 600 million now, and all this was possible because the company’s focus was more on the product rather than on the business-side of things, said he, stressing that the same continues to be the company’s motto still.