September 4, 2020
Innovation on the Tap: Meet the winners in 9 categories of Govt’s Aatmanirbhar Bharat App Innovation Challenge. Say Yes to homegrown applications Mobile phone
The government has selected nearly 24 companies as winners in nine categories under a first-of-its-kind innovation challenge to promote homegrown applications.
These apps under ‘AatmaNirbhar Bharat App Innovation Challenge’ were shortlisted from about 7,000 entries by a jury comprising both government as well as industry representatives. Atal Innovation Mission, Niti Aayog actively collaborated and supported MyGov in conduct of the Challenge along with Meity Startup Hub and National e Governance Division, under Digital India Corporation of Ministry of Electronics and Information technology. The government is also planning a second phase of the contst, where it will provide significant handholding and mentorship to the applications, which will be in the areas of web browser, search etc.
IT minister Ravi Shankar Prasad has also launched a series of other grand contests in categories such as video conferencing and semiconductor chips over the last few months to build and nurture home grown technologies. The latest contest will support close to 300 startups in small towns and has an outlay of Rs 95 crore.
ET profiles the winners of the first contest . These are in categories such as business, eLearning, entertainment, games, health, news, office and Work from Home, Others and Social.
The app shows users contextual captions and hashtags to images. It was founded by Rahul Maurya, Anurag Kumar and Jitendra Yadav in 2018. The startup wants to create a search engine of the most trending and catchy Instagram captions to complement photos of users. It has a team of writers who come up with “sassy” captions. Its AI-powered caption generator makes it easy for a person to find likeable captions. Users can upload the photo and get caption suggestions. It has been downloaded by more than one million social media users and influencers.
- Meme Chat: The app is a community for people who love watching and sharing memes. The platform also has a Meme social network, Meme Keyboard and Meme maker and free meme templates among other offerings.
- FTC Talent: It has created a platform which connects talent providers to talent seekers and helps artists find suitable roles in films, television, advertisements, theatre and live events.
The app uses a team of fact-checkers alongside artificial intelligence (AI) and digital forensics to analyse media stories and conspiracy theories to help the public separate facts from falsehoods and misinformation. The startup’s technology can also track sources of disinformation. Lyric Jain, a Cambridge University engineering student originally from Mysuru, set up Logically in 2017. It is based in the UK and has employees in Bengaluru as well. The app has already been used successfully in the Indian general and regional elections last year, in which it detected thousands of pieces of misleading content. It is now looking to establish itself as a partner for governments, businesses and consumers around the world.
IsEqualTo is an education and news app for the family, especially targeted towards kids with its promise of safe content, which is constantly moderated.
- Hitwicket Superstar
Hitwicket Superstar is an immersive cricket application for Android and iOS users. The game, which was launched in the beta mode by Octathorpe Web Consultants Pvt Ltd in April 2019, has more than three million users from 109 countries now. Hitwicket aspires to build the first mobile e-sports IP from India. Nearly one-third of its users are from outside India. The Hyderabad-based startup plans to organise virtual IPL-like tournaments with global participants in 2023.
- ScarFall: The Royal Combat
ScarFall is a multiplayer battle game that competes with PUBG. The game has good graphics and is also available for low-end mobile devices.
- World Cricket Championship 2:
World Cricket Championship 2 or WCC2 is a cricket simulation game. Developed by Nextwave Multimedia, the game has intense 3D graphics and offers a near real gaming experience virtually.
OFFICE & WFH
- Zoho Workplace and Cliq
Zoho Workplace is a suite of software applications that allow users to create an office setup on the Cloud. It was created as a bundled offering to provide an alternative to Google and Microsoft’s cloud office and productivity suites and is used for creating documents, spreadsheets, sending emails, among basic functions. The suite includes tools like Mail, Connect, Chat, Writer, Show, Sheet, Docs, and others.
Zoho’s Cliq was developed as an alternative to Slack and Microsoft Teams. It is a team messaging tool that integrates into various Zoho business applications. The tool helps in team communication and has remote work tools like remote check-in, group calling and role-based security, among other features.
SureMDM is a mobile-based device management software that helps manage mobile, PC and other devices. Developed by 42Gears, it is used by enterprises to protect and monitor devices that access company data.
The two-year-old company was set up to make it easier for users to get fit by providing rewards and additional motivation. The app tracks how many steps users take, allowing them to earn SSG coins which can then be redeemed in their in-app marketplace. Set up by Shivjeet Ghatge, Abhay Pai and Misaal Turakhia, StepSetGo has over 5 million users who have taken over one trillion steps within the first year. Interestingly, the app found a mention in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s latest Mann ki Baat address.
iMumz is a week-by-week pregnancy program specifically for women, providing holistic and personalised lifestyle and health advice. It has been conceptualised by a team comprising gynaecologists, meditation experts and IIT graduates.
Disprz provides skilling and learning solutions for enterprises, aimed at both office and blue-collar workers. The app tracks and recommends skills that apply to a person’s day-to-day requirements and also allows for building career advancing skills through customised modules. The Artificial Intelligence (AI) driven platform tracks ongoing employee skilling and identifies when they are ready for career advancement. Disprz works with over 180 companies across 66 countries and has trained over 6,50,00 employees already. The company was set up by Subbu Viswanathan and Kuljit Chadha in 2016.
- Kutuki Kids
Kutuki is a pre-school learning app that teaches through videos, rhymes, games and activities. The company also creates picture books that highlight the cultural diversity of India.
- Hello English:
Hello English claims to be Asia’s largest English learning app with a community of 50 million learners worldwide. It offers English speaking lessons for individuals and enterprises.
- Zoho Invoice, Books and Expense
Part of Zoho’s cloud suite of software applications, Zoho Invoice is an online invoicing software that helps companies make professional invoices, automatically send payment reminders, and receive payments faster online.
Zoho Books is a GST compliant, cloud-based accounting software that processes accounting transactions and manages accounts. The tool has features like raising sales orders and uploading expense receipts, among others.
Zoho Expense is a GST-compliant online expense reporting software, made primarily for Indian businesses to automate the expense report creation process. It automates the recording of expenses from receipts to avoid manual data entry.
Mall91 is a community commerce app designed to cater to rural India’s online shopping needs. The app has features like group discount buying, live host demonstrations of products and social gaming.
It is a platform that helps SMEs create and manage documents like GST-compliant invoices, waybills, quotations, purchase orders and delivery challans. It comes in handy while managing inventory and expenses.
Chingari, a made-in-India alternative to the popular Chinese short video app TikTok, has seen a massive spurt in users over the last two months after the government banned several Chinese apps over security concerns. The work on Chingari app started in November 2018 but it took the company almost two years to get the product right, its founders said. It is the only Indian app to have a creation tool. It also allows people to interact with new people and provides trending news, entertainment news, love quotes and more. Interestingly, the app found a stamp of approval from M&M group chairman Anand Mahindra who tweeted that he had started using the app.
- YourQuote: Created in 2016, it is currently used by over 4 million writers globally to create original content in over 14 languages. The app claims to host over 100 million original posts on the platform.
- Koo: A micro-blogging platform, it is designed to share news and opinion in local Indian languages and claims to have a strong knit local Indian community. Discussions are largely around reigning new headlines of the day with top experts on the subject.
- MapmyIndia Move:
MapmyIndia offers digital map data, telematics, location-based software as a service (SaaS) and Geographic Information System (GIS) services. It offers a detailed house number level map search, compatibility with India’s own satellite imagery service from ISRO’s Bhuvan, real-time traffic and safety-based navigation. The company was founded in 1992 by Rakesh and Rashmi Verma and is headquartered in New Delhi. Rohan Verma is its CEO and Executive Director. MapmyIndia capitalised on the growing digital apps market and monetised its map offerings through consumer apps, navigation devices, licensing, map APIs, tracking, and analytics, etc. It has sold its solutions to industries such as automobile, e-commerce, banking, insurance and space tech.
The artificial intelligence tool helps users navigate through various government services and offerings like RuPay cards, Aadhaar, PAN etc. The app was launched by Bengaluru-based conversational artificial intelligence (AI) startup CoRover in October 2019.
It is an authorized e-return intermediary registered with the Income-tax Department, which eases the process of filing income-tax returns for individuals. The platform has over 2 million users in India and abroad.