How the founders of Chingari gave TikTok a run for its money

Earning the approval of a top chef at India Inc is no small feat. India Inc can be insightful, analytical, and rarely a fault escapes its critical but watchful eye. So what about Chingari, a local “shudh desi” app that won him the approval of Indian billionaire businessman Anand Mahindra?

The president of the Mahindra group proudly claimed on Twitter that he had never downloaded TikTok but would now download Chingari.

In a nation obsessed with the perfect Instagram moments, where posh influencers and the social media elite pose in exotic destinations and post stories of delicious food in dazzling outfits – an app has emerged in stark opposition to the perfection that Instagram accounted for.

If Instagram was about adhering to rigid social structures, TikTok was about letting go, doing what you want, without inhibitions. Sadly, tensions on the Sino-Indian border have put a temporary comma, if not a permanent stop, to India’s TikTok era. But that didn’t stop the Indians from speaking out.

Many Indians have now turned to Chingari, a Bangalore-based desi alternative to TikTok videshi, putting the “local” in PM Modi’s appeal, #VocalForLocal.

Bangalore-based app founders Biswatma Nayak and Siddharth Gautam are excited to see the app become number one on the Google Play Store.

While TikTok is limited to uploading videos and exploring content like a newsfeed, Chingari, in addition to these features, allows users to interact with new people, share content with them. and also provides new trends, entertainment news, love quotes and more. .

Unlike TikTok, where content creators monetize their content and get paid accordingly, Chingari pays content creators based on the virality of a video. For every video a user uploads to Chingari, they get per view points which can be redeemed for cash.

Likewise, creators who find themselves in a difficult situation now that TikTok is banned, might be drawn to using Chingari, as the app offers some pretty lucrative incentives.

But Chingari is more than just a desi alternative to a Chinese app. It was a spark, ironically enough, that sparked a rather explosive revolution in the social media space.

Since word spread online about the app, Indians have shown great enthusiasm to download it. The app, at the time of writing, has been downloaded over 11 million times, with nearly one million video views every 30 minutes since the government announced a ban on 59 Chinese apps.

The founders of the app based in Bangalore, Biswatma Nayak and Siddharth Gautam are delighted to see the app become number one on the Google Play Store, leaving behind Mitron, a TikTok clone app.

Speaking to the IANS news agency, Nayak said: “Since word spread that Indians now have a local and more entertaining alternative to TikTok, we have seen traffic beyond expectations on our website. application.”

The app has set new benchmarks, not only in terms of numbers and traffic, but also in terms of investors willing to support the app. “We are having crucial discussions to rally one or more good investors to grow our free social platform,” Nayak said in a statement.

Recently, Sumit Ghosh, the co-founder of Chingari posted on Twitter, he has his own “Richard Hendricks” moment from the show “Silicon Valley”. For the uninitiated, Richard Hendricks is the eccentric software designer and protagonist of the cult show “Silicon Valley,” the idea behind the famous Pied Piper app, which often spews out with excitement.

If you follow Nayak and Ghosh on social media, you’ll see how the brains behind this shudh desi success story are working around the clock to meet user needs. They go all out to improve the app experience for users and tackle issues in real time as well.

In fact, the last few days for the Chingari team have been difficult, as they have faced the problems one after the other.

Working 48 hours straight, sleeping less than 2 hours a day, the team is literally putting their blood, sweat and tears up to the reputation they’ve built for themselves. Application servers have crashed twice due to massive user traffic and the team is working to scale their infrastructure to meet growing user demand.

As Ghosh’s Twitter timeline and Facebook wall are inundated with analytics screenshots, showing the number of real-time users on the app (which keeps growing every day), the media feed Nayak’s social policies are darker. Nayak fixes issues users face with the app and even answers FAQs people might have.

When news of the Chinese apps ban first broke, Ghosh couldn’t help but celebrate a bit, posting a photo of the list of apps that have been banned, writing: “Finally we made it to China (what) China is doing to the West! ‘

No Indian startup, not even Ola or Oyo, has been able to achieve such massive early growth in terms of user numbers as Chingari. While it took 3 to 4 years for Oyo and Ola to find their place and witness growth in user numbers, Chingari managed to gain popularity and achieve good numbers within a few years.

While his rise may have been aided by the TikTok ban and lingering tensions on the Sino-Indian border, it goes without saying that the odds are in Chingari’s favor.

Bringing about a revolution, breaking down barriers and initiating change, as they say, is not easy.

But sometimes all it takes is a “chingari” to change everything.



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The opinions expressed above are those of the author.



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