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Vocal for Local - Indian pm lauded of business like paytm, chingari, koo, ask sarkar, kutukikids, reliance jio, patanjali, zoho workplace for their success

Vocal for Local - Indian pm lauded of business like paytm, chingari, koo, ask sarkar, kutukikids, reliance jio, patanjali, zoho workplace for their success
  • In his push for ‘vocal for local’ campaign, the Indian Prime Minister lauded a bunch of businesses for their success.
  • These startups are aligned with the government’s Aatma Nirbhar App Innovation Challenge in different categories including e-learning, fitness, and microblogging.
  • Check Business Insider for the latest news and updates.
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Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘vocal for local’ campaign⁠— one intended to promote indigenous companies⁠— has resulted in an unsolicited promotion for many Indian businesses. The latest businesses to get endorsed by PM Modi are — KutukiKids, KOO, Step Set Go, Chingari app, ZOHO Workplace and AskSarkar.

Not surprisingly, the business owners were elated.

This is not the first time that Modi’s image has been used in the promotion of private companies. In the last three years, Reliance Jio and Paytm had featured his image on their advertisements, without permission though.

The companies that have found mention in Modi’s latest address are startups that are aligned with the government’s Aatma Nirbhar App Innovation Challenge in different categories including e-learning, fitness, and microblogging.

​Chingari

​Chingari
Business Insider India

Chingari, a TikTok-like made in India app, starting becoming popular among millennials as soon as the Indian government banned 59 Chinese apps. Just like TikTok, Chingari allows users to record and upload short videos on the platform. The app was launched in November 2018 and took 18 months to get 100,000 downloads, according to a Business Insider exclusive report. But now, it has over 10 million downloads.

Sumit Ghosh, the founder of Chingari, said that the app got 100,000 downloads per hour on the day of the announcement. The app recently raised $1.3 million seed funding from LogX Ventures, iSeed, Village Global and has like Brian Norgard — the CPO of Tinder who previously invested in SpaceX — as angel investors.

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KutukiKids

KutukiKids
KutukiKids

KutukiKids, barely one and half-year-old learning app, was among the apps that won PM’s Aatma Nirbhar app challenge. It was started by Sneha Sundaram and Bharath Bevinahally and has hundreds of original songs and stories in five different languages. KutukiKids also managed to get Jerry Rao, the founder and former CEO of Mphasis as to invest as soon as it was launched.

So far, it has 100,000 downloads and an endorsement by PM Modi.

“There is an app in it, Kutuki kids learning app. It is such an interactive app for young children in which they can learn a lot and can learn math and science through songs and stories. It has activities and games also” Modi said.

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​KOO

​KOO
​KOO

KOO is a recently launched Indian version of Twitter targeting non-English speakers in the country. The microblogging app allows users to communicate in four different languages which include Hindi, Kannada, Tamil and Telugu. Since its launch, it has witnessed over 1 million downloads.

Vokal, the startups behind KOO, has received funding of $6.5 million in a Series A round led by Kalaari Capital, Shunwei Capital, 500 Startups in September 2018, with participation from existing investors AccelIndia and Blume Ventures.

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​Ask Sarkar

​Ask Sarkar
AskSarkar

A Bengaluru-based artificial intelligence startup CoRover also won the challenge. The startup launched its AI assistant and chatbot AskSarkar app in October 2019 to give authentic information as an answer to all the questions Indians have to ask their Central government.

The app has around 700,000 active users. With this, it is planning to include information from all the state governments. It raised an anonymous sum of seed investment last year from angel investor R.P Singh and is looking to raise $2 million

PM Modi promoted Ask Sarkar an app where people can get the right information about any government scheme.

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​Step Set Go

​Step Set Go
Google Play Store

Step Set Go is a health and fitness app where users gain SSG coins every time they take a step in fitness. These coins can be further redeemed to get in-app products for free or at discounted prices.

It was started by four childhood friends — Misaal Turakhia, Abhay Pai and Shivjeet Ghatge — in January 2019. The founders claim, the app has witnessed 140,000 downloads within two months of launch.

“From a small setup that comprised just the three of us working out of a friend’s father's old office in Mumbai, in less than two years we have scaled up to a family of six million-plus registered users,” Shivjeet Ghatge told YourStory.

StepSetGo is completely bootstrapped and has never taken funding from an investor.

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​Zoho Workplace

​Zoho Workplace
Wikipedia

The 25-year old bootstrapped company was also among the ones which got a special mention by PM Modi.

Zoho Workplace provides a suite of productivity applications which allows employees to work remotely on a virtual workplace. The suite includes Zoho Cliq, Zoho Books, Zoho Invoice etc.

It recently launched a solution that allows a business to move back operations into the workplace called BackToWork . It has over 50 million users around the world and operates from offices in the United States, Japan, China, Singapore, Mexico, Australia and the Netherlands.

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Reliance Jio

Reliance Jio
BCCL

It is common for Prime Minister to feature on government ads to promote their schemes but on 2 September 2017, India’s PM Modi appeared on Reliance Jio’s ad. This was the first time PM Modi ever featured on the advertisement of a private company. Jio used Modi’s image to connect Reliance’s vision with Modi’s Digital India programme.

India’s richest man Mukesh Ambani was asked to pay a fine of ₹500 for using Modi’s image without permission. This came a few months after a Pune-based real estate developed carried pictures of PM Modi and Devendra Fadnavis in one of his ads — making it look like it was government-sponsored under PMAY.

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​Paytm

​Paytm
BCCL

A day after India scrapped two of its currency notes, the first thing thousands of Indians saw was a Paytm ad featuring PM Modi on the front page of several leading newspapers. Paytm, an Indian e-commerce payment firm founded in 2010, was among the biggest beneficiaries of demonisation. Its user base skyrocketed from 140 million in October 2016 to 270 million in November 2017

While the government issued a notice to Paytm for using PM’s photo without permission, it invited criticism from top opposition leaders.

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​Patanjali

​Patanjali
BCCL

A year after PM Modi appeared on ads of Paytm and Reliance Jio, he was seen inaugurating Patanjali’s research institution in Haridwar. Modi’s presence at the inauguration event was frowned upon by several opposition leaders who said this would benefit the brand

Baba Ramdev later clarified that Modi is not “Patanjali’s brand ambassador, he is India’s brand ambassador.”However, in past leading BJP figures are known to promote Baba Ramdev’s vision — that also aligns with a Hindu nationalist right-wing organisation Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh.



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