Hon’ble PM Narendra Modi has always been a firm believer in the power of technology. Since taking office in May 2014, he has always sought to empower technological advancements & ‘Made In India’ products. Ever since the beginning of the Covid-19 Pandemic, he espoused the power of ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’ and gave the phrase a whole new meaning. In his address to the nation on May 12, 2020, he enumerated that the building of self-reliant India will stand on “technology-driven systems that fulfil the dreams of the 21st century.”
Seeing the huge interest & enthusiasm among the start-up & tech ecosystem to innovate, develop and promote homegrown apps, Hon’ble PM Modi launched the ‘Digital India AatmaNirbhar Bharat App Innovate Challenge’ on the 4th of July, 2020 on MyGov.in.
The Challenge was a hunt to identify the best Indian Apps that had the potential to scale & become world-class. The mission was to recognise and honour the efforts of all the unsung digital warriors who had the potential to empower Brand India and showcase India as one of the leading App developing countries in the world. It gave an opportunity to Indian Tech Developers, Entrepreneurs and companies to build in India, for the world.
With a total of 6,940 entries, the challenge witnessed massive participation from tech entrepreneurs & start-ups from across the country ranging from big cities to small towns. The level of energy showcased by each participant demonstrated the amount of talent that exists in our country.
The top entries in 9 different categories namely Business, eLearning, Entertainment, Games, Health, News, Office, Social and Others were shortlisted by the eminent Jury from Industry, Startups, Academia & Government. They were then presented to the public through a live Webcast and with the help of public voting at the MyGov platform, 9 Apps were selected as the best of the best.
In the ‘Business’ category, ‘Zoho’ was declared the winner.
Zoho Invoice is a GST-compliant invoicing application that helps in streamlining accounts receivable by allowing to create customisable invoices and collect payments online.
Zoho Books is a GST-compliant, double-entry accounting application that helps businesses manage their finances end-to-end. It simplifies complex accounting transactions by helping business owners record what they sell and purchase and eventually helps them file returns for the same.
Zoho Expense is a GST-compliant, online travel and expense reporting application built to help businesses streamline expenses, simplify approvals and speed up reimbursements.
In the ‘eLearning’ category, ‘Hello English: Learn English’ App won the 1st position. An AI-powered, voice-led learning solution for the English language, the app is aimed at democratizing learning for the next billion. With job-outcome oriented communication skills, it makes learning personalized to every user.
While catering to everyone’s amusing side, ‘CaptionPlus’ App topped the ‘Entertainment’ category. An App created with the vision to develop a search engine for the most trending and catchy Instagram captions, ‘CaptionPlus’ can complement photos, adding a spark to every post of the user. Packed with abundant features, CaptionPlus’ AI engine automatically suggests the most suitable captions and hashtags for the uploaded image.
The App ‘HitWicket Superstars‘ was declared the best in the ‘Games’ category. The AI-powered online gaming app aims at giving the most immersive experience to all cricket fans. Cashing on the widely popular game of cricket, which enjoys over one billion fans globally, with more than 90% in the Indian sub-continent alone, ‘Hitwicket Superstars’ already has over 9,00,000 downloads across Android & Apple stores. Founded by Hyderabad’s Kashyap Reddy & Keerti Singh, ‘Hitwicket Superstars’ enjoys a diverse user base, with 30% of its users coming from other cricket-loving nations like Australia & the UK.
For all the fitness freaks, ‘StepSetGo’ was declared the winner in the ‘Health’ category. To motivate people to stay fit, ‘StepSetGo’ is an app that rewards every step with coins that can later be redeemed for products & discounts. The app engages and pushes the user to walk more every day by using tangible prizes, gamification, and social interaction as a reward. The app’s aim is to promote healthy habits among the general public and make every citizen fitter.
‘Logically’ secured the number 1 rank in the ‘News’ category. Powered by AI, the platform detects local fallacy, inaccuracies, and bias using machine learning. Reviewing more than 5,00,000 articles a day, ‘Logically’ uses technology that consists of a three-pronged analysis including network, content & meta-data to reach its conclusions. In a world where misinformation is circulated vigorously and people often get caught up without knowing the truth, initiatives like ‘Logically’ can play a major role in the fight against such fake news. Launched in 2019, Logically detected over 40,000 unreliable articles during the Indian election and also partnered with Law Enforcement to fight misinformation.
Application suite built for unified communication, ‘Zoho Cliq & Workplace’ topped in the ‘Office’ category. While Zoho Workplace provides a unified platform for email, team cloud storage, online office suite and video meeting applications. ‘Zoho Cliq’ is an instant messaging and team collaboration application with file sharing and audio/video calling capabilities. Together, they act as an online workplace enabling employees to meet, collaborate and get their work done.
The App ‘Chingari‘ was declared the best in the ‘Social’ category. A homegrown short video platform for citizens to showcase their talent to the world, Chingari aims to be the next entertainment destination for India. It provides an easy means for content creators from diverse backgrounds to showcase their talent to the world. With over 10,000,000+ downloads, it provides an easy means for content creators to find representation in popular media.
‘MapmyIndia Move App: Maps, Navigation and Tracking’ was announced the winner of the 9th category of the Challenge namely ‘Others’. India’s pioneer in advanced location-based and IoT technologies, ‘MapmyIndia’ is powered with ISRO’s Bhuvan Satellite view. A homegrown company that has built itself from the ground up, ‘MapmyIndia’ covers 3 crore checkpoints across India including house-numbers, building-level details, villages & 99% of the road network.
‘The AatmaNirbhar Bharat App Innovation Challenge’ is just the beginning of the long promising road ahead towards building a self-reliant India. The whopping 6,940 entries and tough competition showcase the huge reservoir of energy and talent that is waiting to be unleashed and harnessed for the country’s technological development.
After achieving unprecedented success, it would be safe to say that the ‘AatmaNirbhar Bharat App Innovation Challenge’ has unlocked value for Indian tech start-ups by enabling them to participate in the multi-trillion-dollar App Economy.