Ishan Pandey: Hi Sumit, welcome to our series “Behind the Startup.” Please tell us about yourself and the story behind Chingari?
Sumit Ghosh: I have over 12 years of experience in entrepreneurship. Having worked with many high-tech companies and established a track record of helping organizations to expand faster and being an expert in managing, structuring and building a culture for a distributed agile team. I have successfully implemented remote working culture for my emerging startup and have got successful results.
Chingari happened in 2018, intending to offer Indians a platform that they could genuinely call theirs. Something that could help them display their talent and benefit from it too. It was a genuine effort that gradually garnered people’s appreciation & love and has grown to what it is today - A family of 85 Million+.
Ishan Pandey: Please tell us a little bit about the Chingari App platform and how short-video applications are disrupting the social media scene?
Sumit Ghosh: Chingari is a fun, short-video app where users can create & upload interesting videos, watch movies and shop for the latest trends. Incepted in 2018, the app has grown exponentially to 85 Million downloads within a short span of time. It has been honoured with accolades such as Best Social Media App in App Innovation Challenge as well as ‘Most Popular Social Media App’ at the Times Business Awards 2021.
Chingari’s latest GARI (In-App Reward Program and pronounced as GARI) is India’s First Crypto Social Token. It is well poised to revolutionize Content Monetization, helping the Creator Community to gain maximum control of their content and earn directly from it.
We believe that tokenization and content creation go hand in hand. Further, giving income and power in the hands of the people in a sharing economy will spur in-app economic activity and create engagement which we believe is critical and will be the next frontier in social media.
Ishan Pandey: In your opinion, where does India stand today in terms of building native social media platform’s specific to the Indian Demographic? Further, is it critical that Indian startups develop their own social media platform for their population without relying on social media giants such as Facebook and Twitter?
Sumit Ghosh: If you study the trends, you will notice a new wave of opportunities for Indian digital platforms. The advantage is that most of them know the pulse of the audience better than their western counterparts.
The formula of creating the right mix of tech & innovation that keeps the user hooked to the platform is gradually getting implemented and is the key to success.
The coming years will show a clearer picture and decide the winner.
Ishan Pandey: As someone who has been in the industry for quite a while now, what will be your advice to budding programmers and entrepreneurs who want to start their own startups?
Sumit Ghosh: KEEP HUSTLING !!! Everything that can be envisioned, can be achieved. The market is favourable for growth. Just stay focused and evolve every single day.
Ishan Pandey: What major marketing strategies help onboard users and make them stay on the platform, especially where there is a stream of rival entities in such a hyper-competitive industry?
Sumit Ghosh: Frankly, being genuine in your approach is the biggest marketing strategy. Be it a hashtag campaign or an influencer-led activity. We promote our creators as much as possible so their talent can get famous.
Ishan Pandey: Recently, court documents showed that Instagram knew about the effect of its application on teenagers and that the social media application was increasing the rate of depression in teens. What are your views on the impact of social media on young impressionable minds? Further, what are your views on corporations putting money before the mental health of their users?
Sumit Ghosh: We try to keep our entertainment as ethical as possible. We have many genres such as dance, comedy, singing, food, education, etc., that work towards enriching the viewer’s mind with newer content. We have got feedback that spending some time on our app enables users to meet their day’s worries.
Ishan Pandey: What role has the pandemic played in the rise of the popularity of social media platforms? Also, what do you think the post-covid-19 scenario would look like for the industry now that we are entering the endemic phase in India according to experts?
Sumit Ghosh: The pandemic certainly gave us all an opportunity to explore our hidden talents or revisit old passions. Everyone felt motivated to share such content with others that could smile another person’s face. Nowadays, short-video content has become a part of our lifestyle. We all like binging on a trending video. The trend is here to stay.
Ishan Pandey: Further, from an Indian perspective, what does it take for startups to gain momentum in the country, specifically in getting funding? Further, kindly share some tips for new startups on approaching investors and navigating the funding process?
Sumit Ghosh: The Start-up industry in India is a budding market. If the proposal is lucrative, why wouldn’t anyone invest in it? Do not rush into things; keep developing at every stage and grow. Let your existing worth + future vision attract investors.
Disclaimer: The purpose of this article is to remove informational asymmetry existing today in our digital markets by performing due diligence by asking the right questions and equipping readers with better opinions to make informed decisions.
The material does not constitute any investment, financial, or legal advice. Please do your research before investing in any digital assets or tokens, etc. The writer does not have any vested interest in the company.