The latest round of ban on Chinese apps has made the Indian startup industry excited at the renewed prospect of growth and massive new user addition as users look for alternatives.
Indian startup founders pointed out that if the government supports the ecosystem by encouraging home-made players to grow, entrepreneurs will get a new push to innovate more for the country.
Chingari, Kaagaz Scanner examples
A case in point is the massive growth seen by Indian short-video apps in the wake of the TikTok ban.
“The government, time and again, has proved to support the Indian startup eco-system…this indeed would motivate us and we would see more Indian companies going global,” said Sumit Ghosh, co-founder, Chingari.
Chingari shot to prominence after the Bytedance-owned short video platform TikTok was banned by the government in July this year. While TikTok featured in the list of 56 apps banned in the first round, gaming apps like PUBG, along with 117 others, were banned on September 2.
Utility app developers have a chance
The ban will give an opportunity for app developers to build utility apps quickly and scale up user base. Industry insiders believe that the entire app economy is going through a massive reset.
For instance, after the hugely popular CamScanner was banned by the government, the Nehanshu Gandhi- co-founded Kaagaz Scanner saw massive downloads.
He said while gaming apps are difficult to build and time-consuming, utility apps can be quickly built and scaled up. This will open a massive opportunity for enterprising Indian app developers.
The ban on PUBG has opened new opportunities for gaming startups in India, which can capitalise on the public interest in this evolving sector. Live gaming is emerging as a major space and startups can be built here with massive revenue opportunities as well.
“Notwithstanding this ban, the gaming community and e-sports industry, at large, in our country shall continue to grow in the months and years to come. We can say this with confidence because gaming as a skill is never limited to a particular game,” said Saksham Keshri, founder, Rheo, a live-streaming startup platform for the gaming community in India.
Other games like FreeFire, Valorant, and Call of Duty could emerge as replacement for PUBG, he said. Further, the ban could encourage other software engineers to come together and develop interesting games in the similar genre in India itself.
While a few founders highlighted the possibilities for Indian startups, others stressed on the need to protect data of Indian consumers.
Bolo Indya co-founder Varun Saxena said that players like them have built their business, valuing the data of users. Given the government’s move towards banning apps which have doubtful data privacy and security policies, it gives a fillip to the line of thinking that user data will be need to be saved and stored safely.
(With inputs from Sriram Mani)