Addressing a gathering at the pitch day of Startup India-WhatsApp Grand Challenge, Abhijit Bose, head of WhatsApp India said that the focus of the Facebook-owned social media giant was to expand digital and financial inclusion, and to help businesses pan-India.
“WhatsApp has already made it simple for families to stay connected in India and around the world. Now we’re looking to support and scale the local businesses that can leverage our platform to positively impact the community and country,” Bose added.
WhatsApp was founded in 2009 by Brian Acton and Jan Koum. It is a freeware, cross-platform messaging and voice over IP service owned by Facebook. It allows users to send text messages and voice messages, make voice and video calls, and share images, documents, user locations, and other media.
Bose further said that WhatApp Business can make a difference where customers are interacting and business communication needs to happen.
He believes in the importance and potential of Indian startups in the global technology innovations since India has disseminated some highly innovative ideas that are making significant impact to the society and the economy of the country.
“I believe we are only now entering the golden age of Indian start-up ecosystem and in the next five years we will see an explosion of globally important tech companies that not only solve major problems here at home but will take their tech, expertise, and business models across the world,” added Bose.
Further, according to Bose, there are two reasons that Indian startup ecosystem is facing tougher challenges than Silicon Valley in the US. First, the challenges and complexity of building a business in India is faced by stiff competition from global giants. Second, the solutions for solving the scale and competitiveness of the market dynamics are huge in India comparatively.
Besides, the Startup India-WhatsApp Grand Challenge is a homegrown startup ecosystem, launched by WhatsApp, that will help, empower India’s innovation and its entrepreneurial qualities.
The Challenge had awarded $50,000 each to five finalists including telemedicine startup MedCords, virtual reality content platform Melzo, WhatsApp-based conversational AI company Javis, agritech platform Gramophone, and energy saving product company MinionLabs, cited Inc42.