Every day, innovative companies promise to fix something or other to make the world a better place. A ‘smart’ button to send your location to your loved ones, or an app to assist you in decision making, or a digital service to save fuel, are among the many apps and digital services that make their debut every day. While many tech giants are powering entrepreneurs focusing on the urban slice of population, internet major Google has kicked off ‘Solve for India’ programme for a new breed of entrepreneurs and developers to build solutions to solve the real problems in India. The internet giant will be focusing on entrepreneurs and start-ups in emerging cities such as Pune, Jaipur, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Kochi, Indore, Nagpur, Nashik, Madurai, Kanpur and Chennai. Under this, entrepreneurs will get assistance from Google engineers on product usage insights, developing mobile first solutions with offline and language capabilities and build solutions across areas such as agri-tech, healthcare, transportation, education and sanitation. For instance, Jaipur based Nishant Patni’s Hello English app was able to help 95 lakh Indians learn English, while Chennai-based Natarajan Raman, an Android developer, has developed a Tamil language based app called ‘Kuzhandai Nalam’ to help parents learn about children’s health issues in regional languages—the app has already clocked 50,000 installs. In Pune, a developer has come out with the AgroStar mobile app which aims to transform agri-business for farmers by making products available to the farmer through a missed call.
“Majority of India’s internet users are Indian language users, and over 80% access the net from their mobile phones. But the current start-up ecosystem is building products for the English speaking audience. There are a growing number of entrepreneurs in smaller Indian cities who are focusing on building solutions that cater to the real needs of India,” said Karthik Padmanabhan, programme manager—lead for Google India.