Meet Balachandar Karthikeyan, the lone Indian who contributed to both of the world's most popular messaging platforms, WhatsApp and Signal. Balachandar collaborates closely with the founder of these messaging apps.
In 2015, while Balachandar was still a student in college, he discovered a security flaw in the widely used messaging app WhatsApp. He then reported the flaw to the WhatsApp team, which brought him to the attention of the company's co-founder, who then hired Balachandar to work for WhatsApp. Balachandar was actively involved in close collaboration with the WhatsApp co-founder on a daily basis and participated in the development of all product roadmaps.
Numerous significant WhatsApp features, including Status, Groups, Video Calls, Payments, etc., benefited from Balachandar's ideas, and he also looked after the quality of the final product. Because of the extraordinary contribution made by Balachandar, the WhatsApp team and the co-founder were so taken aback by his work that they began referring to him as the "Legend of WhatsApp'' internally within the WhatsApp office.
After five years of incredible contribution to WhatsApp, finally when the co-founder left WhatsApp to start his next venture Signal foundation, Balachandar quit WhatsApp and joined him on Signal's mission. This was when the co-founder left WhatsApp to start his next venture Signal foundation. Together with the rest of the Signal team, Balachandar worked to continuously improve the product's quality.
When WhatsApp made changes to its privacy policies a year ago, which led to Signal's meteoric rise in popularity. In an interview, the co-founder of Signal foundation talked Balachandar's contribution to international media outlets, stating, “I have a very very good friend and colleague who lives in India and I talk to him every day. He's telling me what's going on, it helps me understand sort of what the Indian market is like. What's necessary. He's giving me product ideas, I think that's the best way to build a product for India and what's really awesome is India is such a strong representation of the world that if you build for India you build for the world.”
The fact that a co-founder of WhatsApp and Signal is talking about his connection with an Indian friend and how he gets product ideas and assistance from the Indian mind is a moment that all Indian software techies can look back on with a sense of immense pride.