Wednesday, Aug 17, 2022
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A British Initiative Aims To Promote Innovative Apps From East India

One of Britain’s most pres­tigious tech awards, which resulted in forty companies being taken to the UK so far, the ‘TECH Rocketship Awards 2018 and 2019’, is open to Indian tech startups.

Happy To Aggregate Photograph by Sandipan Chatterjee

It was a blisteringly hot day in Calcutta; 36-year-old IT professional Umesh Agarwal, who had been out in the sun, just couldn’t wait to get home and turn on the air-conditioner. Except, “When I switched on the remote, it just emitted an eerie noise and conked off.” What followed was an exasperating conversation with the customer service personnel on the AC company’s helpline. “They were asking for detailed information—the machine’s year of purchase, the date the warranty expires, the model num­ber and other questions I could not readily answer,” he says. “I had forgotten where or whether I had stored the user manual and I thought, ‘How many people have the time or patience to dig through junk mail and recover the kind of crucial information they were asking for?’ My answer was, ‘Almost no one.’”

That’s when a brainwave struck. Agarwal decided to create an app that would digitally store not only information about consumers’ household appliances, electronic gadgets and other machinery, but even mundane data such as records of invoices, INS­urances, warranties, renewal dates, ann­ual maintenance certificates and other documents. “A customer who downloads the app, I thought, should be able to access all the information,” says Agarwal. “And companies too should find it useful because it would keep a record of purchase details of a consumer.” By winter, that is December 2017, he launched the app—calling it Jolly App—as well as going on to successfully market it (currently, it has an estimated 50,000 users) after being certified by the Union ministry of commerce and industry.

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