Sumit Ghosh, the co-founder of Chingari app, an app that has proved to be a big success in India, joined NewsX for an exclusive chat where he talks about the success of the app and many other things. “It’s an ecstatic feeling, I am happy and proud of the whole thing. It was a very proud moment for the whole team when the app won the ‘Aatma Nirbhar Bharat Contest’ and the Prime Minister spoke about it.

Giving insights into the downloads of Chingari, Sumit said, “The overall downloads have crossed 28 million over the last two and a half months and yesterday, after the PM’s ‘Mann Ki Baat’ session, which was streamed throughout the country, we saw a million downloads while the weekly download rate is one million”.

Chingari is being used by some really influential celebrities and people. “So, a lot of people from Bollywood, popular chefs and ex-TikTok stars have moved to Chingari. People, and not only celebrities, others from Tier-2, 3 and 4 cities also made a living from TikTok and have now moved to Chingari. We are creating an ecosystem for creators and brands to work together”.

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Ghosh spoke about the response of people as Chingari was targeted towards Tier-2, 3 and 4 cities. He said, “This app ecosystem has really changed the way talent is being discovered now. So earlier, people had to come to metro (travel long distances) to give auditions to various studios to show their talent, but now they just have to come on Chingari, upload a couple of videos, if they are good then people share it and you suddenly become a star. So, the way talent is getting discovered digitally has changed now and to do that on the national level. We started this Chingari contest and people are registering for that in hundreds of thousands”.

Chingari app hosts a contest as well which is really popular among the users, whichever person wins it becomes famous and a crorepati by merely winning it. “Once we declare a winner for the contest over a period of 2 months and whoever wins is going to be a national celebrity who came out of nowhere and won a crore rupees”.

Talking about the new add-ons that their app is getting, Sumit said that they were rolling out some amazing AR filters which would be exclusive to Chingari as no other short video app in the market has it. “We are also getting utilised tools for the app and chat. So, a lot of exciting new features are coming up”.

As the unlock process is still underway and people are stuck at home, so to make these coronavirus times a little lighter and interesting Chingari app hosts some challenges. According to Sumit, “For every festival that happens, we have a challenge out. Recently, we also partnered with Times Music and there was this Ganpati challenge where we were giving away ₹10,000 rupees to the best creator every day for creating videos on the particular hashtag Har Har Ganpati. Now, we have the Onam challenge running. So, we have a new challenge running every month”.

Chingari app also promotes Indian culture. Sumit said that it’s an app made for Bharat users. “Here, even regional festivals are really, really big and we want these creators to make videos around their own festivals. This way, we are also able to attract more users from these specific places where regional festivals are celebrated, who can then showcase these festivals on Chingari and especially now, that people can’t go out and celebrate”.

On a lot of apps, people have to do a lot of cross-grinding and that is how the community-based money comes. But with Chingari the app shares 30% of the revenue it gets from ads with its creators and influencers. “So, let’s say Brand X wants to do a UGC contest on a specific hashtag with us and we charge the brand Y rupees and then the creators come in and make videos and we give the 30% to them. This creates a platform economy”.

As after the Chinese app ban and anti-China movement, Chingari seems to be going forward and constantly growing. Addressing this, Sumit said, “So, this Chinese app ban has left behind a whole world of 200 million users and we gave them a new home in the form of Chingari and it’s obviously a huge country and when the next generation of people come online and we hope that they get on board of Chingari”.

Sumit Ghosh shared a piece of advice for app developers for developing a viral app, he said, “Due to this pandemic, a lot of opportunities have been created for making a successful app for the country. So, my advice would be to just look around and find a gap in the market and fill it”.

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