Founder and CEO of IamHere app, Naren Kumar joined NewsX for an exclusive chat. Starting by talking about what IamHere basically is, Naren said that IamHere is a location first social network. In complex words, it’s an AI-powered hyper-local community platform for social collaboration and social commerce.
He said, “What this means is, I could be a singer looking for musicians near me, I could be an art lover looking for artists around me or I could be a business looking for customers near me or I could even be an NGO looking for volunteers near me and when I say near me, it could be in my neighbourhood or this could be within communities, so like let’s say residential society, maybe my college alumni, maybe my colleagues at the office. So IamHere provides location as a platform for people to connect on the map for business, hobby and social causes”.
Addressing the reason behind starting something like IamHere, Naren said, “Technology today does a great job of connecting us with people across the globe. For example, we are talking today because of technology and our viewers would be watching from different corners of the globe because of technology but the irony is that technology today, falls short of connecting us with people near us in our neighbourhoods and communities and that’s where we spend 70% of our lives”.
According to Naren, despite being surrounded by technology, people didn’t really have a unified platform for hyperlocal interactions. He said, “That is why we decided to create a hyper-local community network for people to come together near them”.
Explaining the functioning of IamHere in layman’s terms, Naren said, “You could imagine something like Google Maps, let’s say I am in Bangalore, then I could look for places in Bangalore and I could probably zoom out and look for things in Mumbai.
To give a clear idea over the working of IamHere, Naren said, “I’ll just give an analogy, google maps has placed, our maps have people, Facebook has the feed from your friends, IamHere has feed from within your community, within your neighbourhood”. With IamHere, one can either search for their requirements or write a post mentioning their requirement.
IamHere has been working with several state governments in India, putting light on to that, Naren said “When we started with the vision of creating this hyper-local community network, we also wanted to bring these small businesses onto mainstream search”. According to Naren, the initiative they kicked off with the Maharashtra govt in the past was where they wanted to aggregate artists and craftsmen on to the IamHere app.
He said, “With the Karnataka govt, we are trying to aggregate farmers and traditional businesses on to the IamHere app, trying to give them hyper-local neighbourhood marketplaces”. Naren said if one goes to Mysore, they’d exactly know the Mysore silk vendors on the IamHere app.
Kumar said that currently, they have around 2 lakh users on their app. He said, “In terms of reception that IamHere had been having in the market has been pretty great. It’s very encouraging, in fact, we are in the top 10 social apps in the country”. IamHere recently won GOI’s Atmanirbhar app challenge under a special category called Community collaboration and is ranked around 4.6 on Playstore.
To the people who believe in a self-reliant India, Naren said, “It’s easy today follow your dream but then that journey is definitely painful and lonely. But my advice to the wannabe founders is that even if your startup fails, the next assignment or the next project or the next job that you would be landing, you would still be able to visualise and execute it much better and we have the ecosystem now developed where corporates and other startups mature. Startups will value that experience of yours, so yes, it will be painful but it is still better if you have a dream, if you want to make a difference in the society, just go ahead and start it, the universe will conspire”.