“Friends, we have been hearing since the last century that the 21st century belongs to India. This is not our dream, rather a responsibility for all of us.” These were the words of the Indian Prime Minister when the ‘Atma Nirbhar’ COVID-19 stimulus package was introduced. The PM seems to be determined to make this dream a reality and has successfully commenced India’s venture in the tech world. Indian Vice President Venkaiah Naidu launched India’s first social media app Elyments on July 5, 2020.
After implementing a ban on Chinese apps, the Indian government decided to set its foot in the tech market and secure a powerful position. The app offers various features of video/voice call, instant messaging as well as social networking. It has encouraged the ‘Make in India’ initiative as it employed 1000 Information Technology (IT) professionals who created the app in a very short period. The aim was to boost confidence and faith in the campaign among fellow citizens. It has been downloaded more than 5 million times since its launch which is huge, considering it’s only been a month.
While the app is being known as the “super app” because of the numerous features it has to offer, it does leave us with a few questions to ponder upon. The success is still undetermined and data security is a big concern among the users. Questions were frequently raised regarding data security in the case of Aadhaar and thus, it makes it difficult for us to trust this app as well. The developers have guaranteed safety and assurance that all data will be stored with the Indian servers itself. No data will be transferred to any third party without the user’s consent. A considerable amount of effort has been made just to ensure data safety and that no lapses are being experienced.
Competition in this field is tough, with tech giants like Facebook and WhatsApp being the rivals. It becomes more important for the government to offer something new to the consumers. It won’t be a cakewalk for Elyments to secure its position as a strong player. The moment it fails to do so, the investments will boil down to zero making it difficult for the government to establish India in the tech space. The success of an app is determined by its active user base, which isn’t much in the case of Elyments. Developers should prioritise maximum sign-ups in the coming days. I feel the government is seriously lacking in the aspect of marketing the product that they have created. Strategising their moves and giving adequate attention to the required areas will definitely help it grow at a steady and smooth pace. Amid the Indo-Sino standoff, Elyments suffered a cyberattack and successfully recovered from it, which shows that it is capable of competing at a global level.
In these times of COVID-19 pandemic, when the economy is paying a heavy cost due to it, a failed attempt will be faced with major backlash, and people would not hesitate to highlight it as a waste of the taxpayer’s money. Further, this one failure will allow the rivals to regain control, thus making it even more difficult to enter the circle again. On the bright side, if it turns out to be a success, it will boost the economy and open up the gateway to ‘Made in India’ tech. This beginning will ensure a promising future for our young minds and a strong foothold of India in this domain. The vision of Atma Nirbhar Bharat will become a reality and the faith will be restored. Furthermore, there have never been any doubts regarding the brainpower that India possesses in terms of IT. Being the manufacturer of CEOs for tech companies around the world, it is time for India to focus on a homegrown giant and take over the world.
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