How robust communication has been aiding tech startups headed for a post-COVID world

Experts opine on communication supporting the trailblazers in the tech-startup ecosystem with disruption in technology changing the narrative of storytelling in the digitized post-COVID scenario

e4m by Nafisa Shaheen
Published: May 7, 2020 3:57 PM  | 5 min read

Turbulent times like these have witnessed an increased dependence on technology. Digital solutions have been frequently coming to the rescue to deliver us from the challenges of working from home. Also, there has been an upsurge in technology-based startups in recent times.

According to the Nasscom report, India was ranked the third-largest startup ecosystem in the world. A total of 1,300 fledgeling firms were added in 2019 to the 8,900-93,00 strong startup force in India. The growth in the enterprise of tech startups and the role of communication in supporting them to be ready for the post COVID world has been appealing.  

E4m interacted with some of the trailblazers in the tech space who are spurring digitisation in the country and the role of communication in supporting these tech startups.

Zoom has emerged as a wild card entry in the virtual world and has been enjoying immense popularity in the COVID times. Commenting on the immense success, Zoom Video Communications said,” At the end of December last year, the maximum number of daily meeting participants, both free and paid, conducted on Zoom was approximately 10 million. In March this year, we reached more than 300 million daily meeting participants, both free and paid.”

“Zoom leverages a robust global network to support our users, both free and paid, natively routing traffic through the meeting zone that will provide the best performance. While recent changes provide additional optionality for Zoom's paid customers, free users will continue to be supported by data centres within their default geographic region where their account is provisioned, with additional geofencing best practices still enforced”, added the spokesperson.

Another resonating name is Unacademy, an ed-tech company, which has been providing uninterrupted online education to students. To reach their target audience, Unacademy has been upping their communication game, including putting up advertisements in the country’s leading dailies, doing media stories and performance-based advertisement on TV and digital.

Karan Shroff, Vice President Marketing, Unacademy, said, “To help students have unlimited and uninterrupted access to quality education even during such tough times, we at Unacademy initiated multiple efforts to make sure that learning continues without any hindrance. We announced 20,000+ free Live Classes per month and also opened up our platform for schools and colleges to conduct Live Classes for their respective students and will continue to do so till the situation improves.”

He further informed, "As a result, we crossed one billion minutes of watch time on our platform and across our YouTube channels in the month of March 2020 and also witnessed a significant rise in Daily Active Users to around 500,000 per day. We also saw an exponential increase in learners per week for the special free classes by 150% along with a 110% increase in new subscribers leading to over 1.5 million learners on the Unacademy platform, since the beginning of March.”

 “Additionally, in April we also introduced the second edition of ‘Legends on Unacademy’ – a program where we partner with stalwarts from different walks of life who share their life journeys and real-life instances with students to motivate and encourage them to achieve their dreams and never give up. The recent sessions were conducted to motivate students with positive thoughts and words during such difficult times, coming straight from the legends whom they admire and follow. The idea behind this program is to connect with the students and to discuss issues beyond academics and help them address life challenges, without losing the spirit to keep working hard”, added Shroff.

Haptik, a Reliance subsidiary, is a conversational AI company that makes chatbots and recently made one for Government of India. Aakrit Vaish, Co-Founder and CEO, Haptik asserted on the need of tech startups to survive the post COVID world. He said, “Technology startups not only have to tide over this economic crisis but also learn to adapt. It is their responsibility to educate people about the ever-evolving technology. In a post COVID world when some semblance of normalcy resumes, technology disruption will lead the way to change the narrative of storytelling.”

He added, “Work from home will be a new normal and brands will look at different outlets to share their story. A case in point would be India’s official coronavirus chatbot - A channel that helps the nation's government connect with 400 million WhatsApp users to not only communicate but also safeguard them from misinformation and rumours’’

On being asked on how will technology disrupt the way of storytelling in post COVID world, Bhargava Ghatty, Co-Founder- Scketch Digital Solutions responded, "Stories make things more memorable, and the addition of immersive technologies in storytelling will make them unforgettable. Technology will help amplifying storytelling, and make them more accessible to anyone who wants to create a world of their own- talking weasels or otherwise.”

He added, “Augmented Reality brings anything to you. Virtual Reality brings you anywhere. And Mixed Reality blends them all. Mixed Reality will allow users to feel present with other users -who are separated by time and space — for the first time. Governments can use to spread awareness. For instance, Social Media Cell of Kerala Police successfully utilised VFX and Transmedia platforms to create awareness campaigns to fight Corona. “

Diksha Deo, Founder & CEO, INCUBSENCE which has come up with the technology that is focusing contactless biometric system, said, “Communication via technology will go contactless post-COVID-19. Last time, you punched attendance via your touch on the biometric machine, but post-COVID your employers would want the office to be less infectious, hence your communication with the attendance system will be contactless.”

YULU, which is a micro-mobility service provider, is moving towards a new automobile infrastructure of EV to be more relevant in the post COVID world. Marketing Lead at YULU commented, “The current technology is enabling storytelling to be more interactive and helps in its distribution. Storytelling is now a compelling component of the most successful marketing campaigns. As the storytelling is transitioning towards social and video, emerging platforms, technologies, and tools are being leveraged to reach a wider audience."

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