Renie Ravin, Founder, IndiBlogger.in
Launched on the Indian independence day in 2007, at a time when a plethora of Indian blogs were waiting to be discovered, IndiBlogger offers a service that helps people find and keep tracks of these blogs. What began as a directory has now evolved into a social network with monthly contests, meets in every major city of India, community-driven blog reviews and the only ranking system specific to the Indian blogosphere.
Ravin, the founder and managing director, has remained focused on the vision for IndiBlogger, envisaging it as more of a methodology rather than a plan in view of the ever-changing needs and wants of the community and the industry.
With a passionate response to the constant need to adapt, IndiBlogger allows access to its data, tools and services, thus facilitating assembly and customisation according to individual needs. Ravin has leveraged the power of the community to create a network that is growing at the rate of 700 to 800 bloggers every month. “We are not the pioneers of what we do, the community is,” he says.
Its discussion forum enables Indian bloggers to get technical aid and advice from the more experienced, and to meet like-minded bloggers from around the world. IndiBlogger offers a platform to all verified bloggers who want to organise their own meets.
Ravin chose to be an entrepreneur because of a desire to make independent decisions, never having liked dealing with the consequences of those made by others. “This way, I can explore and execute my ideas with the passion needed for them to succeed,” he says.
Faced with the challenge of getting recognised after the launch, IndiBlogger saw its inception with external funding. Among its initial schemes was offering customised badges to bloggers based on their subjects or passion. This was a success and the rest, as they say, is history.
Six months after launch, a private investor provided the thrust needed for IndiBlogger to rise to the next level, providing the momentum and flexibility that took it to its current status as the popular choice in its arena of activity.
Using a combination of data retrieved from blog feeds and established ranking systems such as Google’s PageRank and Alexa, the IndiRank service on IndiBlogger gives Indian bloggers an idea where they stand in relation to each other.
The IndiVine feature was born out of the Mumbai terror attack and collects blog posts on various subjects and current topics. Bloggers vote for the best posts under each subject, thus showcasing the highest quality content and giving them the recognition they deserve.
IndiBlogger also has a monthly blogging contest, with each new category chosen by members of the community, who also select the winners. The prizes for the ‘IndiBlogger of the month’ awards are sponsored by Microsoft and entries are manually reviewed in accordance with submission guidelines, a process that ensures accountability, quality and value.
With the aforementioned services, IndiBlogger aims to help the Indian blogosphere maximise its potential through collective thought and action. The Indian bloggers community has embraced its efforts, as have brands such as Microsoft, which has provided the recognition and support needed to take it to the next level.
Ravin has been in the industry for over a decade and was featured in the Indian Express in 1999 for a website he created for his college. Similarly, IndiBlogger and its team have been featured in every major national newspaper, several start-up websites as well as news channel NDTV.
“But the most valued recognition is from the Indian bloggers themselves, who have written hundreds of testimonials on the work we do. And I will always cherish this recognition. After all, isn’t that what makes us entrepreneurs?” Ravin says.
The team at IndiBlogger is small, comprised of 10 employees in two centres — the headquarters in Chennai and another office in Bangalore. One more centre in Mumbai has been planned. “Our core team is formed by a bunch of people who studied and grew up together. Our individual strengths have created a perfect combination,” Ravin says.
IndiBlogger has now scheduled its first meet outside India, in New York next month, and it will continue to bring Indian bloggers the recognition they deserve, personally leading the effort to hoist them onto the global stage.
As Ravin and his team lay focus in this direction, YourStory lauds their hard work, patience and refusal to rest on their laurels as they continue to reinvent and refurbish IndiBlogger.