YourStory.in’s Exclusive Interview With Narendra Bhandari, Director, Intel, Asia Pacific (2nd part)
Yourstory.in spoke to Narendra Bhandari, Director, Intel – Asia Pacific about the newly launched IntelAppUpcenter and the latest app trends existing in the market today. Narenda shares some insights and tips for developers to consider, his understanding of this space and what will shape the future is phenomenal and we are happy to capture some of his observations.Excerpts of the Conversation (part 2 of 2):
Yourstory.in: What do you like about your role in such a big organization like Intel which has a presence worldwide?
Narendra Bhandari: You are surprised every week. You end up meeting and working with people who you never thought existed, coming from places you have never been to, who come up with ideas that truly force you to be younger than your age. There are a lot of challenges too, it is a high-paced and highly disorganized environment. If I can get companies to be successful, by consumers adopting what they do as theirs, that is a pretty nice gratification of the effort put in and that is the great part of my work. Lot of good stories, bad stories come to light after meeting so many people. India is at an inflection point where the apps and the software field is bound to grow where a lot of opportunities exist. Huge companies are bound to come up and the fact that I play a small part in that is great.
Yourstory.in: What would be your advice to developers looking to get ahead and develop the cutting edge technologies that make their products special?
Narendra Bhandari: Developers would have to develop something that they truly believe in. They would have to look at the market and see what the market really needs and their app should solve some basic problem or issue. Solving an issue could be creating a game and helping people solve the entertainment issue. I am sure there aren’t too many people who haven’t played say Angry Birds for that matter. You should be focused on trying to solve some problem in particular – business, entertainment, anything for that matter. Be aware of the capabilities of the platform and design for the platform you are developing on. Also, explore all possible options, maybe two or three platforms to see what capabilities they offer. If you observe our lifestyles, we want to have all our various interests – music, entertainment, news, sports at our disposal whenever we want, so we use different devices for particular functions. Be aware of this difference. Since our lifestyle is based across devices, we have to be aware of the different uses each device has.
Yourstory.in: Different metropolitan lifestyles may not be experienced by developers living in smaller cities. How can they be expected to keep with the trends? Do developers abroad have an advantage over Indian developers in terms of exposure especially at such a young age?
Narendra Bhandari: There are many apps on the Intel AppUp center that are coming in from developer based in tier 3 cities. They may have never experienced a big city lifestyle but their apps are highly successful because they have understood the trends and the city lifestyle in general. This exposure he has gained from just the internet and this is the power of the internet era where everything is available online, one just has to look for it. I think the power of human expression is coming out here. because I think you will be surprised what people can come up with in very limited resources, not just money, also resources in terms of exposure. Developers nowadays post videos of them working in general or on a product online which any interested individual can access anywhere. Any developer in a tier 3 city in India can get online and attend tech talks happening in some other part of the world, thanks to the internet. It is not like you are completely constrained by the lack of knowledge in comparison to say a guy from Silicon valley, especially the experience of the lifestyle, but you probably have similar access to information. The access to information is increasing at the rapidest pace possible in this entire century. What access we have, clearly our parents had only a 100th. Take for example, the application process in colleges today, a few years back, everything was done with paper, pen and pencil. Nowadays, nothing has to be sent in, everything is scanned and sent online and is processed and your confirmation, receipt and result is also mentioned online. Imagine, today 9th graders are evaluating their Bachelor's course catalog and figuring out their life based on it.
Yourstory.in: Every developer or startup interested in product development all complain that it requires a lot of monetary help to produce the cutting edge products that appear in the market nowadays. Is it still a challenge today in India?
Narendra Bhandari: For ideas that need physical investment, there are other routes of capital. There is Intel capital‘s, venture capital initiative where if they feel that this idea has value and has a return but will need a lot of capital investment to scale it, there are enough options on the market today. Not all ideas need that level of capital. If you are making a game for instance, the money required may not be too hard to procure. But some ideas may need physical presence, visits, but access to capital is not tough in this country if your idea has some monetizing capability.
Yourstory.in: Do you think a lot of action will be seen in the product space in India? The question asked everywhere is why India is not producing it's own Twitter, Google, Facebook of our times because it all comes down to capital in the end.
Narendra Bhandari: Is this question rhetoric? Do all apps need that kind of capital. This takes us back to the first question you asked, we are providing seed funding for all app developers. We do that to ease the first level problem. I would say, developers ten years ago didn’t have that much access to funding.
Yourstory.in: 40% of the apps submitted on the AppUp store comes from India. Do you think Indians or in general developers should have more language options other than English on the Intel AppUp center to showcase their creativity in terms of app development?
Narendra Bhandari: Looking at it, we are already into adding additional languages. We are starting with a few European languages. Which languages to choose to implement for the Indian market, we aren't sure of yet. The roadmap of language development is definitely already in process.
Yourstory.in: From a developers' perspective, why do you think they should join the Intel AppUp developer program and start developing apps on it?
Narendra Bhandari: We have excellent technical help, equivalent to most competitors on the web today. We have the mechanisms to produce capital funding, providing hardware and helping in the development process. In many cases, we have been told we don't have some benefit in our standard menu and we have implemented it straight away. This could be you. It is up to the developer, we will provide them with the help we can, it is up to them to decide whether it fits their bill.
Yourstory.in: PicsLens, WhatsApp, Angry Birds are applications produced by app developers who are surviving majorly due to the revenue developed by their product. Do you think Indian app developers will be able to survive from the revenue developed from app sales on the Indian market?
Narendra Bhandari: One of the things in India which is little bit of a problem still is, paid apps. The number of people willing to pay for apps are very little in number. Even if you are ready to pay for your application, how easy is it for you to do so? Today, on Intel AppUp center one needs a credit card to buy an application. I don't think that can be expected from 900 million people in this country. We are actively trying to figure out how to fix these limitations. It is going to be a little challenging, and will depend on the companies ability to ease the payment process. Ringtones are a rage in our country for this very reason. One has to just push a few buttons or make a few calls and one has the required caller tune and the money is debited from your balance.
Do visit the IntelAppUp website for further details!
Also, do check out Intel TechSparks™ 2011 App4IndiaFinalists.