Jonna Venkata Karthik Raja, the 18-year-old founder of Paperboy, is no ordinary lad. He has launched a mobile app that features the widest range of Indian newspapers and magazines to be uploaded on a platform in real time. Paperboy is a language-agnostic platform and will hence feature vernacular publications which are a crucial part of Indian news-consumption habits. Paperboy currently lists over 400 newspapers and magazines nationally and is live on Google Play.
Karthik Raja conceptualised this idea as he was finishing school when he found that he was missing his daily newspaper whenever he was travelling. It wasn’t too late before his entrepreneurial instincts kicked in and he went about developing a blueprint for the platform. He then enlisted the support of his parents, who were very encouraging and supportive of his venture. Originally launched with just two team members, Paperboy has now grown into a team of 50 young individuals. Primarily focusing on tier-2 and 3 cities, which represent almost 31.16 percent of India’s population, the Bengaluru-based app has already aggregated the widest variety of regional newspapers on its platform. Speaking about the app, Karthik says,
I conceptualised Paperboy as I found a distinctive correlation between newspaper reading and digital devices. When I found that I was missing my everyday newspaper while travelling, it prompted me to find a solution for this, albeit digitally. Research and discussions with my friends led me to develop the online platform that can present news each day on a screen of your choice. In the long run, I am hoping to take this solution to other markets overseas as the platform can easily be scaled to accommodate any language.
The app, inspired by the increased adoption of digital content all over the world, brings you the daily newspaper tailored for your device, be it Android, iOS, or the web. It provides the experience of reading one’s favourite newspaper on a screen, which is the in-vogue format today.