The week that was: From rebooting corporate workspaces to a special townhall with a minister

This week, we bring you stories of how a cybersecurity startup is ensuring that we remain safe in the era of digitisation, and how an app is bridging India’s literacy divide.

This week, YourStory held an exclusive Digital India Townhall with Union IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, which saw around 19,000 attendees who had logged in early to catch the minister in conversation with India’s top entrepreneurs. They were in for a pleasant surprise as five minutes into the live stream, the special townhall for entrepreneurs saw chuckling and banter between the minister, the tech entrepreneurs, and YourStory Founder and CEO Shradha Sharma, who was the host and the moderator of the virtual event.

Union Minister for Electronics and IT, Law and Justice and Communications Ravi Shankar Prasad

It was almost like a meeting of old friends. It was certainly not what many had expected from a LIVE interaction with a Union Minister who talked about tech and governance, and how India could take steps towards an ‘Atmanirbhar’ (self-reliant) future. True to form, Paytm Founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma was holding the floor as he jested with YourStory’s Shradha Sharma, InMobi Founder Naveen Tewari, Udaan Co-founder Sujeet Kumar, and the other startup founders. They were among a select group of India’s finest entrepreneurs who interacted with the IT Minister, who emphasised the importance of digital inclusion and how it was central to the government’s Digital India programme.

With the COVID-19 pandemic upending businesses, rebooting is something that many startups are thinking about 

Flipspaces recently launched REBOOTSPACES, which offers products and services for ‘next-generation’ commercial spaces.  The tech-enabled startup will focus on providing spaces that are intuitive, empathetic, and safe. The integrated solutions take into account hygiene and sanitation, social distancing, touch-less automation, and home office solutions. 

The months that followed the nationwide lockdown saw the revenues of real-estate and office spaces businesses going south. “However, new opportunities have emerged and the workspace transformational initiative – REBOOTSPACES – has become a tangible opportunity in the business environment post-COVID-19,” says Founder and CEO Kunal Sharma. Theirs is a story of quick revival and helping corporates redesign their space requirements. 

Workspace designed by Flipspaces

Increasing digitisation has led to a rise in cybercrimes and data breach. According to several reports, cybersecurity attacks and breaches in India increased by as much as 500 percent since the COVID-19 lockdown was announced in March 2020 since many employees are now working from home. Startups are working overtime to help solve the cybersecurity problem.

Bhopal-based cybersecurity startup Aristi Labs, which provides comprehensive security solutions to help businesses protect data and intellectual property, is now looking to ramp up and scale its business in foreign markets

Founded in 2016 by Utkarsh Bhargava, the startup's core product Securign provides a security information and event management platform (SIEM) to stack businesses with threat detection capabilities across cloud and on-premise landscape. It aims to help businesses eliminate security blind spots and regain its control on shadow IT.

With so many apps populating our smartphones, it has become difficult to figure how the apps were created and by whom. 

Following Prime Minister Modi’s ‘Vocal for Local’ initiative and call to support homegrown businesses and entrepreneurs, a plethora of ‘swadeshi’ apps have begun to make their presence felt. Their ambitions were further emboldened by the government’s ban on 59 Chinese apps, including widely-downloaded TikTok, SHAREit, UC Browser, Mi Video Call, and so on. These were pulled out of Indian app stores almost overnight, opening up a wide market for local developers to cash in on by offering Made-in-India alternatives.

Photo: YS Design

MagTapp, built by a Mumbai-based startup, started making waves even before the government announced the ban. The Android-only app was launched on Google Play Store last November, and has crossed five million downloads. It is one of the top apps in the ‘Education’ category, having a rating of 4.8 out of 5.

Recognised by Startup India, MagTapp aims to bridge India’s literacy gap, where only 130 million of the country’s 1.37 billion people are English speakers. Given nearly 99 percent of all online content, including critical documents, is published in English, the language barrier often becomes a challenge for a large section of the population.

Edited by Kanishk Singh


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