The week that was: From surviving a pandemic to the rise of Zoom

This week, we also bring you the stories on meditation app Dhyana, as well as the winner of the recent AatmaNirbhar Bharat App Innovation Challenge, ScarFall, a game that competes with PUBG.

Shortly after the coronavirus outbreak was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organisation, another pronouncement happened.  

AdWeek touted Zoom as the ‘King of the Quarantine Economy’ for its stupendous growth between December 2019 and March 2020. The video conferencing platform gained immeasurably from the worldwide lockdowns, which made remote collaboration the ‘new normal’ everywhere.  

By April, Zoom was a part of the everyday lexicon. Its daily meeting participants shot up dramatically from 10 million to 300 million in four months. Literally, everyone was getting on a 'Zoom call' for nearly everything. No wonder its story is worth reading. 

Watch the video here:

From video conferencing platforms to online games, ScarFall: The Royale Combat, an online and offline action survival game, emerged as one of the top Made-in-India apps in the gaming category in the recent AatmaNirbhar Bharat App Innovation Challenge launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Developed and published by Surat-based XSQUADS Tech, ScarFall was launched in October 2019. The game – available on Android and iOS - has surpassed one million monthly active users (MAUs). 

Jamish Kumar Lakhani, Founder and CEO of XSUADS Tech, says his idea to create a Made-in-India gaming app that competes with the likes of Counter-Strike, Call of Duty, and PUBG was in line with the Prime Minister Modi's recent clarion call for an Aatmanirbhar Bharat

Surat-based XSQADS Tech team with founder Jemish Kumar Lakhani in the middle

Many businesses strived to survive amidst the pandemic, and bike-sharing startup Rapido has a few interesting lessons on how to survive the bad economy. 

Bengaluru-based Rapido entered the world of mobility in 2015. It wasn’t the first in the market: giants Ola and Uber had already locked horns, and other players such as Baxi and M-Bike were also operating.  But the mobility space turned out to be a regulatory minefield. 

The three Rapido founders — Aravind Sanke, Rishikesh SR, and Pavan Guntupal — however, bet big on the space, and the startup managed to survive the regulatory tug of war and grow. The team knew it had to build a strongly differentiated product that focussed on asset utilisation, logistics, and transport, and also had a deeper focus on Tier-II and III cities.

Aravind, Co-founder, Rapido

Experts believe that the mental health fallout from the coronavirus pandemic may spill over into the next couple of decades. The United Nations has urged governments around the world to “take the mental health consequences seriously, and ensure widespread availability of mental health support”.

Developed and published by Hyderabad-based startup Avantari Technologies, Dhyana helps you “master meditation with science.” The app tracks your heart rate variability and breaks down your meditation session into the three core tenets — breathing, relaxation, and focus. 

This ensures that you take as little time as possible to achieve mindfulness. Product development startup Avantari Technologies was launched in 2015 by Bhairav Shankar, an Oxford University graduate, and the person behind designing and developing a mobile holographic unit for Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the 2012 Gujarat General Assembly Elections. 

Edited by Suman Singh


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