[App Fridays] Meet the aatmanirbhar app that lets you discover Made in India apps

Launched by the company behind Mitron, India’s answer to TikTok, Atmanirbhar Apps puts the spotlight on Made in India apps, and helps local businesses and developers get discovered on Google Play Store.
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If there’s one word that we’ve heard as often as lockdown this year, it has to be aatmanirbhar.

In May, Prime Minister Narendra Modi called for achieving self-reliance to fight and win the war against COVID-19, stating that India had the potential to not just win the coronavirus battle but also emerge as a global leader after the pandemic.

And when the government banned numerous Chinese mobile applications, including top social media platforms such as TikTok, WeChat, and Helo, to counter the threat they posed to the country’s “sovereignty and security”, aatmanirbhar became the mantra for apps as well.

The many homegrown apps that emerged during this time included Mitron TV, launched as TikTok’s alternative, which has steadily been garnering popularity.

The company has now launched Atmanirbhar Apps to put the spotlight on ‘Made in India’ apps to promote domestic businesses and help Indian developers get discovered on Google's Play Store.

Launched on 31 October 2020, the app has already garnered more than 50,000 downloads and has a rating of 4.8 stars.

Atmanirbhar Apps by Mitron TV at present hosts more than 100 apps and plans to bring 500 apps on to its platform by the end of this year. We explored the app this week to see how it works.

Getting started

Once you download the app, you can start exploring right away. There is no registration requirement and you land on the homepage right away.

The homepage can be scrolled sideways for categories and downwards for apps in a particular category. The app straightaway throws up recommendations of all the Indian apps a user can download. 

We could see a wide array of apps spanning categories such as e-governance, utility, agriculture, gaming, entertainment, lifestyle, and e-learning amongst others.

The apps it recommends include Aarogya Setu, BHIM, Narendra Modi app, JioTV, DigiLocker, Kaagaz Scanner, and IRCTC Rail Connect. Others such as Kifayat, Grocit, Jain Thela, Home Shoppy, Koo, YourQuote, Vridhi Stores, Xploree AI Keyboard, and mParivahan are also on the list.

Atmanirbhar Apps was launched with 100 apps listed in various categories. More than 200 developers have now approached Mitron to list their apps on the platform.

The company has said it is adding more categories and updating the products list on a regular basis, and that it is “working and updating data to make this app relevant” to each and every Indian.

The download size of Atmanirbhar Apps is 12MB. Its list delineates apps under each category and shows the size of the app, the number of Indians who have installed it, and a brief description of what that particular app does. All you need to do if you want to download a particular app is tap the ‘get’ button; the app will redirect you to that app’s download page on the Google Play listing.

Design and features

Atmanirbhar Apps is a vanilla app with a simple white and tricolour theme. There are not too many tools, and the app is clutter-free and simple. However, we think it can be much more refined in terms of design and look.

The app also has a feature where it allows you to ‘take a pledge’; clicking this means you support Indian products and sellers. In its menu, the company also shares an email ID for developers to get listed on the platform.

We would like to see some more features such as a search button and a much more comprehensive list of apps like we see on Google App store, including categories such as trending, top free, games, etc.

The verdict

Atmanirbhar Apps, which has been promoted as #DeshKaApp, is a one-of-its-kind discovery platform that focuses on and brings together Indian apps. The unique initiative helps Indian developers and micro-entrepreneurs get better discoverability. 

Unlike ecommerce platforms in India, which let you see the origin of the product, there was nothing in India in the crowded space of apps. This app lets you find Indian alternatives for apps you regularly use.

We feel, along with the swadeshi and aatmanirbhar factors, this app can definitely be installed to stay updated with India’s app ecosystem and help small and medium homegrown app companies.

Edited by Teja Lele Desai

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