Why you should develop apps for regional language speakers?

In 2018, eight Indian startups joined the list of unicorns($1 Billion startups). Startups in India are growing rapidly, and why they won't. India has the second largest population on the planet and fast-growing economy. So, I am here to say that you should take advantage of it :).

The market is huge, there are many fields you can target like EdTech, AgriTech, healthcare etc. Instead of talking about fields, I'll be focused on people/users. Particular groups of people. Who are they? Well, I think you know them because you have already read the title.

Well, I will talk about them later. Now, Let's first take a look at the math of internet and smartphone users in India.

Smartphones and internet users in India:
India is 2nd ranked in the list of internet users with 543,292,635 users. It is less than half of the total population. That means more than half the population is still to come on the internet. As the country is growing, more people are coming out of poverty and buying smartphones. Look at this graph:

Now, let's talk about them.

Upcoming users of smartphones and the internet:
Most of the educated people in India already use smartphones and the internet. But there are two groups of people who do not use or they use very less.

  • Uneducated people(Most of them live in rural areas)
  • Educated but can't read in English
Both of these people need content in their regional languages. Content in regional languages is available, but most of it is on Youtube and news websites. The government of India is also taking initiatives to bring them online. You can read here, how the government and some private organizations want to help them by using NLP(Natural Language Processing) and Operating System in regional languages.  

Apps which are already getting benefit from this:

There are so many apps available in regional languages, but I would like to talk about these apps.

If you live in a city, maybe you do not know about this app. This is a desi social media app. In September 2018, according to reports it was valued at $460 million. It is because the people which we are talking about are liking the app. You should try ShareChat, here is the Playstore link.

UC news:
If you use UC browser and your language for UC news in Hindi, then you may know that how they attract readers.
Their Hindi readers are growing faster than English. 

Yes, of course, Youtube and Yotubers both :). It is very simple to use, and content is in videos. So, no difficulty to use. If they can't read, at least they can hear and see.

If you search on play store, there are so many apps in regional languages, and they have downloaded in hundreds of thousands.

How you can develop apps for these people?

If you are from the town area, then it will be very easy for you. Because you know urban and rural people both. Look for problems in your area which you can solve using mobile applications. For example, if you can create a platform where local artists can share their work(songs, videos) which is only made for their area. You can also develop a news app in your regional language if there is not any.

If are you from an urban area, then talk about this to your friend who is not from a city. I am sure, he/she would give you many ideas.

Last, if you have any idea to improve education quality or if you can find talent in town/rural areas using software, then it is time to start. They too have smartphones(no doubt). Apps like BYJU's are trying to do this, but better can be done. I know this is big thinking, but you can start from a very small area.

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