Cyber Journal 24, March 12, 2016
The 26 year old techie Krushnaal Pai made it in the headlines during 2015’s second quarter because of his app NetaG that has attracted thousands of citizens, politicians, and social workers from Pune and PCMC areas. Reviews written by app’s existing users suggest that it is one of the best tools to share and get resolution for civic issues. Most importantly, the issue owner remains anonymous.
App’s success story is out in public
The test prototype was launched for 100 users in Jan 2014. It took the application developer around a year to make the product market fit. Its final version was launched in Jan 2015.
Case studies displayed on app’s Facebook page show how this app has helped in solving various issues, may it be fixing leaking water pipes, fixing open covers on digital point, or even removing a tree branch poking into residential property.
App is offering a great opportunity to politicians and aspiring politicians to solve issues and create their own identity among people in the locality that they are part of.
We believe in keeping track of success stories. Our journalist Nitten Gokhaley recently interacted with NetaG’s young and talented developer Krushnaal Pai to know how the app still manages to earn goodwill. Here are some extracts from the interview.
When was this app launched? Are you satisfied with the response for your app, or you feel that more work needs to be done?
Krushnaal: The test prototype was launched for 100 users in Jan 2014. It took me a year to make the product market fit. Its final version was launched in Jan 2015. I started marketing it by myself, as I could not afford to hire experts or advertise. In six months, we crossed 4000 users with 20% issues resolved via our platform. Media was kind enough to support us in tough times. With zero marketing budget, I was able to achieve 20% of issue resolution rate. This is a good start considering the fact that I was working alone. But, I want more. I believe with minimal team, mentorship and funding, we can accelerate our growth up to 400% percent in a few weeks time.
How many citizens, corporators, politicians, and social workers use this app on a daily basis to check issues, notifications, and other content? (I have numbers from July, so need current numbers).
Cannot disclose figures as of now
How many issues are reported on a daily basis?
Cannot disclose figures as of now
After posting the issue, it remains in “in review” status for some time. Does your team read all the issues, sort them out, and send alerts to local politicians/workers before issue goes live on the app? Some users also seem to be upset about issues being deleted. Can you share some more information with respect to guidelines?
All issues are moderated manually and then approved/disapproved as per our guidelines. We do not sort or push alerts to politicians. On approval, the system finds and takes the next action in nano-seconds. Typically, on a normal business day it takes around five-ten minutes for our moderators to curate. On a busy day, it could take up to 20 minutes.
As mentioned in some reviews, issues raised by some users were getting deleted. It was a technical bug that was fixed months ago. We have sent emails to all affected users and requested them to take an update of the app.
There are several such platforms in the market, and the competition is huge. How do you make revenue out of this app? Do you sell ad space in this application? I did not see any ads when I used it today.
We are planning to go the ad way, but don’t want to hamper user experience at this point. Ads are usually profitable when apps reach 50k users and above. So, I suppose till then, NetaG will be ad-free and will remain bootstrap.
Several comments on your app’s Google Play page as well as on other review sites suggest that people want developers to work on an app that can help in interacting with local police as an anonymous user. Would you consider developing such app, or perhaps add something in NetaG that can allow people to report law and order issues?
That is one area I would definitely want to work in near future. I feel our cops perform an extremely demanding job with very little resource and connections. Building systems for Police and internal Security would require a whole new approach. As of now, I am working hard to get NetaG going, but if things go well for us, we’ll work closely with Police Department to understand their requirements.
Are you planning new campaigns to bring more politicians, social workers, and users from various parts of the Pune, PCMC on your app?
Campaigning is one part; to retain and grow is another part. Yes, we do have plans to carry out campaigns and increase awareness, but to execute it the right way we are simultaneously pitching to investors and mentors to hear us out. Hopefully, very soon we will launch the way we wish to.
Do you plan to develop any other app(s) under your brand LightVision Inc.?
As of now, we have no plans to launch any other app.
Did you participate in official PMO app development contest? What is your opinion about PMO app for Android that is currently under development? Do you think it can help PMO to strengthen its ties with the common man? Or do you think PMO can get the same data/queries/complaints from existing channels like Twitter, Facebook, email, etc.?
No, honestly at that time I was unaware of the contest and was very busy getting local politicians on NetaG, so could not participate. I feel the PMO app has good intentions, but lacks direction. Connecting common man with global figures will not solve anything. We already have municipal bodies and elected representatives to function at local, state and center level. Every issue/view should be directed to the respective person who is in charge of that ward/constituency, which is what NetaG is trying to do effectively.
Contact details for NetaG-
Founder, LightVision Technologies Pvt. Ltd.
Email : email@example.com
Contact : +91 9545527331
Nitten is a consultant journalist, and has worked with renowned newspapers, news agency in India. If you are looking for desktop journalist, you can email Nitten- firstname.lastname@example.org
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