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This Uttarakhand Startup Has Made a Zoom Alternative, in Just 20 Days

Bharat.live, created by a Dehradun-based company that emerged into the scene with a bang just a few weeks ago. It has crossed five lakh users with approximately one lakh users per day.

​More than a third of world population is under lockdown and India with its 1.3 billion people tops the list. The government is controlling the movement of its citizens to avoid the spread of the coronavirus.

Socializing, consulting, training, operations, and governance have become a virtual experience predominantly with no movement or interaction outside the home. Non-native and fishy apps are handy to use for official and personal communication. Blue Jeans, Google Duo, Google Hangouts, Microsoft Teams, Zoom, WhatsApp, FaceTime, and Skype are the only recourse in current unprecedented times.

Some of these apps suffer from the restriction on the number of participants to partake in a video or voice communication. Other applications have their share of privacy and security complications.

There exists a burgeoning demand for an indigenous, secure, and stable alternative to the apps currently in vogue.

Bharat.live, created by a Dehradun-based company that emerged into the scene with a bang just a few weeks ago. It has crossed five lakh users with approximately one lakh users per day.

Bharat.live is not the Indian government’s official video-conferencing application. The government has exhorted Indian tech companies to develop an indigenous and secure substitute for Zoom. It has announced prize money of Rs 1 crore to the winner, and Bharat.live is a contestant.

Bharat.live was founded in Dehradun as a unit of ileads Auxiliary Services Pvt Ltd in 2020.

How the Idea Came About

Following reasons inspired the company to develop a home-grown application:

Security Concerns in Zoom and other applications
Advisories by the Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-IN), MHA, and Cyber Coordination Centre about Zoom during COVID-19 states that Chinese servers are being used to distribute encryption and decryption keys for video links on Zoom.
These advisories came long after Defence Minister Rajnath Singh held a video-conference on Zoom with the top officials of the security forces, leaving it vulnerable to breach. In the backdrop of China’s pro-Pakistan stance and one war in 1962 with India, the possibility of spying cannot be ruled out.
This apart, third-party hackers and cybercriminals can access sensitive information such as meeting, conversation, and user details. Five lakh Zoom accounts have been rumored to be sold on the dark web anonymously. Companies are at risk for industrial and corporate espionage and information theft.

Make in India Initiative
The government has exhorted Indian tech companies to design an indigenous and secure substitute to Zoom to promote Indian Software products and put the country on the product development map.

Self-reliance of other countries
At a time when China banned it, its small neighboring country Taiwan, banned it for government usage as on April 7, 2020. Russia and China have their own video conferencing applications.

Why India is far behind, why cannot it have its video communication platform in place when it has spearheaded in software services for years.

Influenced deeply by all these, company set the project in motion. Developing a video conferencing application was a challenge because it is not possible with sheer coding. It requires servers and a whole range of complicated processes. One of the team members named it Bharat.live, and it resonated with everyone in patriotic zeal.

The company received real-world feedback from its team, which has been working from home. Company has periodic meetings and day to day operations that warrant video communication, and Bharat.live was the Indian-made app for it.

The team has been toiling to keep pace with the surge in demand because success brings challenges with it. The organization has shown resilience to scale the solution.

Privacy and security are integral to the value system in Bharat.live with an impeccable track record. The company is contemplating ways to scale and strengthen the application.

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