The recent ban of Chinese apps has proved to be a blessing for Indian app developers. Indian mobile app studio KShark Apps has taken the lead and published multiple Indian alternatives for the banned apps. One of them, Carbon Scanner is trending and has recorded a large number of downloads. BE’s Saptarshi Deb spoke to Kartik Sharma, CEO & Co-founder, KShark Apps.
Q) Your recent Carbon Scanner app is an alternative to the banned Chinese CamScanner. How has been your experience in the market?
A) The experience in the market has been great. We have been receiving close to 10-15K downloads every day since the ban was announced by the Indian government. Although I believe this is a good impetus, we are listening to user feedback diligently to make the app better. In the end, no matter the country of origin, only high-quality apps will survive in the market. We are building Carbon Scanner with the aim to compete in the local as well as the global market. We are pushing high quality features and bringing them to the Indian market at an affordable price.
Q) What security features have you ensured for this app? Do you have any features which are more advanced than the features present in the CamScanner app?
A) Carbon Scanner is designed in a way that it is fundamentally ten times more secure than CamScanner. All the user data is stored in an encrypted file storage on the user's device. Moreover, Carbon Scanner enables Cloud Sync by allowing users to upload documents to their Google Drive and Dropbox accounts and therefore users have complete control of where their data is stored and how it is accessed. Our Cloud OCR functionality is five times faster in converting photos to digital text. We did multiple tests and each time our conversion rate beat CamScanner's OCR technology.
Q) Do you think that the recent ban on the Chinese apps has provided some incentive to indigenous app developers in India?
A) Yes, the recent ban has definitely helped many indigenous app developers. I see a lot more college graduates focusing on the app ecosystem - especially since they know they will get support from the Indian public as well as the government. Overall, this ban is good for the app ecosystem in India and will play a pivotal role in its growth. I believe the talent in India is at par with any other country and given the opportunity, we can really create products which will not only dominate the local market but give a head to head competition to global players as well.
Q) Do you have more apps in the pipeline which are replicative of the banned Chinese apps?
A) Yes, continuing the Carbon group of apps, we will be launching the Carbon Web Browser and the Carbon File Explorer as solid replacements for UC Browser and ES File Explorer. We are also
building an indigenous short videos entertainment platform called Jashan similar to TikTok but with more focus on the Indian market.
Q) How are Indian app developers placed in using high-end technology for developing better quality apps which will meet global standards?
A) Although we are an Indian start-up, our focus has always been to make products that can go from ‘Local to Global’. Yes, ‘Vocal for Local’ is a great movement but if India has to compete in the global market, we cannot just depend on only one market. We have to spread our user base and target users from all markets. We have been seeing a lot of traction lately from growing mobile markets like Brazil and Indonesia. Carbon Scanner is available in almost 145 countries and we are excited to serve users from all countries and spread the name of India as a global app development powerhouse.
Q) What sort of governmental support can accelerate the growth of app development in India?
A) I believe the government is already supporting app start-ups and app development with their ‘Atma Nirbhar Bharat Abhiyan’ for app developers. If the government can keep these kinds of initiatives going all year round, I believe we will see a sharp increase in indigenous app developers. Also, going forward I am expecting a huge influx of investors' money coming to the app ecosystem in India - especially because the number of mobile users here are increasing sharply. We already have one of the largest smartphone user bases which is only going to increase.
Q) Do you have any particular innovation aimed at targeting the pandemic situation?
A) With the Covid-19 pandemic, many countries have seen a sharp increase in mental health cases due to growing financial tensions and uncertainty in the job market. We at KShark apps believe mental health is of utmost importance and hence we have started releasing apps serving that market. Our new app, Zen Meditation is already available for download in India and 140 other countries. We will be pushing more content focusing on helping people suffering from anxiety and depression - especially during this pandemic. We also are planning to make our VIP version free for the year 2020.