Info-tech

A vote for technology

L. N. Revathy Coimbatore | Updated on January 05, 2011 Published on January 05, 2011

Pallav Pandey

Ambarish Gupta

While technology enterprises tend to focus on industry verticals such as banking, insurance or telecom, generally, IIT duo Ambarish Gupta and Pallav Pandey looked to develop solutions for a completely different space.

Want to guess? It is Indian politics!

It sounds offbeat, yet interesting, as Ambarish recounts the technological innovation story of Knowlarity Communications.

After working for a couple of years in the US, the duo returned to their homeland to start their dream venture — Knowlarity Communications. “We decided to leverage on the telecom revolution happening in India to reach out to large sections of the people. We believed that Customer Relationship Management (CRM) practices would help Indian politicians connect better with rural voters and thereby increase their chances of emerging victorious.

We developed a hosted telephony engine – Knowlus — and a voice-based solution – SuperCaller — that runs on Knowlus. The idea is very simple. Governments and enterprises collecting information would be able to disseminate it at one go by relaying a pre-recorded message. Imagine a politician/a chief minister calling you to seek your vote during election time. Will not the rural voter be thrilled to receive a personalised call on his mobile phone from his/her leader, hear the leader's voice address the voter by their respective names along with a request for votes?” asks Ambarish.

The Co- founder and CEO of Knowlarity Communications said some political bigwigs used the SuperCaller effectively to reach out to 50 lakh voters in 10 days during the recent elections in Orissa and Bihar. “Compare the efficacy of this solution with other go-to-voter strategies. It can cost a couple of lakhs to hire a chartered helicopter and all that one can do is address two-three constituencies a day. Forget reaching 5 lakh voters daily!”

Tech for emergency

The start-up's latest rollout is ‘technology for emergency'. Citing some recent newspaper reports on abduction and gang rape, the Knowlarity Founder says, “if you have read the reports carefully, you will realise that an alert mechanism to call the police and other important people simultaneously could have helped avert such tragic incidents. We now have a technology — Emergency Coordination and Control System (ERCC) — wherein the victim or any witness can call up as many as 3,000 people simultaneously within 60 seconds in case of any emergency with just a long-press of a pre-defined button on their mobile phone.”

ERCC finds application in industries, hotels, housing societies, educational institutes, hospitals, theatres, offices, shopping complexes, malls, etc. The user can choose from a selected set of pre-recorded emergency messages or record a customised message based on the emergency at hand in the local language, upload a phonebook and then broadcast it to multiple recipients at the press of a button. The ERCC system takes over and the pre-recorded or recently recorded message gets delivered to the intended recipients at lightning speed as a voice call on their mobile phones, explains Ambarish.

He further points out that the system automatically reconnects with people who have not answered the call and after the campaign is completed, generates a log with details of every call. “It is an entirely Web-hosted application, requires no maintenance cost and is available 24 x 7,” adds Ambarish.

>lnr@thehindu.co.in

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Published on January 05, 2011
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