India has an IT force of almost 5 million people. That’s more than the population of quite a few countries. But still, India has still not been able to create a product like Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter or LinkedIn. Why is it so?
Look at most of the Indian IT giants that spawned in the last few years. The products were sometimes replicas of counterparts that already existed in the US, or were centered around the specific needs of Indians. That’s where I feel Indian Entrepreneurs have been a bit myopic. Every time I see a new app being launched, my first evaluation of it is whether it’s relevant to a person sitting in some other part of the world.
During my journey so far as an Entrepreneur and Investor, I’ve realized that any product that has gone global was centered around a core human need. Be it WhatsApp, which catered to the need of being able to reach out to people hassle-free just by having an internet connection. Facebook, which was centered around friends finding each other online, and eventually evolved into a place where people look for friends and acquaintances they’d lost touch with years back. Instagram made people document their life stories using aesthetic images. LinkedIn helped people connect with professional peers and alumni purely from a career point of view. TikTok gave a platform to people who wanted to make music videos but didn’t have access to resources and expertise to edit videos.
And that’s been the key motivation behind creating Leher. Discourse is a basic human need. Being able to voice your opinion on an issue that affects you is a basic human need. Being able to connect with other likeminded people who share your thought trajectory is a basic human need. Being able to discuss things with them, get new perspectives, and to be able to do that in a safe space without any judgment is a basic human need. Having control over the direction of a discussion you start, is a basic human need. And having the power to share those discussions & thoughts with the world in a lucid video format, that’s also a basic human need, because everyone wants their opinion to be heard.
And it’s not just about issues that affect us. Humans are skeptical by nature. We are opinionated by nature. If an issue interests us, we want to know as much about it as possible and refine our perspective. Media houses at times give polarised coverage leaving neutral individuals confused regarding what to believe. There are multiple influencers at play there who can influence the coverage that reaches the consumer. So how about giving a platform to individuals whose life is directly affected by that issue? How about making them the host of a discussion around that issue? How about enabling them to get other individuals at ground zero on the panel to have a discussion that’ll provide neutral viewers with unfiltered insights?
This is the core thought that drives us at Leher. Making a product that is not specific to the needs of the people of a country, but the core human need of being able to voice your opinions without any hassle. It’s a ‘Made In India’ app through and through, but it’s made for the world.