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While TikTok is firing, Made in India short video sharing platforms are hiring

Ban turns out to be blessing in disguise as Indian companies ride on nationalist, anti-China sentiment

January 29, 2021 / 02:21 PM IST

 

There is light at the lend of the tunnel. Many out-of-job TikTok employees can breathe easier now. The good news for them is that Indian companies have already started hiring.

After banning Chinese apps last year on June 29, the government of India recently sent notices to them affirming that the order to block them will continue.

Just after the government's notice, ByteDance, the company which owns TikTok, wrote to its employees on January 27 saying that they are scaling down their India operations.

ByteDance slashing its TikTok workforce in India has put around 2,000 jobs at risk.

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Indian apps are offering jobs

But `Atmanirbhar Bharat’ has moved in quickly. Made in India video sharing platforms like Bolo Indya and Chingari have already started planning to hire TikTok employees.

Bolo Indya, which recently announced that it is raising funds to ramp up its team, is now looking to hire more employees from the Chinese-owned video-sharing social networking service.

Bolo Indya’s workforce comprises of five percent of TikTok employees, which it plans to push up to 40 percent. However, Varun Saxena, the platform’s CEO and Founder, declined to share exact numbers.

He said that hiring will be across domains including business development, user engagement, product management, community management, content strategy and content moderation functions.

Saxena in an earlier interview to Moneycontrol had said that TikTok employees have a strong established network, which means they know the right influencer for the right category and at the cost at which they operate.

In addition, Bolo Indya is also looking at filling various vice-president and assistant vice-president level positions to expand its leadership team, he said.

Happily, for Tik Tok employees, Chingari, another short video sharing platform, is also keen to hire them.

Aditya Kothari, co-founder and chief strategist, Chingari App, recently tweeted addressing TikTok employees saying that "You guys have built something solid that we all look up to. While these are tough times, we would love to have you guys build something solid at Chingari for the larger Bharat."

These two firms are not the only ones. Khabri, an audio sharing platform, is also looking to hire TikTok employees.

Pulkit Sharma, Co-Founder and CEO, Khabri said, "We are hiring for multiple profiles including, but not limited to, product managers, influencer success manager, community manager and QA managers, among others, and ex Tik Tok employees are relevant for us as we are in similar kind of space."

Ban became a boon

Talking about the TikTok ban, Chingari’s Kothari believes that the permanent Chinese app ban has turned out to be a great opportunity for Indian startups.

Kothari is right because after TikTok's India ban last year, many short video sharing platforms picked up pace in terms of more content creation, increased viewership, and a larger user base.

After the TikTok ban last year, Mitron had seen an 11-fold growth. Chingari witnessed more than 2.5 million downloads post the ban. Bolo Indya had also benefited due to the anti-China sentiment. Within 10 days of this nationalist emotion gripping the country beginning at the end of April, the platform saw over 1,25,000 users coming on board and almost 90 percent of the users who joined had switched from TikTok to Bolo Indya. The common sentiment was that they wanted to try an Indian app.

In fact, video streaming platforms like ZEE5 and MX Player have also ventured into the short video sharing space with platforms like HiPi and MX Taka Tak.

Global players, too, are interested. Video streaming giant YouTube's short video platform called YouTube Shorts has been registering 3.5 billion daily views in India, YouTube CEO, Susan Wojcicki, recently said in a blog post. And YouTube Shorts is still in beta testing phase in this country.

It is this surge in consumption of snackable content that is making video sharing platforms bet big on the short-form video space.
Maryam Farooqui
first published: Jan 29, 2021 02:21 pm

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