As always the Dublin Web Summit provides the location for a real melting pot of exiting entrepreneurs from around the world. Irish Tech News is pleased to present a unique interview with the founder and developer of Blrt, Anurag Chakradhar a leading exponent of the hypervoice movement. He will be at the Dublin Web Summit. Below he explains why he is excited to be coming to Ireland, what he hopes to get out of being here, and why Blrt is such a game changing product.
Where is Anu from, and what does the name mean / or what is it’s ethnic background. It’s a very unusual name for an ozzie?
I was born Anurag Chakradhar, in New Delhi to artist parents. My father is a famous Hindi poet and mother a singer and academic. Most Indian first names have a meaning and Anurag literally translates to something like affection/fondness. After completing my bachelor’s degree in Business in New Delhi, I arrived in Sydney, Australia to undertake a Masters in Digital Media at Sydney University, and quickly found my name shortened to Anu by the Aussies. Australians love shortening words.
Anurag in Newtown – the art and alternative lifestyle hub of Sydney, where Blrt was born in a heritage listed Flour Mill converted to hip office spaces.
Have you been to Ireland and / or the Web Summit before?
No, it’s the first time in Ireland and I can’t wait to be there.
What is the appeal of coming to Ireland, and the Summit in particular?
Why wouldn’t you want to visit Ireland? Every Irish person I’ve ever met has been super interesting and fun, and Dublin is a hotbed of startup technology in the world. As a cutting edge tech startup, it makes perfect sense for Blrt to be a part of one of the largest gatherings of the tech startup ecosystem participants in the world. At the Web Summit, we’re looking to show off our innovation to our future partners, collaborators, investors, journalists and users.
What do you hope to get out of the Summit?
Two things – connections and inspiration. We want to meet as many people in the tech startup ecosystem as we can and get them as excited about Blrt as we are. Blrt is a world technology and stands to make a solid impact on how people collaborate in the future. At the Summit in Dublin, we’re looking to meet potential partners, for example two-sided marketplaces that can use the Blrt API to augment the communication that takes place to enable a transaction to happen. We’re also looking to start conversations with VCs for the next round of capital raising for Blrt. But really – we’re excited to meet anyone who collaborates with people on projects and show them how awesome Blrt is. I’m particularly interested in meeting entrepreneurs who’ve signed up millions of users for a collaboration product.
Do you want something specific, or open ended networking too?
As above, open ended networking is what we’ll do.
Who would you really like to meet, talk to, learn something from at the summit?
I’d like to meet entrepreneurs who’ve achieved stellar growth and hear their stories from the trenches. I’m also very interested to see what other’s are developing and how they’re hustling it to potential users, collaborators and investors. It’ll be great!
Why is Blrt an awesome product?
Blrt enables communication clarity and productivity like nothing else. It’s an audio-visual communication platform that recreates the way people collaborate in a meeting without having to be available at the same place or even at the same time. Most approaches focus on real-time communication, but the real issue is real-time availability. Blrt solves that problem which is critical because teams are incredibly geo-distributed now and no one works the way they used to anymore.
Blrt’s unique patent pending technology provides a high resolution video-like user experience at a fraction of the bandwidth of video. Participants can talk, point and draw over websites, images and documents and create cross-platform conversations in the cloud.
Instead of having to react on the spot, participants respond in their own time while maintaining meeting continuity and communication clarity by way of capturing hand gestures in sync with their voice. A designer and developer, a consultant and a client, a doctor and a patient can all communicate with clarity without organising meetings.
Where do you hope to go with it in the next 3 to 5 years?
Blrt has started as a mobile and tablet application that enables freedom to communicate with voice like nothing else. We aim to start targeting one vertical at a time to augment their business communications and make Blrt an indispensable tool they use everyday. That’s the app. However, the Blrt platform and its API enable many other uses across industries such as education and entertainment, which we will look to exploit as well.
Is it difficult to scale a product up in Australia?
Yes and no. Australia is a vast land with a small population, so achieving critical mass for a startup is a challenge. However, Australians are enthusiastic and avid users of technology and we represent a very high level of smartphone penetration per capita. Australia is sixth highest in the world in this regard (UAE is first, Ireland 11th, USA 13th). Another amazing stat from Nielsen is that 82% of the entire population spends 23.3 hours a week being online on average. Being aggressive adopters and constant users of technology, Australians don’t shy away from trying promising new products and services. The fact remains though, that most startups have to look to either the US or Asia for numbers growth very quickly.
What is it like with the Chinese market so near? A problem or an opportunity?
India and China are huge opportunities and I believe Australian startup business has been a bit slow getting ready for Asia – despite the ‘Asian Century Whitepaper’ released by the former Prime Mister Julia Gillard with much fanfare two years ago. Both India and China have a thriving startup ecosystem and well executed technology can scale to dizzying heights. Shopping through mobile phones grew 800% in India in 2013 and is expected to clock a compound annual growth rate of 150% until 2016.
Startup = growth, and the future growth is in Asia. We know that now.
Thanks for taking the time to talk with Irish Tech News, and we look forward to meeting you in person at the Summit.
You’re welcome, looking forward to the famous Irish weather too. I’m sure it will be a pleasant relief after the heat of Sydney.