Learning a new language is no more a barrier now with AlterGyan

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About the Company

India is a diverse country that celebrates the rich collection of regional languages. But at times, people who migrate to another state for studies, employment or any other reason face challenges, as they don’t always understand the local language. And that is where we want to help.

AlterGyan has a portfolio of language learning apps for 18 languages on Google Play and App Store. These apps help learn basic phrases of a new language quickly. One can start basic communication within hours.

Till now we have total 2.2 million downloads on Google Play and App Store spread across all the 18 languages.

WHAT WAS THE FIRST MOMENT WHEN YOU THOUGHT TO START A BUSINESS?

My husband and I moved to a new city – Hyderabad – in mid-2013. Not knowing the local language of the state, communication became a problem. Unable to find a way out, I decided to solve this problem that many people around the world must be facing – I decided to create an app that would help bridge this language barrier.
 

EVERY BUSINESS HAS A UP/DOWN MOMENT. DO YOU WANT TO SHARE ANYTHING SPECIAL WITH US?

I had a really bad experience with one of the social media hires. I got a contact from a friend. The contact gave me a very good proposal with flowery words that made me think he is the right choice. He drew a very detailed contract – a new experience for me. I had been working with several freelancers till then and it was working well for me.
 
As soon as he started the work, I was not satisfied with it. The blogs written had grammatical mistakes. Whenever asked for plan or report, I got nothing back. There was a lack of transparency in social media and it was giving just no returns. So, I told him that I want to stop spending my time and money on this effort. As soon as he heard this, his friendly nature disappeared and he started threatening to sue me and charged a lot of money for breaking the contract. It gave me sleepless nights.
 
But, soon I recovered from this loss. I found a freelance blog and content creator. I also kept some part of content creation in-house. Gradually we have reached a point where we have a good social media content reach and engagement.
 

WHAT IS YOUR CORE PRODUCT OR SERVICE?

AlterGyan has a portfolio of language learning apps for 18 languages on Google Play and App Store. These apps help learn basic phrases of a new language quickly. One can start basic communication within hours.
 
The apps contain 1500+ most frequently used phrases of the languages in both regional and Roman scripts. They also contain voices of native speakers so that the user can know the exact pronunciation.
 
We currently have apps for English, Bengali, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Malayalam, Marathi, Punjabi, Tamil, Telugu, Tulu, Urdu, Bhojpuri, French, German, Japanese, Portuguese and Spanish. We plan to expand into several languages such as Maithili, Oriya, Chinese, Malay and Russian.
 

WHAT IS THE MOST EXCITING THING RELATED WITH YOUR BUSINESS?

It is great to see that using our app people are able to bridge the language barriers. We love the feedback we get from our customer when they tell us how we have brought them closer to their grandparents or loved ones. We also are able to help NGOs with foreign volunteers and are facing communication problem in India. Overall, it is a good feeling to know AlterGyan is making a positive difference in people’s lives.
 

WHAT IS YOUR ROAD MAP AND GOAL FOR UPCOMING YEARS?

We plan to expand to other Indian regional languages and add more exciting features in the app to make learning fun.
 

WHO IS YOUR MENTOR OR ROLE MODEL?

My inspiration has been my uncle. He was the one who introduced me to computers when I was 10 years old. He was studying software development in the early 1990s and I just wanted to learn more and more from him. Thanks to him I was way ahead of other students in my class in computers and I loved it.
 
My husband has been a great pillar of support. Without him, managing our child and AlterGyan would not have been possible. Though coding is his hobby, he is an MBA by qualification. He helps a lot in the development as well as management front. He has always given me the right advice.
 

WHAT ARE YOUR VIEWS ON COMPETITORS?

Competition is always a good teacher. We at AlterGyan always try to observe what our competitors are doing, so that we know how we can improve ourselves and where we are in a better position.
 

BIGGEST RISK YOU HAVE EVER TAKEN?

We haven’t taken any risks that are too huge. Most of our risks has been financial, where we have put money and time in an idea in the hope to grow our business. Some of the features like adding transliteration have given returns. On other hand, expanding into few foreign languages have given dead returns.
 

WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT YOUR COMPANY CULTURE?

AlterGyan does not have people working full time for us. Most of our work is done by freelancers. So it gives us the freedom to do whatever we want to do, when ever we want to do.
 

IF YOU HAD ONE PIECE OF ADVICE TO SOMEONE JUST STARTING OUR, WHAT WOULD IT BE?

I believe that if you have a dream, you just need to believe in yourself. You may have to take tough decisions at times, you may also fail but eventually you will succeed if the underlying drive has not gone dormant.
 

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