Vocal4Local: Say Namaste app competing with “Chinese” Zoom, Google Meet

Bengaluru: Lockdowns across the globe since March forced many professionals into video-conferencing and innumerable webinars were organized using the Zoom app or Google Meet. But now they have competition in India where Say Namaste is emerging as a serious challenger.

This is in line with Mahatma Gandhi’s Swadeshi movement and Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s mantra for Make-in-India and Vocal-for-Local wherein they encouraged companies to manufacture their products in India for domestic consumption as well as exports.

Amid controversies that Zoom was a “Chinese” product facing security concerns, the company’s CEO Eric Yuan had to clarify in May that his firm is an American company founded and headquartered in California, incorporated in Delaware and publicly traded on NASDAQ.

With coronavirus pandemic, Google Meet video calling app, a new avatar of Hangouts, also came out. Launched in 2017, it also became popular.

In India, they now have competition. Say Namaste, designed and developed by Mumbai-based start-up Inscripts, is an alternative to the American products. Established in 2009, the company launched the app in a beta testing phase in April. Soon, it garnered over one lakh downloads and 4.5 stars listing on Play Store.

Currently, the app supports 50 participants per meeting along with screen sharing. It is secure and private and offers various options such as 1:1 multi-party text, voice and video conferencing.

The company in their privacy policy said it is protected by the European Union General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Incripts already had an app in “The CometChat” which has been downloaded 10,000 times and the feature includes voice and video calling, text chat, photo, and video sharing, real-time translation of conversations.

The launch of Say Namaste app in India does not have security concerns. On the other hand, concerns were expressed about Zoom which linked co-workers, friends, families, teachers, and students.