Indian startups fast recruiting talent from banned Chinese apps


A number of Indian startups in the field of social media that came into prominence following the ban on TikTok and Helo, along with other Chinese apps in June, confirmed on Thursday that they are attracting talent from these companies as they face uncertainty over their India operations in the long run.

Chinese unicorn ByteDance, which owns TikTok and Helo, has nearly 2,000 employees in India.

“We’ve got various interests from the employees of ByteDance and other competitive companies. We have received close to 100 resumes from them,” Sumit Ghosh, CEO and Co Founder, Chingari App, told IANS.

The homegrown short video app Chingari which recently raised 1.3 million (around Rs 10 crore) in a seed round currently has just about 25 employees.

Short video-making app Rizzle said that about 10 former TikTok employees have joined it.

“Rizzle attracts a number of sharp engineers, marketers, and other talented individuals from a variety of companies across India, which includes ByteDance among others. An approximate of 10 employees have joined us,” informed Lakshminath Dondeti, Co-founder, Rizzle.

This app that allows its users to make 60-second videos said it currently has about 100 people working with it.

In a bid to provide a sense of normalcy to its close to 2,000 employees in India, ByteDance has initiated a performance-review cycle.

Soon after Indian announced the ban on TikTok, along with 58 other apps over national security concerns, TikTok CEO Kevin Mayer who is also the COO of ByteDance said that employees are the company’s “biggest strength” and their wellbeing its “topmost priority”.

However, these assurances appeared to be not enough to calm the minds of many of the company’s anxious employees.

While many of them are seeking opportunities with apps like Chingari and Rizzle, it is only natural that some will seek opportunities with bigger companies like ShareChat which is seeking to fill many positions like Business Analyst, Product Analyst, Product Manager and Data Scientist, among others, in Bengaluru.

Another short video-sharing app, Mitron, which became popular in the wake of the anti-China sentiment, is also looking to hire “the best talent in the country.”

“At Mitron, we are hiring the best talent in the country across product, engineering, marketing and other functions and give them a platform where they can impact the experience of millions of users,a said Shivank Agarwal, Co-founder and CEO, Mitron.

“We look for specific skills that the role requires irrespective of which company they come from,” Agarwal told IANS.

It has now emerged that what is TikTok’s loss could be gains for the Indian startups that are trying to fill the gap left vacant by the ban.

However, all these apps will have to deal with the challenge of holding on to their users and attracting top-notch creators to emerge successful in the long term.

According to a report in TechCrunch, ByteDance which is uncertain about its business prospects in India is now in early-stage discussion with Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) for investment in TikTok’s business in the country.



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