banned app
banned app
Employees of banned TikTok, Helo, SHAREit, other Chinese apps join Made in India short video apps

Multiple made in India short video startups have received job applications from one of the world’s most valued startups — ByteDance-owned popular apps like TikTok, Helo, and other apps that are currently banned in India, sources told Financial Express Online. Over half a dozen Indian alternatives, which sprang into action post-June 29, 2020 ban, have been getting multiple applications across job functions from employees at ByteDance. “ByteDance employees have communicated their preference for leaving while multiple startups here (India) are already in the process of getting them on board. Right from Bolo Indya to Chingari, Rizzle, Trell, and more have either already hired a few of them or are processing applications,” one of the sources told Financial Express Online.


“We have received over 75 resumes in the last one month from employees at TikTok, Helo, and SHAREit. Eight of them have joined while five-eight more will be hired,” Varun Saxena, Founder, Bolo Indya confirmed to Financial Express Online. Bolo Indya-owned by SynergyByte Media was launched in May last year and has crossed 10 lakh installs on Google Play Store. The 4.2-star rated app is available in Tamil, Telugu, Bengali, Marathi, Kannada, Gujarati, Malayalam, Odia, Punjabi, Haryanvi and Bhojpuri apart from Hindi and English languages.


Hyderabad-based Rizzle app, which has expanded its team 30 per cent in the past three months and is looking to hire more talent, has also hired people from ByteDance. “Six-seven people from ByteDance have joined Rizzle,” Lakshminath Dondeti, Co-founder, Rizzle App told Financial Express Online. The app has received over 500 applications from multiple companies in the past three months out of which 100 applications are from employees at ByteDance.


Comments from ByteDance for this story would be updated as and when received.


“The government’s ban has come as a welcome surprise for these apps that would also lead to job creation across departments and functions. This becomes all the more important if we look at it with Covid in the backdrop. On one hand, we see massive job cuts in almost every sector including top startups while on the other hand, with this newfound opportunity, these video startups might be of some help to young technology talent who would have suffered not only because of the ban but also because of the pandemic,” a market expert requesting anonymity told Financial Express Online.


Trell too has received close to 500 applications from candidates from various backgrounds and experience ranges in the last 10 days alone. In the last few months, it has onboarded about 10 senior professionals, 10 mid to senior professionals, and close to 50 interns from multiple businesses including TikTok. The four-year-old app, which has over 1 crore Android downloads, is now aiming at closing nearly 30 more positions in the next 60 days.


“We are looking for experienced working professionals from diverse backgrounds and different qualifications from product-based companies and so we are interacting with candidates from various industries,” Pulkit Agrawal, Co-Founder, Trell told Financial Express Online.


These startups are adding manpower from TikTok, Helo, SHAREit, and other banned Chinese apps across functions and levels. For instance, Bolo Indya has received applications ranging from senior business development roles to mid-level marketing roles to content moderation, community leads, and language lead roles. “There are certain good growth hacker Indians who were working with some of the Chinese apps and we do plan to explore synergies to have some of them join us,” added Saxena.


On the other hand, Trell, which built its e-commerce vertical in the last 45 days, is now looking for people in the e-commerce, product, marketing, content & community segments apart from hiring senior talent in the tech and engineering verticals. While Agrawal didn’t divulge details around this but users can “shop latest trends from Indian brands,” the app said on Google Play Store.


Financial Express Online had recently reported on what these TikTok alternatives should be focusing on in order to hold their ground if TikTok returned in the near future. Hiring talent experienced in the short video app segment might help Indian startups to compete better with TikTok. “This is going to be a challenge: TikTok, for example, employs over 50,000 engineers actively engaged towards engineering greater engagement and time spent on the app. But there is a real opportunity,” Utkarsh Sinha, Managing Director, Bexley Advisors had told Financial Express Online.

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