India’s massive population is diverse as well as devout. The nation thrives on a vast number of religious communities. These communities further have tens of thousands of denominations based on beliefs, Deities, gurus, geography and more. The members of these communities already engage in an ad hoc manner through small groups on Whatsapp sharing images, videos and pondering for answers to various questions. Digitalization can change the way devotees interact with these religious organisations in terms of enabling e-donations, online competitions and organizing e-pujas.
Faith and divinity tends to flourish when technological developments create new possibilities for communication and representation, and simultaneously change as a consequence of these developments. Utsav connects religious organisations to their devotees and opens up the prospect of mass public outreach, e-dakshina collection & digitises the economy surrounding these places. Utsav App: Virtual Festivals is an effort to place the festivals of India on a virtual platform. The main idea of the app is to spread the essence of Indian Festivals. The app not only prioritizes the showcasing of different festivals but also organises various online competitions, which are open to all, to pivot the spirit of the festivals. Additionally, they cover the latest theme pujas to the centuries old Shabeki pujas, etc.
The Pandemic provided an opportunity to the founders to come up with an idea of digitizing the whole puja and donation experience. With the onset of festive season, especially Durga Puja in Kolkata, the founders who are engineers by profession but connected to the faith and divinity by heart felt the need of a platform that can help devotees to interact with religious communities and organizations. They launched Utsav in September 2020 and have onboarded 700+ religious communities across India till now. The app is driven by user generated content and hence, participation feels easy and natural through posts, comments and likes. The app has an inbuilt algorithmic feed to prioritize engaging content. It makes it easy to use for a diverse audience by providing them native language support with auto translation.
Utsav is the go-to social network for members of religious communities to engage at scale. The founders aim to leverage an existing network of trusts and organizations to onboard devotees, and tap a huge unexplored market.
The market size stands at 1.12 Bn USD which is obtained by taking into account the number of internet users in India, part of a sector community (who can become the potential users) and the customer value (ARPU) which is assumed to be around $2.
Utsav was launched in September 2020 and has onboarded 700+ religious communities across India till now. The app currently has 15000+ current downloads and 3000+ monthly active users.
The future of faith, divinity and spirituality through the power of communities seems to flourish in coming years in India. There is no similar player operating in the market right now besides Utsav which is aiming to tap a vast number of religious communities and interacting with such groups on whatsapp, facebook is subpar. Utsav formalises this existing behaviour.
The team is looking forward to a wonderful journey ahead to create a mark, owing to a true gap in the market revealed by the epidemic and a strong and energetic team. We congratulate them and wish them the best of luck!