To me, ‘a startup is identifying a problem and then develop a conventional system that leverages technology to solve the problem’ –
Prakhar Lunawat, Founder: Lokus
Having gained its foothold in the digital world since August 1, 2018 for Android and iOS users, Lokus envisions to acquaint the readers about the relevance of being updated with their immediate surroundings.
Having said that, no matter how great the idea may sound; almost all entrepreneurs tend to have a roadblock. Let’s unfold the incredible journey behind the making of and launching Lokus:
A Candid Interview with the founders Prashant & Prakhar.
Why Lokus? We have almost identical apps available in the digital market to cater to the consumer needs.
Prashant: There are several News apps that publish National and International News. Regional News is hardly being covered. We want people, especially our young generation to be aware of every little incident happening in their surroundings and neighbouring communities. Regional News facilitates a bond between communities.
The major source, I can say, for Local News is Print Media. Local newspapers are considered more trustworthy than social media. Having said that, local newspapers don’t appeal much to our Gen Y and that’s where Lokus will be the gap-filler. Through Lokus we want to bring back the reading spirit among the youth, and keep them aligned with current affairs in real-time through our status-quo mobile app.
How are you hunting talents to build an efficient and result-oriented team?
Prakhar: We believe in dynamism and welcome diverse and creative people on board. But, the first step was to get the ball rolling on the right track. For that we chose to hire experienced professionals from the journalism industry. Young blood comes with a lot of passion but to ignite the engine we were looking for depth of knowledge and networks that come from experience. Hence, the decision.
Our team comprises of people having 25+ years of work experience in journalism, while on the other, we also have a team of freshers who use their unique skill-sets and work in unison. They work with passion, display more flexibility towards the dynamic market trends and eagerly welcome new ideas. This age-diverse workforce is our strength we boast of.
So then what is Lokus?
Prashant: Simply put, Lokus is a user-friendly app that enables the users to read news with a swipe of the thumb. To unearth, discover and publish the regional news which otherwise remains buried, is the prime objective of its conception.
Summarised News is gaining popularity due to fast-paced lifestyle. Readers prefer reading summarized news with key points; and currently there are 2-3 national players in this league. Hence, we plunged into the pool with a dash of personalization publishing 50% news on Chhattisgarh and rest 50% includes National and International news. So users are now getting the best of other apps, along with regional news.
Considering the reader base in India, one of the indispensable features; the ‘Language Swap’ button has been incorporated which enables the readers to switch between English and Hindi as and when convenient. Each and every news article is inscribed in Hindi and in English to cater a wide range of readers.
And most importantly, Lokus is a name to be reckoned with. We come with the promise of Credible and Unbiased news. It is ‘all facts – no opinions’ for us.
How did you come up with the name for your company?
Prakhar: During a brainstorming session we had this eureka-moment; came up with a Latin word ‘Locus’ which means a particular position or place where something occurs, ‘an event place’ basically.
It later got metamorphosed into a Hinglish word ‘Lokus’, a linguistic blend of Hindi and English ‘Lok’ means ‘people’ in Hindi and ‘Us’ is ‘We’. So, it is basically ‘We the people’
What features do you consider adding in the future?
Prashant: We prioritize customer feedback to develop or add enhancements. It’s hard to tell what we’ll add, but one idea is Reading Voice Assistance, the read-out feature (radio) will integrate speech APIs to read out the headlines and summaries. This ranks first on the customer-request wish list, hence we’re soon to launch this feature. We’re burning the candle on both ends to make Lokus, a go-to place and the only platform to supply information on regional news in the most convenient manner.