BENGALURU: Growing up, media man Anil Srivatsa watched his mother, Chaya Srivatsa, champion the cause of human rights. “A lot of that resonated with me by osmosis over the years and stayed with me as I traversed my career. Her starting an NGO for empowering women immediately after a professional setback got me more interested in the rapid socio-economic revolution of women in India,” he says. This was one of the influences that led to starting Sochcast, a podcast content creation company that is an attempt to archive the thoughts, knowledge and experiences of women. It is now live on Sochcast.com and will soon roll out its Android and iOS apps.
The idea, he says, is to penetrate and break down social walls that have grown around India’s women by giving them a space to voice their thoughts on the internet. “We have over 18,000 minutes of original content in the library. However, we plan to release this content slowly as we fine-tune the listener experience and technology. It’s original content created by Indians for Indians,” Srivatsa, the CEO and creator of Sochcast.
The content range includes humour, personal story telling, inspiration, lifestyle, classical music, reflections on life, spiritual ruminations and interviews with daily heroes. It will be a combination of in-house productions and user-generated content. “Anything a woman wants to speak about in any language to be heard via this medium qualifies to be carried. We are not about curation alone but also about enabling the voice of women to join the mainstream national discourse on issues that matter to them,” he says.
Srivatsa prefers using the term sochcast rather than podcast because the latter has “no meaning”. “Podcasting is an imported term with no meaning while we are calling it what it should be – thoughts (soch in Hindi) spoken for broadcast,” Srivatsa says, adding, “When podcasting was taking off in India, the same mistake was happening as was in the dot.com era where techies were creating media delivery platforms and dabbling with content which they had no clue about, resulting in the busting of many.”
Sochcast, he says, is timing the market with the launch of this content company and platform to give voice to the Indian woman. “This is with a belief that a nation is only as strong as the decibel level of its women’s voice. We are energised by the call for Make in India and hope to contribute to ‘Vocal for Local’ resolve,” he says.Like any new business, timely funding is a challenge they are facing. “However, we already have revenue contracts in hand valued at about $4,00,000. We are actively seeking funding for this venture, as so far the product has been bootstrapped,” he says.