It started with a picnic that Priyanka Singh organized near Porte Dorée. A nice family picnic at Bois de Vincennes near the lake and after that we went to the “mela” that was going on nearby. At one point, we were sitting near a watersport where children of other friends were having their time on plastic boats. Vivek Tayal and me, we were sitting next to each other, and we were discussing about how things have evolved over the years for the Indian community in France. How earlier we had so few Indians in France and how at this time we have more and more Indians coming to this country.
Discussions were on about the increasing number of IT professionals and students, among others who are coming in a much greater number today, than it used to be a decade ago. It was then Vivek told something like: we have many Indians and families here but we don’t know where do our community live – it would have been nice if we had a database of our community where we could see the distribution of our people here.
Those words from the mouth of Vivek acted like a trigger, and I felt attached to this idea immediately. I felt that I could prepare this product with my IT team who are working in my other projects from India. While we were coming back, with Vivek and Gyanendra, Priyanka’s husband, and others, someone floated this idea of doing this with Access and Excel – but I felt that something bigger can be done on this - something more user friendly and a more complete product.
I did some field test in our Facebook group to see if the project was interesting for the community before starting to work on this, and which gave me huge positive responses. This helped me to reassure myself that my intuition was correct, and I was getting ready to start working on the project.
The project was then planned and written in a couple of days, but things got delayed as Nishit, the guy I collaborate with for my IT projects since a couple of years, was going on a vacation to Bali and he was preparing his trip. A basic alpha version was prepared in a few days’ time, and some 300 compatriots registered in the platform in about a week.
Many new ideas came as the concept was ripening in my brain - and they are still bombarding me as I write this piece. If everything can be developed as I’m visualizing this project as of now, we will have a wonderful platform for the Indian community living outside of India that, besides giving them a platform to better connect to each other, will also address many issues that our community faces while living outside, and will give them tools to face those situations.
A Beta version with many more options will be ready soon, hopefully.