Indian portal at your fingertips

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Enjoy greater connectivity to all things Indian via a newly developed free app, writes CARL BUHARIWALA

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Have you ever missed an Indian event because you misplaced the paper napkin on which its details were hastily written while conversing over scrumptious Indian cuisine? Do you remember the last time your friend gave you directions to a new Indian grocery store, and you forgot whether the turning was a right or a left? If you have encountered these situations before, a new application for smart-phones will prevent them from reoccurring. Tastes of India (ToI) is a portal that helps bring the Indian community together by providing a medium to experience all things Indian.

July 26 marked the launch of this spectacular application in the presence of important guests from the Indian community, including Mr Rakesh Kawra, Vice Consul from the Consulate General of India, Melbourne. This application will not only keep the Indian community updated with news and events, but will also provide an avenue for the greater Australian population to involve themselves with their Indian neighbours. ToI lists religious and entertainment events, along with business listings and important points of interest for Indians. The application is an essential tool for everyone; it is not only helpful, but free to install. What more could you want?

Dipen Patel and his team, the founders, designers and developers of ToI, stated that the application follows the theory of greater giving, leading to greater sharing.

“I believe that not-for-profit organisations and other social institutions will benefit from this platform as it acts as a launch pad to promote events that will reach a greater number of people,” stated Patel. “With smart phones and applications leading the path of the future, ToI takes advantage of existing software and helps bring all things Indian to the user with little effort,” he added.

During his speech at the launch, Patel quoted an incorrect prediction made by Ken Olson, president, chairman and founder of Digital Equipment Corporation in 1977. Olson stated that “there is no reason for any individual to have a computer in his home”. Patel explained that nowadays, people occupy their time with technology and enjoy expanding their range with the latest gadgets. “The future will be driven by socially targeted marketing, a concept powered by technology, and ToI is an example of this,” he stated.

Patel encourages not-for-profit organisations to register at ToI for a username and password and promote their events to inform the target community on the application’s calendar. The calendar stores all the information required, and can be modified to suit the user’s needs. It can also be synchronised with the user’s personal calendar, if desired. The ability to spread the message to the wider community is an important marketing tool that ToI is offering at no cost.

However, commercial organisations will need to register in a separate category at a fee. Currently, ToI is offering a three months subscription to the business listing for free. ToI has the ability to promote the organisation’s goods and services. It can also display coupons for consumers that will enable them to obtain discounts and stay up-to-date with sales and other promotion events.

In addition to these listings, ToI has the capability to connect users to Indian radio streams, provide live viewings of videos and keep the user up-to-date with Indian current affairs, sports and entertainment. The application uses the user’s mobile data and GPS system to provide updates as and when the user needs it.

ToI is essentially a one-stop-shop that provides everything for the user. Having the capacity to store this variety of information showcases the advent of technology and how bright minds, such as Patel and his team, can put together a clever application for everyone to use. ToI has adopted the concept of ‘push notifications’ which provide all users connected to ToI to have continuous updates. This is an essential tool that brings the information to the user, rather than having the user search for the information.

ToI is also a helpful assistant to Indian migrants who have settled in Australia with few family and friends. Where access to sources of information is limited, ToI acts as a reference that is user-friendly and accurate. This will limit the sense of isolation and ensure they are informed and updated on social and community based initiative from day one in their new home.

This application not only provides mere tastes of India, but has a comprehensive collection of information for all Australians. Patel and his team have developed an application that will pave the future for sharing communal information at a portal for all to see. This is an important step towards embracing a multicultural society, ensuring that everyone lives harmoniously, and a greater awareness of community leaders and initiatives.

ToI can be downloaded from the App Store and Play Store, and is also available online and on a majority of social networking sites. Stay connected for all things Indian.