Khyaal: “Idea behind the Khyaal app is to engage, educate and empower senior citizens”

Mumbai-headquartered Khyaal is a senior citizens-focused platform. The company was founded by Hemanshu Jain and Pritish Nelleri in the year 2020. The platform aims to help senior citizens make secure payments, participate in free online games, expert sessions, live yoga, musical events and digital workshops. The platform already has 250,000-plus downloads on Google Play Store. CEO Hemanshu Jain has more than 16 years of experience in product, sales, marketing, operations and manufacturing. This is his second foray into the impact space, his first company Diabeto dealt with the chronic health condition of Diabetes. Pritish Nelleri (COO) comes with 15 years of experience in branding, marcom, content marketing and digital. In an interaction with Times of India Tech, the duo talk about the app which ranked among the Top apps on Google Play Store for the year 2022.
How did you come up with your app? What was the idea behind it?
Khyaal was founded in 2020 amidst the pandemic when loneliness and social isolation among seniors rose to unprecedented heights. To address the issue of loneliness, we created a community for seniors across India to interact with one another and engage them in our interactive games and sessions. Khyaal started with a single chat group, and to accommodate more seniors and provide a seamless experience, we developed the Khyaal app. The idea behind the app was to engage, educate and empower senior citizens and we do that through community, content and commerce.
Talk about your journey with Google Play and how did it help you grow?
Google Play has played a key role in our growth journey, helping us reach senior citizens across India and in introducing them to the unique experience Khyaal provides. Today, we have reached more than 2,50,000 seniors across India. We have more than 1,00,000 active users who enjoy spending their time on the Khyaal app. It has been a phenomenal journey for us so far.
What does it mean to be one of the top apps of Google Play for 2022?
It’s a great feeling to have been considered among the top apps of Google Play for 2022. The recognition is a testament to the tireless efforts of our amazing team that is committed towards making a difference and the love that seniors all over the country have shown us in this journey. It also acts as a source of encouragement for everyone at Khyaal and is an acknowledgement of the contributions that we have made in enhancing the lives of seniors.
Our goal has always been to build a super app for senior citizens in India that will help them with all the helpful services they’re looking for – and most importantly, a community where they can interact and belong. We will continue with our journey.
What you think has worked/connected with the audience?
The strong bond that we share with our senior community members is a result of the effective two-way bridge that we built over the period. This intangible bridge is built on the foundation of patience, trust and learning. We began with creating engagement for our seniors through games, expert sessions, workshops, and live yoga with an intention to reduce loneliness through interactions and activities. As seniors were going through a difficult phase due to the pandemic, they were looking out for meaningful ways to interact with the world, to have fun, learn and grow. Our seniors instantly adopted these sessions as a part of their daily routine and we kept on adding more events based on the requests that we received from our community.
How far is the content personalised to suit people from different parts of India? Also, how do you break the language barrier?
Our content is based on “inclusiveness,” an integral value that defines the very construct of Khyaal as an entity. While creating and distributing content, we are cognizant about the complexity of our rich nation and the people who form it. We take into consideration the beliefs of each individual and want our content to appeal to a broad audience. Through our content, we strive to bring positivity and enable seamless learning. We try to instill tolerance and are constantly working to break down barriers that exclude certain groups from participating and consuming content. Currently we are delivering content by using an effective mix of Hindi and English which allows us to reach out to a wider population. To accommodate more seniors across the country, we will soon introduce localised regional content in multiple languages. Khyaal is a perfect example where you will find learning, fun and growth taking precedence over the limitation of language. For now, our universal language of love and patience is helping us transcend the language barrier.
Any tips for budding app developers out there?
Collaborate with your users and build together. Interact and seek feedback to improve constantly.



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