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Snakes and Ladders of Indian politics

Neha Bhatt  |  New Delhi 

Manmohan Singh and L K Advani are mere tokens in entrepreneur Amit Tripathi’s political game. ‘Politicking’, the all-time favourite ‘Snakes and Ladders’ with a political twist, is a cheerful escape on Tripathi’s new portal indiavoting.com, where allies are ladders and the opposition snakes. This dynamic website is the flagship portal of 32-year-old Tripathi’s new venture Insite Digital, which he started in October 2008 with co-founder Ajay Sharma.

The digital ‘awareness’ drive scales many sectors of public interest — from politics to career to finance. While the mainstay of the portal at the moment is, quite naturally, politics, it is expected to soon have comprehensive contents on careers and financial services, ranging from insurance and banking to investment. “We are currently looking for funds. On the whole, we are looking at investing Rs 15-20 crore in Insite Digital, of which Rs 5 crore is what Ajay and I have put in,” says Tripathi.

Having been in the digital business for more than a decade now, he knows his way around cyberspace and Ten years ago, he founded Id8labs.com, a digital agency that now rakes in Rs 20-25 crore a year. But Tripathi’s focus is currently on indiavoting.com, for which, he says, he has a long-term vision and business model. “The revenue for this portal is not coming in from political advertisements, which, at the moment, are generating a significant revenue for other websites. But we don’t want to be branded as a political mouthpiece of any party. Our revenue will come in from packaged content and we will work as a platform for various businesses,” says Tripathi.

Essentially, Insite Digital serves as a platform for this edutainment portal aimed at the next generation, working on multiple platforms. “To engage an audience in the age bracket of 13-30, we wanted to take up social verticals. There has been a huge interest in people asking questions concerning national issues on the Internet. While campaigns like Jaago Re have been popular online, there is a lack of content which we hope to fill,” says Tripathi.

In the next 12-18 months, the duo plans to launch 100 more games on financial literacy, career planning, healthcare, politics and citizen advocacy. “We wanted to do it one at a time. So, the awareness on voting and politics has been the first platform,” Tripathi explains.

If political trivia isn’t your thing, there’s more. No shoe-throwing activity, sadly, unlike the now-popular trend on the election trail, but there is something equally suspicious lurking on this portal. Chappal ki Goonj is a game on indiavoting.com that works the other way around — you earn points when you stop a player from throwing the shoe. “We don't agree with the show-throwing tactics. So, there is some learning through each game,” says Tripathi.Well, go on and roll the dice.

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First Published: Mon, May 04 2009. 00:44 IST
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