Big Idea

If you don’t ‘talk English or walk English’ but have a wild tale to tell, log on to Pratilipi

The Bengaluru-based start-up, which brings together millions of non-English readers and writers, finds money isn’t easy to make 

(L-R): Pratilipi co-founders Sahradayi Modi, Sankaranarayanan Devarajan, Ranjeet Pratap Singh and Rahul Ranjan

Rajiv, Shweta and their two and a half year-old son Chinmay are a happy family settled in Gurugram. Life is a well-oiled machine until one night, at the witching hour, when Rajiv is woken up by the toddler. A sobbing Chinu, as he is lovingly called, keeps mumbling, “Mujhe kyun maara?” Brushing it off as a nightmare, Rajiv pats him back to sleep. But a week later, the incident repeats. This time, the parents are concerned. “It can’t be a coincidence,” says Shweta. The next day, they decide to take him to the family doctor…

The story, written in Hindi, continues on Pratilipi, where it has become one of the “top 20 best short stories”, read by almost 90,000 users. With 20 million monthly active users (MAUs), 2.3 million stories and over 235,000 writers, Pratilipi claims to be India’s largest self-publishing platform that supports 12 languages, spoken by 90% of the total population in the country. “Today, the educated English-speaking man in India also wants to consume and create in his native language,” says Sreedhar Prasad, former partner with KPMG India & Kalaari Capital and co-author of a KPMG India-Google report Indian Languages – Defining India's Internet that expects the number of Indian language internet users to reach 536 million in 2021 (<

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