“I think the biggest asset of Indian developers is their entrepreneurial spirit… I’ve seen that in droves in India,” says Eshwar Vangala, Senior Director of World Wide Developer Relations at Apple. As the person who also heads the tech giant’s App Accelerator in Bengaluru among other things, Vangala has worked with thousands of Indian developers and helped them achieve success in the app economy.
“The current crop of developers are so keen to take an idea and turn it into an incredibly successful app,” Vangala explains on a call with The Indian Express. “In the past, I would come across developers who are kind of looking at a pot of gold down the road and trying to figure out products that will actually make them successful,” he says, adding that this mindset has clearly changed in India. “People are looking to give birth to an idea… they’re looking at actually giving their idea wings to fly.”
Apple’s Bengaluru app accelerator, established in 2017, has been helping developers improve their apps and learn news skills as well as soft skills that help them market their products and themselves better. Among the many success stories out of India have been apps like Calzy which won Apple Design Award in 2018, Froggipedia which was the iPad app of the year in 2018 and many others like Lumy, Look-up, Cone and Bonfire which have been featured on the App Store. Apple claims the accelerator has contributed to nearly 900,000 jobs in India that can be attributed directly to the iOS App ecosystem.
“When people have discussions with us at the accelerator, they are usually born out of a need or a requirement. I think my favourite is Kushagra from Bangalore who created Cone to help identify ripe mangoes because he is colour blind. It might seem something really small, but that’s a need he had and he created this application which is now helping you know millions of people across the world,” says Vangala, underlining how Apple prides itself for being the “best accessibility platform out there”.
The accelerator engages with developers with large format one-to-many sessions, in-depth one-to-few workshops and one-to-one consultations. While there is a lot of international expertise on offer for Indian developers, Vangala says the India accelerator team is also helping support these quality workshops. “The India accelerator team helps us a lot across the region in supporting some of these developers to put out some amazing applications,” adds Vangala who manages teams in Europe, Middle East, India, Africa and Latin America.
On how Indian developers now fit in globally, Vangala adds: “They are similar to the worldwide community. They are part of this vast global fabric, they are producing applications locally and they are producing applications for the world. They’re incredibly eager to improve their coding and design skills they’re very hungry to learn from us, and in fact we have learned from them too.”