Qyuki is founded by two of the most celebrated creative minds of India. Shekhar Kapur and A.R. Rahman come together to introduce a new social network, Qyuki. The platform aims to discover the vast untapped talent of India and the Indian diaspora; mentor and transform them into brands of the future.
“There is so much imagination potential at the bottom of the class pyramid in India. If India is to grow, we have to provoke it (the imagination), bring it out,” Shekhar Kapur said.
Qyuki CEO, Poonacha Machaiah, called the platform a marriage of creativity and technology. It aims to give consumers a complete creative journey based on the 4Cs: Community, Content, Collaboration, Celebration. A vision of how this will work is of a musician who releases a song on the platform, and a digital artist creates the album art, while a lyricist works on the next track and a short film maker offers to make the video.
Unlike other Web sites like Youtube, content such as music, videos, writing and photography will be moderated by professionals, like Ranjit Barot, Imtiaz Ali, Chetan Bhagat and Suresh Natarajan, and will be available on PCs and mobile devices.
Members will have a profile page where they get a chance to showcase their work. Content on the website can belong to mediums such as music, video, pictures, and text and can be classified into categories such as animation, short films, scripts, performance arts such as standup comedy etc. All content is owned by the creators. Further down the line Qyuki plans to have a marketplace which will allow content creators to monetize their works. Mr. Machaiah hinted at a shared revenue model which will be disclosed once the marketplace is functional.
The entire Qyuki platform is built on Cisco’s cloud infrastructure. It’s a way for Cisco to showcase their infrastructure especially the cloud video delivery mechanisms. “We have invested in Qyuki, to co-create a technology platform that enables conceptualization of creative content, contextualising it and delivering it through mobile devices and cloud,” said Hilton Romanski, Vice President, Head of Corporate Business Development, Cisco.
Shekhar Kapur said the inspiration came from the Cue Key in music and also from the fact that when he tweeted the term it became the trending topic in India within a matter of hours. In effect the name, he believes, was crowdsourced. But as Siddhartha Basu (who was hosting the Telepresence conference) pointed out, it can mean a number of things, for instance “Kyu ki” in Hindi means “because”.
However, in a country where Internet connections are still low when compared to TV and with players like Google entrenched, how does Qyuki differentiate? “None of the others have an Indian identity and with increasing Net usage, anybody with creativity can make it big,” co-founder Kapur said.
According to company officials, currently Qyuki app will be available on Android-supported phones and later on Windows and iOS as well. Apart from user-generated content, Qyuki will also have content from Kapur and Rahman.