Mumbai: Journalist and author, Mini Menon and history enthusiast AkshayChavan today announced the launch of their new venture ‘Live History India’.
Live History India is a first of its kind digital platform focused on bringing alive Indian History and taking it to a wide array of new age audiences across the world. With the promise of bringing together the ‘Stories that make India’ Live History India aims to help Indians and history lovers across the world ‘Rediscover’ the rich and varied historic and cultural legacy of India, ‘Revive’ the best works done in the area and champion the cause of ‘Restoration’ of India’s built heritage.
Talking about the launch Mini Menon Editor and Co- Founder of Live History India said“We are excited to launch Live History India. We believe it is time to create an India centred and focused new age content platform on Indian history and culture. We aim to use innovative multimedia formats to create exciting content on India and bridge the gap by taking history outside text books. With more and more Indians spending money to travel across India, LHI believes that there is a huge need gap that needs to be filled. LHI has a rich multimedia content pipeline planned for this.”
On the first round of funding Mini adds, “Live History India is positioned right in the centre of Digital India, Make in India, Start up India, Smart Cities and Incredible India. We have been lucky to get some great strategic partners and history enthusiasts on board as investors. Our investors share our vision of creating a world class product on India, from India!”
LHI Digital Private Ltd, the holding company of Live History India has also announced its first round of funding by a group of strategic investors. Cyrus Guzder, the Chairman and Managing Director of AFL logistics and Technology Consultancy and seed funding firm 5F led by Dr Ganesh Natrajan, the former Chairman of the NASSCOM Foundation are among the first investors in LHI Digital Network Pvt Ltd.
Speaking about his investment in LHI Digital Network, Mr.Guzder says “Live History India is an exciting new age content platform that will go a long way in creating public awareness about India’s rich history. This is essential, to ensure the conservation of our built heritage. Local communities have played a critical role in the area of heritage conservation the world over and we need a public movement around this in India as well. LHI will act as a catalyst for this.”
Dr. Ganesh Natarajan Founder and Chairman of 5F World said “We see LHI Digital as an extremely significant investment since it will operate at the confluence of Social and Cultural relevance, Skill Building and Digital Platform enablement. We look forward to being strategy and technology partners to Mini and Akshay as they build a great company.”
The launch of Live History India on the web was preceded by a social media teaser launch of LHI on January 14th 2017. This was a great success as AkshayChavan, Co-Founder & Head of Research explains “We have been extremely encouraged by the response we have had on the social media. We have had over 500,000 likes in just a short time and data shows that it is the youth, those between 18-24 who have been our biggest supporters.”
Mini adds, “The fact that a vast array of audiences, especially the youth, are tuning in to LHI in the social media has iterated our belief that there is a lot of latent interest in Indian history which has not been adequately served. LHI aims to fill that gap by combining great content with exciting formats!”
The focus of the LHI team is on putting out deeply researched and insightful stories as AkshayChavansays“We have a small but strong in house team of passionate youngsters who bring skill and enthusiasm. We also have a growing list of contributors – top historians and authors who will be writing for us.’ Akshay who is driving this initiative of reaching out to India experts across the world adds, “We have over 50 top historians and authors as our contributors. Each of these people have been selected for their deep insights and body of work. By the year end, we expect this number to cross 100.”
Veteran filmmaker ShyamBenegal, renowned columnist and Director of Mumbai Literature Live! Anil Dharkar, Former Bureaucrat and India’s first Chief Information Commissioner WajahatHabibullah andMalvika Singh, the Publisher of Seminar will be joining Mr Cyrus Guzder and Dr.Ganesh Natarajan on the Live History India’s Board of Advisors
Speaking about his association, Mr.Shyam Benegal said, “Nehru called India a palimpsest, where each epoch has left its cultural, social and political imprint on the age that existed before. Over the millennia there have been layers upon layers of these imprints but none have totally erased the layers beneath them. This multi-layered accumulation of cultures and histories make India among the most unique nations of the world. Live History India is a first of its kind attempt on a digital platform that brings together the work of a large number of historians and authors on the many and varied influences that have gone into the making of modern India.”
Mini says “Live History India is not just a product of passion but also purpose. With our rich history and cultural legacy, we could become the top destination for global travellers – Indian and overseas. Sadly however, India as a country receives a very small proportion of this pie. We are the lowest among the BRICS countries in terms of tourist arrivals! We have also not tapped the potential of the growing breed of Indian travellers. We believe LHI will play a pivotal role in facilitating the tourism ecosystem.”
Live History India also has a robust revenue plan and will work with a cross section of brands, and stakeholders including State Governments to build content on India’s history, culture and travel. As part of the launch bouquet LHI has a wide array of properties that include – Amazing India – On the relatively unknown wonders of India’s, Snap Short Histories – easily accessible ‘History in Shorts, A series of Videos that bring together the many stories that make India. A large focus of LHI is on ‘Living History’ that is the continuum of traditions in areas like food, textiles and the arts, LHI brings properties like History in a Dish, Forgotten Treasures and the Weaves of India.
Given that LHI intends be at the forefront of the digital revolution that will transform the way audiences relate to content and also play a role in facilitating a transformation of the tourism sector, it has chosen its technology platform – built by Quintype, a young start-up based in California / Bangalore. Quintype’s Audience Technology Platform and their experience in digital publishing, big data & analytics and hyper personalization will help LHI customise content.
“Quintype is super excited to partner with LHI in delivering transformative experiences in the tourism industry. Indian tourism is still at the proverbial tip of the iceberg – the unknown, unseen part of India has the potential to satiate the thirst of the most adventurous traveller. By partnering with the well respected team at LHI, we hope to harness our deep technology prowess in enabling innovative experiences to the tourist interested in exploring India”said Tapan Bhat, Managing Director – Asia Pacific, Quintype.
“We have a rich pipeline of properties and we look forward to partnering with all brands that have India at their heart and think India first!” Mini adds.