How this Blockchain Start-up is Focusing on Developing Web3 Talent in India

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The Web3 wave which engulfed the world comprises technologies such as cryptocurrency, non-fungible tokens, decentralized finance, and blockchain. While the world is currently experiencing a low profile being maintained by the crypto market, blockchain, on the other hand, is flourishing with acceptance and adoption from governments and enterprises.

The blockchain technology is transparent and reliable. Its use cases include storing education certificates, citizen records, land records; decision-making, and more. However, while blockchain builds a transparent-secure future for us, who builds for blockchain and Web3?

One such startup is AlgoBharat, the Indian arm of Algorand founded by the Turing Award–winning cryptographer Silvio Micali in 2017. The Layer-1 blockchain initiative entered the Indian market in March this year with a team headed by Anil Kakani, VP, India Country Head, Algorand Foundation and Dr Nihikil Varma, Tech Lead, AlgoBharat.

The motive behind AlgoBharat is to broaden and invest in the Web3 ecosystem in India. “Where is all the talent which is coming to develop web3 solutions? If you look around the globe and at the role India played in developing Web2 technologies, you’ll think ‘Okay. India’s got this budding generation of computer science, and engineering students who are really going to dominate, not just outside India but for India,” says Kakani to Entrepreneur India.
AlgoBharat has been focusing on positive social impact, increasing social equity by broadening the developer base, investing in start-ups, and striking blockchain-acceleration partnerships. “In India, you are much more receptive to disruption to deliver better products to the consumer. So that’s why we think there is a huge opportunity in India,” he shares.

Working towards expanding and nurturing the delivered base, they work with three sub-segments- the student base, the Web2 developers stepping up to Web3, and the Web3 developers who are building on other chains and wish to explore Algorand’s sustainable blockchain offering. The process for the latter two will be facilitated with AlgoKit, a comprehensive developer tool to build Web3 applications on the platform.

Prior to its official launch, AlgoBharat, in order to understand the appetite for Web3 and blockchain in India, organized blockchain seminars in over 50 universities. In fact, late last year, Algorand’s green blockchain was used by MAPay to partner with the Government of Maharashtra to store health data as NFTs. In its first phase, the number is expected to reach 100 million.

Going deeper into the system to educate and inculcate awareness about Web3, AlgoBharat developed two faculty development programs in association with the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology at the National Institute of Technology, Patna and Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University, Hyderabad. “Once we begin with content for professors, we complement that with content for students,” adds Kakani.

In about six months, they have established 27+ clubs called “Algorand Blockchain Club” which supports the mentors and students with resources and training. Back in March, they organized a three-day workshop with T-Hub and saw about 35+ start-ups being a part of it and who competed in the pitch competition.

The organization also partnered with the Telangana Government to introduce blockchain-based solutions to make farming more eco-friendly. The idea is to encourage farmer participation in organic farming, solar harvesting, agroforestry, and crop rotation. These practices will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and carbon sequestration. The aim is to make farmers carbon entrepreneurs with access to carbon credit markets. Carbon credit will allow farmers to emit a certain amount of CO2 or other greenhouse gases without legal consequences.

They’ve also partnered with SEWA (Self-Employed Women’s Association). The company’s upcoming partnerships include one with NASSCOM.

Up next is AlgoBharat’s Impact Summit set to take place later this year. “Our Impact Summit is going to be focused on the real world utility of blockchain and solutions being built on Algorand. So, heavy focus on financial inclusion, access to healthcare, sustainability, and regulatory environment to support Web3,” Kakani shares.

By year-end, AlgoBharat and Kakani expect a 2X-3X increase in Algorand Blockchain Clubs in India.