In an apparent initiative to mobilise thousands of young urban voters towards exercising their voting rights, entrepreneur Vikram Nalagampalli launches Voterite.com, India’s first platform that opens a two-way communication between voter and candidate. Voterite.com rides on the exponential rise of social media habits of the young urban voter (18-35 years), who is typically apathetic towards voting.
The platform effectively captures concerns and dialogues between the voter and candidate, while helping candidates and their campaigners to drum up support amidst this discerning target audience. Quite simply, Voterite.com enables the voter and the candidate to discover each other, and engage in meaningful conversations, according to a company statement.
Spurred by the fact that the margin for an electoral win is sometimes as small as 5000 votes, and armed with research data that reveals that over 220 MP constituencies can be influenced by social media users, Vikram realised that the answer to the voting apathy is an online platform that allows users to communicate, post and share their opinions via social media. Not only can users question and evaluate claims by candidates and their campaigners, but they can create and launch their own social media campaigns for candidates they believe must be elected. Voterite empowers the user to campaign for deserving candidates in any constituency across the country. Such a campaigner can solicit support, get updates on new supporters and map the effect of his campaign. Given the upcoming national elections in 2014, Voterite is well poised to become a barometer of the urban, young voter, while serving as a key component in any campaigner’s toolkit.
The advent of social media to influence ‘friends’ and motivate them to get interested and act upon a cause is well proved and documented world over. There are 150 million social media users in India alone. Recent successes of mobilising public opinion via Facebook and Twitter in India (the anti-corruption movement being one) as well as the rising social media presence of candidates indicate that social media can possible influence a large section of urban youth like no other platform can. This is why Voterite is a product of its times, and is essential in increasingly complex electoral age.
Talking about Voterite, Vikram Nalagampalli said: “Quite honestly, a large mass of voters – especially the upwardly mobile, urban young voter – does not pay much attention to campaigns during election times. Why, many of them don’t even vote. To get them to care, engage and participate, we have to speak their language. Only then can real change – the sort of change that the recent anti-corruption movement sought – can happen. This is possible by engaging them on social media and creating an online peer-to-peer platform that is available to them 24/7. This is why Voterite was created”.
Vikram Nalagampalli is an entrepreneur and a returning NRI with over 15 years of leadership experience in enabling change leveraging technology in Corporate America. Genesis of Voterite began with Vikram’s recent journey back to his home country and when he had to go through a hard realization of various facts that every citizen is rightfully entitled for. Vikram decided to leverage his expertise in enabling change using technology and this time to fix the broken parts of our democracy and figured out a way to not only empower citizens but also provide a means for citizens to collectively make a difference in their neighbourhood or constituency within days and not months or years.