Startups in Kerala upset with fallout of Sprinklr controversy

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THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The tech community saw the Sprinklr controversy adversely affecting the startup ecosystem in the state. They are disheartened after the UDF MLAs dragged QuickDR Healthcare Private Ltd, a Kochi-based startup company, into the controversy. The legislators questioned the company’s credentials despite it being a homegrown startup.

Safil Sunny, founder of the company, had volunteered to provide the telemedicine platform based on an open call from the Kerala Startup Mission.  The platform was given to the government to provide free medical consultation to expats stranded abroad. “There is a major danger in creating a perception that startups are adhoc setups to engage in corruption. The rumours sent out an adverse message to startup investors,” said Deepu S Nath, managing director of FAYA Corporation, on his Facebook post, adding, “It is with great difficulty that the state has managed to create an ecosystem for startups.”

The Opposition MLAs, who questioned the data sharing with Sprinklr, also put a question mark over companies working on Software as a Service (SaaS) technology. It involves a   distribution model in which a third-party provider hosts applications and makes them available to customers via the internet.

“The startups which depend on cloud computing are adversely affected as the proven technology is questioned for its credibility. Such controversies are detrimental to the investment-friendly situation prevailing here.” said a joint statement from IT employees released through their socio-cultural organisation ‘Prathidhwani.’

“The Sprinklr controversy has impacted the IT companies’ engagement with the government in Covid fight.  The officers are hesitant to take decisions on the use of technology,” said Pinaki Krishnapillai, CEO, MicromCRM, based at Technopark. He is involved in coordination mechanism in Covid-19 control rooms at district headquarters.

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