Thirty-year-old Bhavna Sharma got mixed responses when she told her friends she wanted to create an iphone application on how to drape a sari. But she knows the problems young women around the world face when it comes to wrapping those six yards around themselves. It’s been ten days since the ‘Sari app’ was approved and placed on the Apple iTunes store and Sharma is happy with the response.
“America leads the download tally, India is next, followed by Canada and Singapore. There is a lot of demand for this application overseas; we’re now creating it in different languages for places in Europe,” says Sharma, who just finished uploading a smaller file of the app on Thursday, as feedback demanded it. “The original file was too big to download directly on the phone, so we worked out a solution.”
Sharma, along with her husband, Siddhartha Banerjee, and a team of five tech enthusiasts are now working on an upgrade, which will feature different ways of draping the garment. “There are 108 styles in which a sari can be draped,” says Sharma, who is currently short-listing the most workable ones. “The idea is to help women wear a sari without any assistance. So we’ll pick those that don’t need four hands.”
Once downloaded for $1.99 (Rs 96) from the iTunes store, the application can even be used on the phone in the absence of an Internet connection. The users can pick from the two tutorials in the package — a text illustration manual and a video. “If anyone has any questions, they can write to my Twitter handle and I try and get back to them within 10 hours,” says Sharma, who is currently dedicating all her time to making apps, but will soon go back to advertising. “There are 554 videos on how to tie a sari on YouTube, but most of them are shabbily shot. I saw all of them and then ensured that our app looked professional.”
And this isn’t all. Sharma and her team, who also came up with the Meter Down application, giving users access to taxi and rickshaw fares, are now working on a branding application for advertising. “Meter Down has got about 14,000 downloads to date. That was encouraging, and now we are working on an app that helps brands engage with their users better,” says Sharma, who is a trained brand strategist.
For details, log on to www.sariapp.com