Antya : Human powered search engine (India’s Mahalo?)

Antya is an interesting Indian startup that is taking a different approach to Internet search :: human powered + “website only” results! So for e,g. if you search for food…

Antya is an interesting Indian startup that is taking a different approach to Internet search :: human powered + “website only” results!

So for e,g. if you search for food in Bangalore, Antya will fetch you the websites of angeethi/casa piccola/mtr foods etc.

Antya - Human powered search engine

Started by ex-ibibo product managers, Antya sees itself as a mix of human powered search combining the concept of web directory and discovery.

What’s really commendable about Antya is it’s SERP page – they have taken pains to scrape the site logos and contact details; and has a non-Google appeal ( interestingly, one of the commenter earlier pointed out in one of our posts that Guruji’s SERP looks like modified Google’s css!, thankfully Antya is taking a different and interesting route).

Most significant challenge in Antya’s approach, in my opinion is their assumption that most of the relevant businesses have an online presence (search for tax consultant, doctor in Bangalore do not yield any relevant results).

Another area that Antya needs to clearly find it’s ground is finding relevancy in search results – right now, it’s all human powered, but as they go along they need to clearly sort out what’s relevant (and that needs to be solved algorithmically and not thru’ user ratings).

Having said that, Antya also needs to work on segregating what’s Indian and what’s relevant – for e.g. search for pizza in Bangalore renders you results of websites with US addresses. And I am not too sure whether linking to corporate site is really the most relevant resultset? Most of the corporate/businesses sites do not have the updated and local contact details (yellow pages are more reliable?)

Here is a quick QnA with Antya founder:

How do you position Antya as? – a business search engine? human powered search engine? or meta search engine? or website directory?
Hmm..there is a overlap with all the options you mentioned. But I guess is Human-powered-search combining the concepts of website directory and discovery.

The idea seems to be inspired by Mahalo (human powered?)
Actually not. We always think Mahalo is taking the difficult route by hand-coding the results. The human-powered-aspect in Antya is only to the extend of identifying and adding websites to the index. Search results are completely dynamic.

Unlike US, Indian businesses aren’t online and most of the content is still offline. How do you plan to solve this?
Well, that’s what we thought initially..But the actual fact is that most of the businesses are online but not discoverable. And increasingly more and more businesses are coming online by having a website. Our job is to make the websites discoverable and at the same time help the businesses that are offline to have a website of their own.

Please tell us about your prior work experience.
Bharanidharan has around 8 years of experience in Software Development, Project Management, Internet Product Management and Business Analysis & Strategy. He is a MBA graduate from the prestigious Indian School of Business(ISB) and has a Mechanical engineering degree from Anna University. ..has served in Cognizant Technology Solutions, J&J Belgium, Convergys Information Management Group and recently at iBiBo Web Private Limited as Senior Product Manager.

Sunny has around 4 years of experience in Online Sales, Account Management, Internet Product Management & Public Relations. He is a graduate from Indian Institue of Mass communications (IIMC) and was a gold medalist. ..has spent most of his career at Google India, where he was one of the founding employee and was awarded “Best employee Asia Pacific region” and recently served at MIH as a Product manager.

Give Antya a spin – I, for sure will keep an eye on this interesting idea. What’s your take on Antya’s approach?

Recommended Read: Detailed analysis of local search market in India

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