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Why HT is betting on discovery platforms

Hindustan Times wants to solve some of the pressing problems of the digital generation through its innovation arm HT Labs. finds out what's the game plan behind this venture

Media companies in India have long taken the diversification route. Some have gone into movie production, the others have launched gaming, music and video streaming apps.

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But Hindustan Times believes the real leverage lies in solving the most important problem on digital platforms such as the discovery of content on OTT apps and food recipes on internet among other things.

The media group through its technology-led innovation arm HT labs has come up with a new venture called Slurrp, which is a food and drinks discovery platform that provides users with a host of features like measuring the nutritional value of their food and ordering ingredients. 

Avinash Mudaliar

Talking about Slurrp, Avinash Mudaliar, Co-Founder, HT Labs, said that Slurrp empowers not just amateur cooks but also budding master chefs by letting them discover food and drink recipes from a range of cuisines based on their preferences, without compromising on their health goals.

Slurrp also acts as a food eCommerce solution that allows users to order ingredients and other cooking stuff from the partner platforms.

In a country like India where people rely on Google and YouTube to find recipes and nutritional value of their food, how will Slurrp make a difference? 

HT Labs operates an innovation hub dedicated to building digital-first products, equipped with artificial intelligence, said Mudaliar.

With this technology, Slurrp allows the users to have a personalised list of food and recipes. Users can also set their food choice and health preferences. The platform also features 3 Lakh food and drink recipes across 100+ cuisines with a detailed caloric breakdown of the Macro and Micronutrients for all recipes, users cannot get these micro details on YouTube, Google, or any other platform. Slurrp brings it all at one platform, making the process of content discovery quick and effective. 

HT has always been a mass media brand. What made HT come up with something like HT Labs?

Mudaliar said, "HT group believes in problem-solving which led them to build HT Labs. It was built to cater to several pressing contemporary need gaps that were identified during the pandemic. Ever since the pandemic started, we started realising these gaps even more which led us to come up with an initiative like HT Labs."

“Not just Slurrp, but all other platforms under the umbrella of HT labs are focused on filling the gaps and making content easy to consume for the consumers. We have OTTPlay, a streaming guide for 50+ OTT platforms. It helps viewers to find movies and shows and make binge-watching an actual pleasure,” he added.

HT Labs has launched five different apps across genres, all built and scaled up in one year, he highlighted.

"The five apps by HT labs include HT School, Slurrp, Mint Genie, Upublish, and OTTplay. Each platform is working as a one-stop solution for users in their respective genres, he concluded," he added.

Sharing the marketing strategy for the platforms, Mudaliar said the company is focusing on Facebook and Google to acquire users, along with utilising print, radio and digital assets of the group.

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