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Vrinda Johnson, Co-Founder, and Chief Operating Officer, ChekMarc, has more than 15 years of experience in strategic consulting, leadership development, customer experience, and digital transformations. Before ChekMarc, Vrinda worked extensively with the FinTech and InsurTech industry with firms like Russell Reynolds Associates and PwC.

In an exclusive chat with MediaBrief, Vrinda speaks of the launch of ChekMarc in India and why the offerings of a platform like ChekMarc have resonated with people across the world. Vrinda shares the strength of ChekMarc’s USP of helping people forge one to one connections that help them achieve something specific; the added advantage that being compliant with the Indian Government’s Social Media guidelines, brings to ChekMarc, and more.

How is ChekMarc’s positioning as a ‘social community that nurtures impactful one-on-one connections’ different from other social apps?

ChekMarc is fundamentally different, we are a platform with a purpose – what we do is different, how we do it is different and why we do it is different. We are a social platform that connects people around the world to help each other achieve something impactful in life.

We enable this connection privately, one on one where members have to agree to connect, and conversations between members are private. We enforce content moderation to ensure positivity of communication and have strict guidelines that guide our members.

We do all of this, with the simplest goal in mind which is creating a platform that enables the power of human connection to help push each other forward – globally, without trolls, positively and sincerely. 

Tell us about ChekMarc’s India launch, and what are your expectations from the Indian market?

The Indian market is important for us on multiple levels. I grew up in Mumbai, my lead engineer also grew up there – and we have some very personal ties to the country. We see this as an opportunity to bring access to information, guidance, and help to a large population of people that may have never had it before.

Our hope is that by creating this access, we want ChekMarc to open doors for people that they didn’t know existed. Our business model is very simple, and it doesn’t change based on market or geography.

We want to continue to build the platform based on what our community tells us, and over time there may be opportunities to bring specific features to specific markets, but for now, we truly believe in creating equal access and opportunity. We see the Indian market as a strong supporter for us, and cannot wait to see how ChekMarc takes off. 

How many users are there on ChekMarc at present?

The ChekMarc platform has resonated with so many people, worldwide, in ways we could not have imagined. This is our value – bringing people together. Our value is not measured by the number of sign-ups but simply by the quality of connection and the positive feedback on having a platform that is free from all the noise. This is what we deliver to our members every day. 

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With a few juggernaut social media platforms dominating the Indian social community space. How is CheckMarc building up its user base?

Focusing all our messaging on the simple fact that our platform is one where members, not users, will have a purposeful interaction. Reminding our members that we will consider ourselves successful when we see that members opt to go back to ChekMarc often because they are helping others and/or receiving guidance on something they are trying to accomplish.

We are creating a purposeful interaction within the platform. This is fundamental to our messaging, strategy, and most importantly our overall success.

What are some of the unique features of ChekMarc and what is the target group you cater to?

Our value proposition is simple: to provide a platform where people can connect in a private, positive, and safer way while helping each other achieves something. Not only are we prepared, but we are confident that this value, although simple, is strong and will continue to resonate with people in the powerful way we have already seen it resonate. 

ChekMarc is for everyone – anyone, anywhere in the world (18 and older) who wants help achieving a goal or would like to help others achieve a goal are welcome to become a member of the global ChekMarc Community. 

How is CheckMarc creating a safe, secure platform for people to communicate and interact digitally?

Unlike any other platform that exists today, we at the outset already have built-in features like heavy content moderation (not allowing derogatory, harmful, hateful, or any other form of toxic/inappropriate content), identity verification (where members can certify their identity if they choose) and strict data privacy.

Meaning, these features are part of our value proposition and not something we are adding in as an afterthought like a lot of other platforms. Our Data and Privacy compliance is also built in such a way that members have the ultimate control over their own data, can manage/delete/request any of their activity at any time.

We do not sell our member’s data – therefore there is no fear of data breaches or unwanted/unnecessary ads or promotions. Members decide which data and information are private and which is public – they have the ability to manage and control their information. 

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In 2021, CheckMarc raised USD 3 Million in a seed round. Can you share with us some more details about the funding and how would it benefit CheckMarc?

We are privately funded, and all our focus right now is on building the community. We saw the dire need for a safer, more positive place where people can connect to actually help each other achieve goals, and that’s what we are relentlessly focused on. All the funds raised, now and future will be put right back into building the community platform and providing our members what they are looking for. 

Can you share with us your plans, strategies for ChekMarc brand building and expansion?

Our primary focus right now is to listen to our members and continue to enhance and improve our offering to make ChekMarc even more impactful. We have been listening closely and intently, and have a large effort underway to bring even more value to the market. Stay tuned!!

How are digital communities shaping up online communications across the globe?

Digitization of communication is such a powerful development and has broken down barriers to communication – even major barriers like geography and language. Unfortunately, it has also created this ability for unsolicited and unwanted negative commentary and has taken away the basic power of digital communication to connect people.  

On the other hand, social platforms have the incredible ability to allow people to not only communicate but also do good and help each other. This, too, has been lost in the current landscape.  

This was our inspiration for ChekMarc – to create a platform where people can truly help each other, without barriers and biases; and to bring back the power of digital communication and connection.

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What are your thoughts on the Government’s guidelines to regulate social media platforms?

What is most interesting about the recent mandate from the Indian Government is that it is as if we built ChekMarc with some of their requirements in mind. Unlike any other platform that exists today, we at the outset already have built-in features like content moderation, identity verification and strict data privacy. Meaning, the features are part of our value proposition and not something we are adding in as an afterthought like a lot of other platforms.  

Our Data and Privacy compliance is also built in such a way that members have the ultimate control over their own data, can manage/delete/request any of their activity at any time.

We do not sell our member’s data – therefore there is no fear of data breaches or unwanted/unnecessary ads or promotions. Members decide which data and information are private and which is public – they have the ability to manage and control their information.  

Like I mentioned earlier, the Indian Government and the Indian market should rest assured – they should see this as a platform that indeed brings everything they are looking for, and so much more! 

What are some key trends that will shape digital communities in 2021?

The biggest trends, especially in online and social communications, revolve around privacy, security, and data protection. The way that governments and communities are seeing the importance of regulation and begin to enforce new regulations that protect consumers.

As the digital age was booming, there were many things taken from consumers, such as data, privacy, and more, but now we are headed to a safer online age. 

Anything else you would like to add?

Many of us dream of getting back to positive online social networks, with more safe, private interaction where we can be open and vulnerable. Our goal is to change the way the world communicates, remove barriers when it comes to accessing help to achieve goals, and bring us back to connecting on a human level.

We are laying the path to do just that – get back to the fundamentals, bring back the positivity, and give digital social interaction back its power to connect people globally. The journey will be tough and tedious, we will face many nay-sayers along the way and not everyone may agree with our approach – and that’s okay.

Like the famous sayings go, ‘Rome wasn’t built in a day’, and ‘what got us here won’t get us there’ – we know the road that lies ahead, we need to rise to the challenge, and ‘Make it Happen.’