Indians taught me programming and my first IT job was at Wipro, says Sarahah creator

You have seen Sarahah screenshots. You have heard of it. You have also probably used it. But do you know who created this app, which has become an overnight sensation. Well, that is ZainAlabdin Tawfiq, a Saudi national. He created the app because he wants people to have "honest" and involve in frank conversation.

We don't know right now whether Sarahah is a force for good, something that would one day be as big as WhatsApp if not bigger, or if it is just a fad. But Tawfiq, in an exclusive interview with the India Today Group, tells us that he has big plans for it. In a way, he hints that this is just a start. Excerpts from our conversation with ZainAlabdin Tawfiq, the Sarahah creator.

Sarahah surely is viral right now. But what is next for it?

There's good thing about Sarahah... yes, it is viral. But how can I keep the hype? Our objective is clear, its self-development through constructive feedback. I think that can help us a lot. However I know the challenges of this project in general and I have planned for lots of features. We have lot in plan.

Do you think you can take on WhatsApp?

Sarahah is different so the objective here is different. WhatsApp is a general communication platform, Sarhaha is a constructive feedback platform. So whatsapp or other messaging apps are not our competitors.

Why did you create Sarahah?

When I graduated from college and joined corporate life I noticed that there is a need for constructive feedback. Since there are barriers (to communication) like position or age, the best thing is to have anonymous feedback.

So I thought what are the solutions, may be place suggestions box on the desk. But then I am a computer scientist and I thought there should be a way to automate this, so I created sarahah. And even before releasing sarahah I thought why limit this to corporate why not let friends and family be frank and honest with each other.

People are worried about their privacy. Some believe that this app is going to reveal the identity of senders one day.

Also Read: Sarahah app is a reflection of everything wrong in our society today

We do have the strict privacy policy. In the privacy policy it says, that we will never reveal the identity of the sender unless we get his consent to do so. You can see also the terms and conditions on privacy policy regarding disclosure of information about revealing the identity in certain circumstances where there is a violation. But if someone is following the rules everything is good we do have this commitment not to reveal the identity unless we get his consent.

How block feature works?

We will not give the details of blocking feature. If we reveal details it will make abusers or misuse of the app easier.

Sarahah is very simple right now. Do you plan to some features to it, and what they could be?

We have good surprises and we hope that the customers will love them. Regarding new features as you see recently had a big expansion globally. Our focus now is on Sarahah scalability, after that we will bring new features.

Sarahah is also an app that doesn't seem to have any possible revenue model. How do you plan to make money?

There are many revenue models. But right now we are using advertising only for revenue.

Sarahah is now popular in India. Do you have something to say to Indian users?

I am really proud that Sarahah has reached India. The first company that I worked for, actually the only IT company that I ever worked for, was Wipro. And I am very proud and happy to see Indians coming to Sarahah.

Indians have taught me programming in university, Indians have taught me programming in the company. I had Indian colleagues and I also have Indian friends.

Sarahah users are complaining of locked accounts. How can they to unlock the locked accounts?

If a user finds his or her account locked, he or she should wait for 12 hours. It will automatically get unlocked. An account gets locked when there are too many attempts to log into it using wrong password. We are working on measure to fix this issue.

Also Read: Using Sarahah app was a bad decision, thanks to the harassing remarks and criticism