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Updated: December 22, 2009 16:10 IST

In search of something

NIKHIL VARMA
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Anurag Doud co-founded Guruji.com
The Hindu Anurag Doud co-founded Guruji.com

Anurag Doud co-founded Guruji.com, India's own search engine that was country-specific

When Larry Page and Sergey Brin launched the Internet search engine Google in 1998, little did they expect that it would revolutionise the Internet and in a decade, ‘Google' would be part of the English language and serve as a metaphor for online search. In 2006, a group of young Indian software engineers felt the need to develop an Indian-centric search engine and thus, Guruji.com was born.

The company CEO and one of the founders, Anurag Doud, a software engineer by profession says, “Google is the market leader as far as global trends are concerned. However, in countries such as Japan, China etc, Google is being upstaged by smaller local players. We hope that Guruji also manages to achieve the same results in India.”

After graduating from IIT Delhi, with a degree in Electrical Engineering, Anurag undertook his masters in Computer science from the University of Michigan. He quips: “After my studies, I worked in many companies in the US, including many start-ups. The idea for setting up a search engine came in course of my stint in these companies.”

The inspiration for Guruji came when he was developing a core search technology in the course of his projects.

“I soon realised that search engines — local and national — were extremely popular in the United States. We felt that we could use this technology and create a search engine that would be India specific and would make online search an easier task.”

“We undertook some market research and discovered that though small search engines did exist in India, they worked on a different model and were content with providing specific information, much akin to a directory. We wanted to create a more comprehensive search engine and decided to go ahead.”Anurag decided to return to India and helped co-found Guruji in 2006.

“We decided to use the name ‘Guruji' as we felt that it would be apt to describe a country that was once the spiritual capital of the planet and was fast establishing itself as the technological capital. The fact that I was contributing towards a project that would be helpful to millions of Indians who traverse the Web every day, is indeed a very happy thought.”

His eyes gleam with pride when he talks about Guruji.com and the various add-on features that have made it a niche product, especially in India. It offers you the ability to search in many Indian languages, city-specific search etc. “It has been a great success commercially. We plan to replace the Beta version soon.”

This column features those who choose to veer off the beaten track.

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