How Rajinikanth’s voice note inspired Soundarya to launch a social media platform

Soundarya Rajinikanth has kickstarted a voice-based social media platform called Hoote

On December 12 last year, when Superstar Rajinikanth wanted to tweet about his political entry, he was unsure about how to phrase it. From the sets of Annaatthe, which he was shooting for at that time, he sent a voice note to his daughter, Soundarya Rajinikanth.

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She heard the recording with interest. It was a voice she had heard since childhood, but that particular recording sparked a business idea: of a voice-based social media platform.

Subsequently, she discussed the concept with a friend (Sunny Pokala of Amptech Technologies) to set up the technological background for it. Today, the duo’s brainchild, called Hoote, is available in 15 native Indian languages and 10 international languages. Users can post 60-second live voice recordings or upload a recorded voice on the app.

Rajinikanth posted the first audio message on the platform from Delhi, where he recently received the Dadasaheb Phalke Award. “I am convinced that voice is the future of communication,” said Soundarya, during the recent launch event, “With voice notes, one can deliver critical messages and communicate clearly.”

Adds Sunny, who has earlier worked on mobile citizen safety application Kavalan, “Hoote will make all voices, from celebrities to common people, heard. It is relevant in today’s times when people want to be connected all the time, and yet want to reduce screen time.”

Soundarya, who entered the film industry as a graphic designer, went on to direct two Tamil films: the 2014 animated film Kochadaiyaan, starring Rajinikanth, and the 2017 film Vellailla Pattadhari 2, starring Dhanush and Kajol. With Hoote, she hopes to explores new pastures. The team also hopes to partner with music labels to bring out audio teasers for films.

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