When it comes to looking up something online, Google is the answer to all of our woes!
From basic general knowledge to esoteric information, we hardly think of any other platform to quench our queries, almost to the extent of the term ‘googling’ making way into our day-to-day vocabulary.
But did you know that India had its own ‘social’ search engine that gave users the opportunity to find optimal search results based on reviews and recommendations by people with similar queries!
Saving people the trouble of finding spam and irrelevant results is ‘Origgon‘, a unique search engine developed by 15-year-old whizkid Abhik Saha.
Touted as the world’s first ever social search engine, Origgon showcases the top results recommended by people from across the globe, instead of incorporating the typical search engine optimisation (SEO) format that picks top sites by advertisements.
While the ingenious concept with which the homegrown search engine has been developed should be enough to amaze you, what is even more confounding is that the website has been developed by someone who has just finished his class 10 boards!
But computers and programming is something that the 15-year-old from West Bengal’s Chalsa town knows like the back of his hand. Already having eight mobile applications to his credit, which offers services ranging from website building to providing free video tutorials on computer programming and developing languages, Abhik’s foray into the programming world has an interesting story whole together.
Having started with the principles of web design in school, an 11-year-old Abhik found himself being drawn to the subject like a bee to nectar.
While one would have expected the youngster to excel in his exams, quite the opposite had happened. Abhik became the only student from his class who failed in the computer science unit test! This ended up leaving a lasting impact on the young lad.
From here began the journey of a determined boy, who left no stone unturned to teach himself everything related to computers and web designing.
Interestingly, Abhik chose to remain aloof to an important aspect of the cyber world—programming! Learning computer languages like C++ seemed boring to Abhik, until the day he met a software developer who advised him about the importance and enormous potential that coding had to create anything in the world of 0s and 1s.
Despite initially struggling with logical reasoning, the young mind while grasping the basics of programming, determination and persistence to learn prevented Abhik from giving up.
“It was some sudden unexpected drive in my life between 2014-15 that changed my programming skills and the way of thinking forever, due to which I am here now. It completely revolutionised the way I used to solve problems and making it possible to tackle every problem I faced,” says Abhik to The Better India.
With the help of the Internet, he began learning through online tutorials and tried developing basic software like antivirus, firewall systems and website blocking systems – just as he was entering his teens.
The first time Abhik tested his antivirus, clear 7, in his school’s computer lab, the result was a disaster with 19 computers crashing together.
But he kept trying despite being discouraged and trolled by staff and students alike – until he found success in his fourth attempt.
On his 13th birthday, Abhik’s father, Alok, gifted him an android smartphone, which proved to be a significant milestone in the tech wizard’s life. Switching to the Android platform, he went on to create different mobile applications and soon put together an unregistered IT company that lent clients with software and website building solutions.
The brainwave for Origgon came during the period he was working on the development of his own programming language, Lino. While looking up on the Internet, what irked Abhik more was the amount of spam and irrelevant links that turned every time he placed a query and thus, wasting a lot of time in the process.
“The aim was to build a search engine that reduces spam and irrelevant content and also pick up good content from smaller websites. Incorporating human ranking signals, I took a cue from the way our social networking sites function—sharing links and valuable content that are generating buzz and garnering likes. And that’s how Origgon came into being,” Abhik proudly adds.
Initially developed in C#, Origgon first went live last year. After learning its shortcomings and accepting advice from other developers, the website went through an extensive revamp. In the meantime, Abhik invited people on social media to be a part of Origgon as investors to make the concept a reality.
In February, his prayers were met when someone volunteered to invest in his brainchild. After completing his boards, Abhik moved to Mumbai and launched Origgon on August 15.
Today, Abhik is supported by Harshit Jain as his financial and marketing head along with a web developer and a board of advisors.
Inspired by his mother, Shefali, who teaches underprivileged children, Abhik also finds himself morally driven to embark on socially responsible activities.
“Every time Origgon registers 5000 hits by users, we set aside 10 kg of wheat for donation to non-profit organisations and personally deliver it to the concerned members. It is a little gesture, but it is our way of giving back to the society,” says Harshit.
Slowly establishing itself as an efficient search engine, Origgon proudly flashes its Make-in-India badge of honour and intends to extend its reach further.
“Aiming to clinch the popularity of Google, we want to be the top search engine in the country and hope to reach the target of 10 million hits in a day,” Abhik adds.
To check the search engine, click here. To enquire about funding and tech support, you can write to Harshit at firstname.lastname@example.org.