Interview: Vikram Lad, Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer (COO), Kintree

Vikram Lad

An interview with Vikram Lad, Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer (COO), Kintree, an all-in-one platform for families who value togetherness

Vikram Lad, a distinguished IIM Ahmedabad alum, brings over 18 years of diverse industry expertise to his role as Co-Founder and COO of Kintree, an all-in-one platform for family togetherness. With leadership roles at Chingari App and ZEE ENTERTAINMENT, Vikram embodies innovation and strategic vision in the digital landscape.

As the Director & Founder of Kintree, could you provide us with an overview of the platform and its mission?

Vikram Lad: Kintree is a user-friendly genealogy-based family tree app designed to help Indian families explore, document, and celebrate their families heritage. The platform facilitates collaborative family tree building, story sharing, and DNA ancestry integration, making it easy for users to preserve their cultural heritage and connect with their roots.

Kintree’s mission is to bridge the gap between fragmented family records and the desire to preserve diverse cultural traditions, empowering users to cherish and share their familial histories with authenticity and reverence.

What inspired the creation of Kintree as an all-in-one platform for families who value togetherness?

Vikram Lad: The inspiration behind Kintree stems from a deep-seated desire to bridge the gap between fragmented family histories and the yearning for meaningful connections with one’s roots. The founders of Kintree recognized the importance of preserving cultural heritage and fostering togetherness among families, particularly in the context of Indian heritage, where familial bonds are deeply cherished.

Witnessing the challenges faced by individuals in documenting and celebrating their familial heritage, the founders were inspired to create an all-in-one platform that simplifies the process of exploring, documenting, and sharing family histories.

Kintree embodies the values of togetherness, authenticity, and reverence for cultural heritage, empowering families to connect with their roots and strengthen their bonds through shared storytelling and collaborative exploration.

How does Kintree differentiate itself from other family-oriented platforms currently available in the market?

Vikram Lad: Kintree’s focus on cultural sensitivity, genealogy, collaboration, user-friendliness, and privacy sets it apart as a unique and valuable platform for families seeking to connect with their roots and preserve their cultural heritage.

Can you walk us through the key features and functionalities of Kintree that cater to the diverse needs of families?

Vikram Lad: Here are the key features and functionalities of Kintree that cater to the diverse needs of families:

Collaborative Family Tree Building: Kintree allows multiple family members to collaborate on building a shared family tree, adding relatives, photos, and stories to create a comprehensive record of familial connections.

Story Sharing: Users can share stories, anecdotes, and memories related to their family history, creating a rich narrative that captures the essence of their familial heritage.

Photo Uploads: Kintree enables users to upload and share family photos, preserving visual memories and adding depth to their family tree.

DNA Ancestry Integration: Kintree integrates with DNA ancestry services, allowing users to incorporate genetic information into their family tree and discover ancestral connections.

Customizable Profiles: Each user can create a customizable profile, adding personal details, interests, and preferences to personalize their experience on the platform.

Privacy Controls: Kintree offers robust privacy controls, allowing users to customize the visibility of their family tree and control who can view and contribute to their family history.

Research Tools: The platform provides research tools and resources to help users explore their family history, including access to historical records, genealogical databases, and research guides.

Mobile Accessibility: Kintree is available as a mobile app, allowing users to access their family tree and engage with the platform anytime, anywhere, from their mobile devices.

Collaborative Discussions: Users can engage in discussions and collaborate with other family members on specific branches of the family tree, sharing insights, memories, and discoveries.

Notification Alerts: Kintree sends notification alerts for important updates, such as new family members added to the tree, comments on shared stories, or upcoming family events.

What role does technology play in fostering and strengthening family bonds through the Kintree platform?

Vikram Lad: Technology plays a pivotal role in fostering and strengthening family bonds through the Kintree platform by providing accessible, collaborative, and engaging tools for documenting, exploring, and celebrating familial heritage.

How does Kintree prioritize user privacy and security, especially in the context of family-centric data and communication?

Vikram Lad: Kintree prioritizes user privacy and security, especially in the context of family-centric data and communication, through several measures:

Data Encryption: Kintree encrypts user data both in transit and at rest to ensure that sensitive information remains secure and protected from unauthorized access.

User Authentication: The platform employs robust user authentication mechanisms, such as passwords, biometric authentication, or two-factor authentication, to verify the identity of users and prevent unauthorized access to accounts.

Privacy Controls: Kintree provides users with granular privacy controls, allowing them to customize the visibility of their family tree and control who can view and contribute to their family history. Users can choose to make their family tree private, share it with specific family members, or make it public for broader viewing.

Data Minimization: Kintree follows the principle of data minimization, collecting only the necessary information required to provide its services. Users have the option to provide as much or as little personal information as they feel comfortable sharing, and Kintree does not collect or store unnecessary data.

Secure Communication: Kintree employs secure communication protocols to ensure that all data transmitted between users and the platform is encrypted and protected from interception or tampering.

Regular Security Audits: Kintree conducts regular security audits and assessments to identify and address potential vulnerabilities in its systems and infrastructure. This proactive approach helps to ensure that user data remains protected against evolving security threats.

Compliance with Regulations: Kintree complies with relevant privacy and data protection regulations in the country and aboard, such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR – applied) to ensure that user privacy rights are respected and upheld.

What challenges have you encountered in building and scaling Kintree, and how have you addressed them?

Vikram Lad: Below are some challenges that we have encountered in building and scaling Kintree.

Technical Complexity: Developing a robust and scalable platform of Kintree involves dealing with complex technical architecture, data management, and integration with third-party services. To address this challenge we have hired skilled engineering team capable of designing scalable solutions, implementing best practices, and leveraging modern technologies and frameworks.

User Adoption: Encouraging users to adopt a new platform is challenging, especially in a crowded market. To address this, we have deployed targeted marketing campaigns, collaborated with influencers or genealogy experts, and offer incentives or promotions to attract new users.

Data Privacy and Security: Handling sensitive family-centric data requires stringent privacy and security measures to protect user information from unauthorized access or breaches. At Kintree, we have prioritised the data privacy and security by implementing encryption, access controls, and regular security audits to safeguard user data.

Cultural Sensitivity: Catering to the diverse cultural needs of Indian families while maintaining inclusivity and sensitivity can be a challenge. Kintree have address this by conducting user research, consulting with cultural experts, and providing customizable features that accommodate different cultural traditions and preferences.

Scalability: Scaling Kintree to accommodate a growing user base and increasing data volumes requires robust infrastructure and scalability planning. Adopting cloud-based technologies, optimizing database performance can help ensure scalability and responsiveness as the platform grows.

Monetization Strategy: Developing a sustainable monetization strategy is essential for long-term viability. Kintree may explore revenue streams such as subscription plans, premium features, in-app purchases, partnerships, and data monetization while ensuring that user experience remains paramount.

Competition: Competing with established players in the genealogy and family history space can be challenging in USA & Europe market but in South Asia specially in India, there are not notable competition. Kintree is differentiating itself by offering unique features, focusing on cultural sensitivity, providing excellent customer support, and continuously innovating to stay ahead of the competition.

What are the future plans and aspirations for Kintree in terms of growth and expansion?

Vikram Lad: We at Kintree are focussing on the 50 million users across the South Asian market, especially in India. We are focussing on building this into the next big name in FamTech (Family Technology). We want our app to be like a mini-Facebook for the families of the world in the next 10 years.

What is your success tip for young and aspiring entrepreneurs?

Vikram Lad: As an entrepreneur, I have had my fair share of successes and failures. The important thing to remember is to prioritize innovation, authenticity, and perseverance. Stay true to your vision and mission, as the entrepreneurship journey is filled with ups and downs. By fostering trust and loyalty in your audience you can overcome obstacles and achieve your goals.  

Vikram Lad’s journey from pioneering startups to leading positions in renowned organizations underscores his commitment to innovation. As Co-Founder and COO of Kintree, Vikram’s leadership promises to redefine family connections in the digital age, epitomizing a legacy of excellence and foresight in every endeavor.

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