When Akash Dongre and Sudheer B were talking about how Indians used access-level smartphones simply to name and ship messages, their fellow IIT-Bombay classmate Rakesh Deshmukh thought it became a notable concept to build an operating machine that labored in Indian languages. The three buddies, who’d already been operating for some years, determined to build at the idea, and in 2012, they rolled out Indus OS, the indigenous operating system that has had high-quality success attaining first-time phone customers. It now works with eight Indian cell cellphone brands, inclusive of Micromax and Karbonn, has 10 million users, and is 2d simplest to Android in India. It has its very own app shop in 12 Indian languages. Deshmukh tells TOI that seventy-seven % of his customers are from Tier 2-three towns.
Was the focus of Indus OS usually on Indian languages?
In India, simplest 10% of the populace considers English its first, 2d or third language. So it is important to provide generation to Indians in the language in their desire. The Indus OS platform helps English and 23 Indian regional languages. Language technology stays the bedrock of each India-centric innovation. We have added Aadhaar integration to balance analytics.
What was Indus OS’ turning factor?
In 2014, we did a pilot in Saurashtra with a few thousand devices strolling an running system in Gujarati. Customers had been very satisfied with it. Within 12 months, we created a working machine in English and 10 Indian local languages and signed up with Micromax, which changed into the main home telephone logo at that time. In May 2015, we released our first tool with Micromax, Unite three. Our purpose turned into to have 50,000 clients for Unite 3 within a month of the launch. We reached seventy-five,000 in just 17 days. Till date, Unite three is one of Micromax’s maximum selling devices. We then became to be had across all Micromax devices priced underneath Rs 10,000. And we became the No. 2 OS in India by using market percentage, beforehand of global giants together with Microsoft Windows and Apple iOS. It became a huge achievement and helped us companion with greater telephone manufacturers like Intex, Karbonn, and Celkon. Recently, we introduced our first international phone logo associate in Intel.
Did you’ve got sufficient capital to fund your startup?
In the preliminary days, we have been funded by way of serial entrepreneur Hari Padmanabhan. This changed into followed via angel investors such as Mayank Singhal from Temasek Holdings, Pranay Chulet of Quikr, Amit Gupta and Naveen Tewari of InMobi, and Kunal Bahl and Rohit Bansal of Snapdeal. After our initial success with Micromax, we have given Series A investment from Omidyar Network, JSW Ventures, and VenturEast.
A lot of smartphones and running systems have delivered nearby languages now. How is Indus extraordinary?
Most other smartphones and working systems that aid Indian regional languages have a simple menu text translation, that’s confined to the UI or the display you notice. If a consumer receives an SMS in English, they do not provide the consumer the opportunity to study it in a regional language. We offer deep, OS-level integration of language and generation. When we upload a language, we no longer handiest help the language in the menu textual content but additionally create a complete language atmosphere for the person and developer. We have developed capabilities together with local keyboards with word/matra predictions and car-correction, the patented Indus Swipe (to translate and transliterate English textual content to regional languages), Indus Reader (a textual content-to-speech feature in regional languages for English content), and App Bazaar to convey local language content material and apps to the user.
What were the preliminary demanding situations you faced? How did you counter them?
Establishing cost in the market become one. The OS has created at a time whilst the market had visible numerous failed attempts for a localized technology answer by using worldwide giants. We knew this can be a capacity roadblock whilst starting conversations for partnerships. However, our pilot study in Saurashtra obtained a terrific response from clients and outlets. Creating the proper crew took enormous effort and time as our work turned into a niche. Today, we have a team of 100.
Warburg Pincus India coping with director Nitin Nayar has resigned from the non-public equity firm to launch his very own funding fund so that it will on the whole cognizance on placing technology-related bets. Nayar’s new fund is predicted to have a corpus of $a hundred and fifty-2 hundred million (₹950-1,270 crore) and is possible to make mid- to increase-degree investments across u. S .’s broader era space, specifically within the employer era phase, three human beings with the know-how of the matter said.
The Harvard College and Harvard Business School alumnus, who led New York-established Warburg Pincus’ era and startup investments in India, had joined the marquee non-public equity investor in 2003, and have been with its Mumbai workplace considering the fact that 2004.
Nayar is assumed to be currently serving out his notice length. couldn’t ascertain his final date with the investment company. It is likewise but unclear if the approaching fund has all started receiving capital commitments from buyers.
It is doubtful also who would update Nayar at Warburg Pincus, which manages belongings of about $44 billion globally.
Nayar failed to respond until press time Wednesday to an e-mail sent to his Warburg electronic mail ID looking for comment.
Nayar led Warburg’s investments in cloud-based patron engagement and retail answers company Capillary Technologies and MXC Solutions India, which owns and operates online and mobile-based auto classifieds platform CarTrade, among others. Nayar had played a leading position in structuring Warburg Pincus’ investment in online classifieds organization Founder & CEO, Zomato MY PICK: Licious
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