Indus OS eyes 100 million activations by 2018

Indus OS eyes 100 million activations by 2018

Has partnered with DeitY, targeting tier II and III cities

Indus OS eyes 100 million activations by 2018

Indus OS, India’s first regional mobile operating system, will launch text-to-speech technology in three months. This will be done in partnership with DeitY (Department of Electronics and Information Technology).

This partnership with DeitY will drive smartphone penetration in the tier III and III cities, and digitally connect 300 million consumers with internet in the next five years. “We are the first private partner working with the Government of India in the language space,” Indus OS CEO Rakesh Deshmukh told Deccan Herald.

Indus OS will customise the text-to-speech functionality to build a powerful native experience for its consumers. This technology in regional languages will be integrated in native operating systems. For instance, one can listen to English text written in Hindi and vice-versa.

“The government was supportive on this entire association and hence there was a quick turnaround on this initiative,” he said.

 Indus OS, previously known as FirstTouch, was founded by three IIT graduates — Rakesh Deshmukh, Akash Dongre (Head of Product) and Sudhir B (Head of Technology).
Before coming up with a simplified smartphone in regional languages, Indus OS did an extensive consumer survey, and found that people look for simplified smartphones with content in their regional languages. “We did a pilot study by launching our handset in the Gujarati language in April-May 2014. It was basically to understand the market. We received tremendous response,” he said.

Indus OS is built on Android and is designed for regional language smartphone users. “Currently available in 12 regional languages, we achieved an installed user-base of over 2.5 million since our launch in May, last year. We tied up with Micromax last year,” he said.
Apart from Micromax, Indus OS is in talks with a couple of OEMs(Original Equipment manufactuers), and will announce about the tie-up in a couple of months. “In Bangladesh, there are four prominent players and we have tied up with two of them — Elite Mobile and Maximus. We want to partner with the other two players too as we are targeting 70% of the Bangladesh market,” said Deshmukh.

Indus OS has 5% market share in the OS (Operating System) space in India. Deshmukh said 98% of OS space is dominated by Android, and the rest by iOS and Windows. “We have now achieved 5% of the Android space,” he said, adding that right now the company has 2.5 million activations, and it wants to achieve the target of 100 million Indus OS activations in 2018.

When asked about its plans to come up with its own mobile phone, Deshmukh said, “We want to work with OEMs by providing operating system. Our idea is to maximise customers.”

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