India’s Indus Creates a Localized Smartphone OS

Rakesh Deshmukh, Sudhir Bangarambandi and Akash Dongre, alumni of the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay and co-founders of Mumbai-based Indus have customized Android to build a  regional mobile operating system called Indus OS for smartphones sold across the diverse landscape of India.

Indus OS
The operating system was built on the following facts, premises, and research results:
  • 90% of India’s population speaks Hindi and regional languages
  • In India, handsets accessible in a local language will be used more often
  • Over 79% of those surveyed were not satisfied with their smartphone experience and 52% used their smartphone for just basic applications like calls and messages
  • 72% preferred regional language content on their smartphones
  • 37.5% were using a smartphone without having an email address
Launched in May 2015, the  Indus Operating System:
  • Has a user base of over 6 million subscribers already
  • Is available in 12 Indian languages
  • Is preloaded in over 50 smartphone models

Additional Features:

  • Offers App Bazaar  which provides over 50,000 applications to users in English and 12 regional languages; and claims 15 million app downloads so far
  • Users can transliterate/translate from English to any regional language
  • OS integrated offline text-to-speech functionality in regional languages
  • A word database of over 300,000 in each of the 12 languages it supports

CEO Deshmukh told the Economic Times that Google and Android,  are spread across glboal geographies and it is less pragmatic for them to have a niche offering. “The diversity of India — with 22 official languages — calls for a focused and a localized operational strategy.”

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Posted on by Gunjan Bagla
Gunjan Bagla
California-based management consultant Gunjan Bagla runs Amritt, a consulting firm helping American companies to succeed in India. Amritt is the trusted advisor for India market research, India business development, India market entry, Global Engineering, Global Technology Scouting, India R&D and Open Innovation. Gunjan is author of "Business in 21st Century India: How to Profit Today from Tomorrow’s Most Exciting Market" (Hachette Book Group, 2008), Amazon's top rated title on the subject. He has appeared as the India Expert on BBC Television, Bloomberg TV, Fox Cable Business and has been quoted in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Hollywood Reporter and Business Week for his expertise on India.

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