Regional language Indus OS looks to grow its market share

Indus OS, which claims to be the world’s first regional language operating system, is planning to step on the gas to grab a larger market share in the country. On the anvil is a next version of the operating system which will have more local features and advanced offerings on the translation and transliteration aspects.
The company is also planning to open an office in China by May end, Co-founder & CEO Rakesh Deshmukh told ET in an interview.
The aim behind setting up an office in China is to explore tie-ups with leading Chinese phone makers such as Xiaomi. Currently, Indus OS has partnerships with brands such as Micromax, Intex and Karbonn and the company is looking at expanding its footprint further by bundling with Chinese players which dominate a significant market in India. “It’s going to be a small operations for mostly sales and business development with around 30-40 people,” said Deshmukh, adding that since most of such brands are headquartered out of China, it makes sense for the company to have operations there. “We currently have partnership with six brands in the country. Our target is to have tieups with the top 10 phone companies and effort is going on, on that front,” said Deshmukh.
India’s Indus beats Apple, Microsoft for second spot in smartphone operating system market
In October, the company raised a round A funding from VenturEast and JSW Ventures which came on board as new investors, while its investor from the Series A round — Omidyar Network — also took part in the round. The funding round was officially closed in March. The company had then said that it would invest some part of the proceeds towards setting up an office in China.
The OS, which claims the number two spot in terms of marketshare in the Android dominated Indian market ahead of Apple iOS and Microsoft Windows, is working towards the 3.0 version of its operating system. “We are just few months away from launching it,” said Deshmukh. He added that the next version will be more “Indian” in its features, with sharper ability for translation and transliteration available at the swipe of a finger. It will also have unique features for showing pre-paid balance consumed with each call apart from options such as details of data consumed etc.
Atul Nigam, CIO at Micromax, which was the first brand to launch Indus OS, said the Indus OS was the first product for the mass market which enables people to access the content in their native languages. “They are working on the new version with advanced translation and transliteration features and there is a lot of opportunity to do more in this space,” added Nigam.
Indus OS has been angel funded by the likes of Kunal Bahl and Rohit Bansal from Snapdeal, Amit Gupta and Naveen Tiwari from Inmobi and Pranay Chulet from Quikr, according to the company. Though in the initial stage, Indus OS is also looking an expansion in international markets — after a launch in Bangladesh — such as Sri Lanka, Indonesia and South Africa which have the same local language issues such as India. “Just like here, English is not the first language in those countries and we think we can take the same solutions there.”

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