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The Smart Techie was renamed Siliconindia India Edition starting Feb 2012 to continue the nearly two decade track record of excellence of our US edition.

DATAWIND- Making Computing Affordable for All

Vimali Swamy
Friday, August 31, 2012
Vimali Swamy
In a time when the likes of Apple and Samsung are dominating the tablet market globally, a relatively small company, DataWind turned the spotlight on itself when it brought out the world’s low cost tablet Aakash in accordance with the MHRD with a target price of $35. Today a year later, the company is riding high with an order book of over 35 lakh units since the launch. But achieving such a mass demand in a short span was not a bed of roses for DataWind founders Raja and Suneet Tuli. In fact, in the past one year, the company had its fair share of challenges, criticisms and roadblocks before they set out the launch of the product.

A pioneer in developing low cost hand held internet surfing devices, DataWind draws its legacy from one of its original products – Ubisurfer Netbooks that it launched in 2009. Back then smartphones and tablets were more like the gadgets of interest of the elite. A common man would not think of owning a smartphone but at the same time desired a mobile gadget that he could use to surf the web while on the go. This was the idea that triggered Tuli’s thoughts into developing a low cost surfing device – Ubisurfer; a product launched much before the the iPads, Tabs and Playbooks took the market by storm. A perfect opportunity arrived for the company when the government of India had decided to procure a low price tablet with intent to distribute it to all educational institutions and encourage e-learning as well make Internet more accessible to all students. But today, the company is looking much beyond the students and hopes to reach out the masses with its new tablet – Ubislate.

Even with heavyweights like Samsung, Apple in the industry, there still is 80 percent of the market left untapped. In a country like India, a tablet’s success majorly depends on affordable price point. The only way a company gets a share of the market is by delivering products to people and firms who are looking for an advanced technology at an affordable range. This is the strategy being employed by Raja Singh Tuli, Chairman and Suneet Singh Tuli, CEO of Datawind.
Breaking the Technology Barrier
“Our earliest product, Aakash was an eye opener of sorts and helped us understand the market demands,” explains Tuli. The company realized that despite the consumers being price sensitive they look for quality too.
An average user looks for at least half of apps/provisions in his low cost tablet that he would see in an iPad or so. And if he gets something more that a high end tablet would not provide, then it’s a bonanza. This is exactly what Suneet learnt with the release of Aakash.

With the first version of Aakash, the company had a price target of $35 with in which the company not only had to roll out the tablet but also provide e-books, a YouTube channel with 10 thousand hours of free online lectures. Another roadblock was that IIT Rajasthan insisted the device had to be waterproof, shockproof and so on.

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Reader's comments(2)
1:Sir is this available in bangalore retail shops... Please let me know... Contact Vishal - 7411963863
Posted by: VISHAL TATIYA - 03rd Oct 2012
2:Sir is this available in Bangalore
Shiv Anand 9845906798
Posted by: Shivanand c Tandsi - 02nd Oct 2012
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