The announcement that a relatively unknown company from Alampuzha a small town in Kerala has won the grand challenge mounted by MeitY to find an alternative to Zoom has created a new enthusiasm in many small software development teams that they too have an opportunity to emulate this company and achieve instant recognition if they have a good product.
India has for long been a “IT Service hub” and many giant companies have refused to invest their time and energies in developing a product profile. They have been happy to be followers of the US companies and often develop IP for the US companies to exploit. In the bargain Indian talents are getting hired for a salary to create huge software IP for other companies. Naavi.org has often called them as “Cyber Coolies” not to derogate them but to stimulate them.
Now with a new found enthusiasm to replace the Chinese products there is a new found opportunity for all intelligent software developers in the country to try and develop their own IP and their own products.
If Techgentsia’s VConsol has come out the topper in search of a replacement for Zoom, it will catapult the company into prominence. Apart from the guaranteed Government contract, it is likely to find market among all patriotic Indians waiting to use indigenous products. The Company is targeting a 1 million client base and even assuming a monthly income of Rs 1000 per client, this is a targeted business of Rs 100 crore per month.
We congratulate the company on hitting this jackpot and hope they will not fritter away this opportunity.
Remembering Dewang Mehta
This reminds us of the Dewang Mehta Award which had been instituted by the MeitY for which even Naavi.org had submitted an application. Mr Dewang Mehta was the Nasscom Chief at that time and sadly passed away suddenly at an early age. He was a very dynamic professional who would have contributed significantly to the development of self reliant IT industry in India if fate had not snatched him away. The award instituted in his name by MeitY also carried a prize amount of Rs 1 crore (in 2000) and the first such award was won by a Bangalore company for developing low cost computer. Unfortunately the technology changes have pushed this innovation into the oblivion. Subsequently MeitY seems to have discontinued its association with the award though the family may be continuing the tradition.
Need to Continue this Trend
I hope that the Techgentsia initiative is not a one off initiative but should continue for other major technology replacements we are looking for. The Government has forgotten its commitment to replace the computer operating system and has not even thought of an indigenous mobile operating system. Even some of the replacements for WhatsApp produced even by NIC and the use of local E-Mail services have not been adopted by the Government. If a self reliant India has to be developed, Government should recognize all indigenous initiatives even without funding support to encourage voluntary efforts in this direction.
Naavi’s two Aatma Nirbhar Projects
Naavi has now placed a challenge before MeitY with two initiatives for self reliance in the domain of “Data Protection” by first launching a “Certification Program” for professionals for which individuals are paying crores of rupees to foreign organizations and a “Locally developed data protection standard which can be used both in India and outside” which again can save crores of rupees paid today to foreign organizations. This “Personal Data Protection Standard of India or PDPSI” and its global counterpart “Global Personal Data Protection Standard” will enable SMEs to achieve compliance without spending a huge amount of money to the foreign agencies.
However we need to wait and see if MeitY can recognize such efforts or continue to support the international agencies unmindful of the foreign exchange outflow.
Responsibilities of Techgentsia
On the other hand, I would like to caution Techgentsia that if they want this opportunity not to go waste, they need to recognize that the Government has onboarded them onto a sensitive Government project and they have a huge responsibility to ensure that the security of the system is fully taken care of. Now all the anti Indian forces both in China or Pakistan or in India and more so in the sensitive state of Kerala will be trying to break this system which is going to be associated indirectly with sensitive Government data.
They may come in all forms even in the guise of appreciating the company and helping them. They may try to compromise their employees. They may try to steal the codes. They may also offer huge incentives for compromising the codes. Techgentsia has to overcome all the temptations and preserve their loyalty to the nation.
I hope they will..