Enterprise Tech Startup50

In Startup50 2017: Funded by Omidyar Network, JSW Ventures and Ventureast, Indus OS won this award for building India’s first Smartphone OS with support for multiple regional languages, for reaching over 8 million users and for building India’s first app store with 50,000+ apps in regional languages.  It is India’s number two mobile operating system, ahead of Apple’s iOS.  

Founders: Rakesh Deshmukh, Akash Dongre, Sudhir B

Inclusive technology: Research suggests that the next 300 million users who will use a Smartphone for the first time in the next 3 years will be native language speakers and less than 10 per cent of the Indian population considers English as their first, second or third language.  No wonder India’s Smartphone penetration is currently just about 24 percent.

With such a strong market potential, Indus OS was incorporated in 2015 to meet the needs of the emerging market’s regional language speaking users through innovation, simplification and localization. This operating system from India addresses one of the developing world’s biggest challenges, which is to develop technology to cater to the economic, social and regional diversity. 

With an employee base of more than 100 and 8 million users,  Indus OS is currently available on over 80 Smartphone models in India. It aims to connect digitally connect one billion people in the emerging markets with a Smartphone ecosystem of their choice. 

Government initiatives: Indus OS has signed an agreement with the Government of India’s MeitY (Ministry of Electronics and IT) to introduce Indus Reader, an OS level, offline Text-to-Speech technology in 9 Indian Languages for the first time. It is also all set launch an Aadhaar authenticated OS to empower over 1 billion Indians who have already enrolled for Aadhaar.

Differentiation factors: Indus OS’s competitors are global giants such as Microsoft’s Windows, Apple’s iOS & Google’s Android. To combat this competition, the company has built a strong differentiation in the market with its patented technologies such as Indus Swipe and Matra Prediction. It has not just created the OS but is also working with app developers and the Government of India to build a digital Smartphone ecosystem.

Fast Facts

8 million – number of users

100 – Number of employees

 Available on >80 smart phone models

Poornima Kavlekar has been associated with The Smart CEO since the time of launch and is the Consulting Editor of the magazine. She has been writing for almost 20 years on a cross section of topics including stocks and personal finance and now, on entrepreneurship and growth enterprises. She is a trained Yoga Teacher, an avid endurance Cyclist and a Veena player.

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