Making “Aakash” a Success
A Business Article Submitted
Instructor: Prof. Meenakshi Sharma
Academic Associate: Saurabh Shukla
In partial fulfilment for requirements of the course,
Written Analysis and Communication II (2012-2013)
13th January, 2013
The Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad
Aakash, India’s cheapest tablet project has to be made a success. Aakash is among the very few projects that can surmount the physical inaccessibility of Indian masses in a cost effective fashion. Building cheap tablet hardware through innovative technology and economies of scale, investing in broadband and other internet infrastructure and building an app ecosystem (for e-governance, e-learning, e-banking apps etc.) were some of the processes that made Aakash 2 better than Aakash 1. India needs to imbibe these lessons of Aakash 1 and 2 to leverage the power of Internet for fighting poverty and illiteracy in the country.
Word Count: 99
Making “Aakash” A Success:
Launched on 5th October, 2011 by the Indian Government (GoI), Aakash 1– the cheapest tablet in the world was touted to herald a revolution. Mr. Kapil Sibal, the then minister of Science and Technology, hailed Aakash as India’s “anti poverty” and “anti illiteracy” tool and a “gift to the children of the world” However, like many first version technologies, Aaksh 1 tablet failed to live up to its promised design. The project was stopped with less than 10000 units shipped to students. Nevertheless, the Governement decided not to shelve the project and involve IIT Mumbai and IIT Chennai to help DataWind come up with Aakash 2.
It turned out to be remarkable decision.
On 18 November, 2012, President Pranab Mukherjee launched the improved Aakash 2 tablet. This time the consumers and the critiques were bowled over. TechCrunch, NY Times and Forbes lauded the product’s capabilities (having earlier written long obituaries about the product’s failure)....