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Creating Value Based Apps for Indian Farming Community

By | May 10th, 2016|Categories: Technology|

Despite immense popularity of mobile handsets in rural India in the last few years with almost everyone possessing one irrespective of his or her economic status, there are certain issues that these users are concerned about, when using different apps on them. There are issues of language support by the phone, limited storage space, reliability of network connectivity as [...]

How true Digital Equality can make business sense

By | March 2nd, 2016|Categories: Technology|

The storm of opinions over Free Basics shows no sign of dying out – rather, it has intensified this week, with Marc Andreesen’s tweet criticising India’s  ‘anti-colonial’ bias attracting a lot of negative flak in Silicon Valley, the Twitterati and PR industry. I view the public controversy around Free Basics, as a good thing from the [...]

Millions of Feature phones to be left without local language support

By | January 25th, 2016|Categories: Technology|

“All feature phones sold in India must be compatible with at least one local language”, suggested the Department of Electronics & Information Technology (DEITY) in a draft amendment sent to the Bureau of India Standards (BIS) this week. Since nearly 70% out of the existing 900 Mn phones in India are non-smart (feature phones), this can [...]

Expanding Mobile Payment services- the role of vernacular language applications

By | March 31st, 2015|Categories: Banking, Technology|Tags: , |

With 90% of India’s 250 million internet subscribers accessing the mobile internet (Source : TRAI Data, June 2014) it is inevitable that the mobile payments landscape in the country is heating up. There are currently more than 20 mobile wallet services in the market, as per the RBI website. Typically, such services allow a registered customer [...]

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Think Digital, Think Vernacular

By | March 25th, 2015|Categories: Digital Inclusion, Technology|Tags: , |

Every marketer and ad agency knows that in order to engage with a mass Indian audience, ads need to be translated into local languages. At least 7 languages form a part of a pan-Indian media plan – Hindi, Marathi, Bengali, Gujarati, Telugu, Tamil and Kannada – and more, if specific states become important to a brand’s [...]

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Inclusive app development : a new definition of net neutrality

By | January 8th, 2015|Categories: Digital Inclusion, Technology|Tags: , |

When BlackBerry CEO John Chen issued an open letter to the US Senate and President Obama, asking for ‘app neutrality’, he faced a lot of flak. Chen’s argument was straightforward – content and application providers (he cited the example of Netflix) refuse to provide applications for BlackBerry OS, preferring to concentrate on the larger customer base [...]

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Making digital inclusion a reality – addressing the vernacular language barrier

By | January 17th, 2014|Categories: Digital Inclusion, Technology|Tags: , |

2014 marks the 25th Anniversary of the World Wide Web. The father of the Web, Sir Tim Berners-Lee, did not create it for personal profit – he was driven by a vision of his creation as a powerful force for social change and expression of individual creativity.  To quote the World Wide Web Foundation, for the Web [...]

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