The Silicon Review
“We power every Indian be it developer or consumer, in overcoming limitations of digital inclusion be it language, device or operating system.”
A catalyst of change, founded in 2012, Anant Computing defines exclusivity by being established as the first mobile technology platform that is 100% ‘Made in India’, to power the next generation of native mobile applications. Led by the vision of a digitally inclusive India, where mobile apps can be developed using Indian languages, as well as accessed by any mobile user, sans language barrier, team Anant does this by providing a platform that helps companies create mobile apps in various Indian languages and apps that run on a feature phone or smartphone, irrespective of in-built OS, offering an indigenous solution to digital inclusion.
This is how Anant creates a difference
Brainchild of Phani Bhushan and Gopal Pradhan, Anant Computing’ journey started 5 years ago with a vision to build a product that promotes digital inclusion and could bring the next 1 billion people online. The company stayed true to their vision, but the product kept changing with time as India is a dynamic market in growth phase and change is the only constant.
Since, everyone talk about building the apps, the company implemented it by being the first in India to identify the need to empower the developers with better tools. Hence, their first product was a vernacular language Operating System for tablets. Gradually, they felt there is no need for creating one more OS to create more confusion and competition whereas market was quickly evolving towards budget smartphones running Android, IOS and others.
As their aim was to empower developer, they changed the game and instead created a platform where developers can add features which are not supported by mobile operating systems. This innovative change in their approach not only made Anant collaborative to the existing OS but also increased the reach of the developer to all mobile users.
“Though we are a small team, we are all united by the passion. The decision to bootstrap the company for the past 5 years was never difficult for me, because I have always been inspired by the end goal that we are working towards. I look to the future and I see 1 billion plus Indians using apps as easily as they make phone calls. I see every state government having one app that runs on Anant that unifies all departments and paperwork. Holy grails will be a customer in Vellore, placing an order in Tamil with a trader in Punjab – who in turn sources the product from a producer in West Bengal. All app developed non English programmer” Says Phani Bhushan, Co-Founder & CEO.
“We are a relative rarity in India- a software product company, in the social entrepreneurship space! Our focus has always been on technology innovation that will benefit mass India.” He added.
Refurbishing the Indian Mobile Ecosystem
With a simple yet inspiring belief “technology is a potent tool that can create transformation.” The company has reached the pinnacle of triumph, where they see themselves as game changers in Indian mobile ecosystem. Nevertheless, they truly make out the challenges of being the pioneer, but at the same time, the reward would be to catalyze a new wave of complete mobile growth in India.
The team at Anant, comprehend that the digital inclusion is not about a simplistic solution like ‘making better apps’. It lies in changing the mobile development ecosystem itself; by creating the enduring change and the company does it very well. How? It is evident in their straightforward approach which says “people look at 400 million Indians online and say this India is a huge mobile internet market. At Anant we look at the 900 million Indians who are not online and ask what we can do to make them embark on their digital journey.”
Why are the 900 million Indians missing online?
Cost is off-course an aspect, but that’s not the real reason. The real reason is internet lacks significance for many millions of people – language, content, or quality of access on low end devices. Unlike China, Japan or South Korea, the mobile ecosystem in India has not truly evolved around Indian users, especially vernacular users. The top international apps, like Facebook or Whatsapp, tend to be the top apps in the Indian app stores.
The company believes that a desirable change is needed to grow the Indian mobile user base. India needs to see more home grown application development, including app development by Non-English speakers, for other non-English speakers, that caters to the real needs of local users. That’s how Anant play a role to bring the change.
Breaking the existing barriers of digital inclusion
Today, Digital India and transformation are buzzwords, yet the company believes that the hard fact is that ‘we as a nation not making progress at the pace we should’. And, one just needs to have a holistic view of the Indian mobile ecosystem to understand the fragmentation. Hence, they zeroed upon three major entities, Consumer, Developers and Producer (Enterprise and Govt).
Firstly, they ensured that digital content and services can be consumed by any Indian citizen in their own language on their own devices. Hence, Anant’ technology ensures that apps run in any of the user’s phone in the language of their choice.
Now making those services available to these novice users is another challenge. The company solved this by providing a feature called Master App which acts as a dynamic app container as well as App player. Secondly, they started working on challenges of developers.
Thirdly, in order to have larger and stable ecosystem, a large pool of programmers are needed. To resolve this, they have already started working on creating an environment where one can code in their own language to make apps on Anant Computing.
Customers Satisfaction is the Priority
Abiding by their core mantra of ‘customer success at first’, Anant Computing products are recognized as India’s first indigenous, 100% vernacular mobile technology platform which has the potential to open-up the world of apps to every Indian. Technologies developed by Anant Computing addresses some of the key challenges of app usage in India – slow/poor mobile internet connectivity, lack of space to store apps on low-end smartphones. Additionally, the company also offers companies a unique app solution called ‘App wallet’. Think of App Wallet like a folder, containing multiple apps.
On the other hand, LICO (Languages in Coding) is a first-of-its kind initiative by Anant Computing that allows anyone to code a mobile app, in their native vernacular language.
Presently, the company is focused to ensure that every Indian citizen use the digital content and services in their own language on their own devices. Further, as far as future is concerned, the company is planning to slash the dependency of mobile app developers on the OS capabilities or platforms, offering complete flexibility.
Phani Bhushan, Co-Founder & CEO- A serial entrepreneur with more than 20 years of experience, Phani is IIT Kharagpur Alumnus, a seasoned IT professional who carries a clear vision for digital & financial inclusion in India.
Bhushan along with his friend and partner Gopal Pradhan (OUAT), started his entrepreneurial journey with VIAEDGE Technologies, a firm engaged with IT Infrastructure products and IT Consultancy, which has created ‘M-Switch’ to offer financial transactions , and has also served all top Indian corporate.
Phani & Gopal together truly believe that “true digital inclusion can happen only if every citizen of country has the power of mobile at their fingertips with ability to access high-quality apps without any language barriers or constraints on their mobile devices.” Their joint endeavor, Anant Computing, provides a platform that helps companies create mobile apps in various Indian languages and apps that run on a feature phone or smartphone, irrespective of in-built OS, offering an indigenous solution to digital inclusion.
“Our mission to offer the people of India and the App makers an ingenious technological solution, which facilitates a digital inclusion in true sense.”