Digital India is witnessing tremendous growth than we expected. Everyone is left jaw dropped with the wave that’s been going on for a while now. It’s fair to say that the upcoming times will be much more dependent on the digitalization. In an interview with Insights Success Magazine, Phani Bhushan, CEO of Anant Computing shared his keen observations into Digital India and his journey in developing and leading his company in this new era.
What do you think about current scenario in digital India?
Last year, the number of mobile phone users in India crossed one billion, while the number of mobile internet users is just half that figure (450 million). This is the gap that we want to fill at Anant Computing. In our view, every Indian with a mobile phone ought to be accessing the internet. If not, we ask what we can do to help more people embark on this journey.
We believe that affordability is not a real constraint to internet usage for most people. But relevance is. In 2015, Quartz magazine published a survey which revealed astonishing results – across South East Asia, the percentage of people who said they used Facebook, was higher than the percentage of people who used the internet. In other words, there were Facebook users, who were not aware they were using the internet. Facebook was relevant to them – the internet was not.
If you were to do research in India, you might find many cases where there are Whatsapp users, who actually do not use their data for anything else except for chat.
At Anant, stories like this inspire us to keep thinking of how we can get more people online. The end benefit that they perceive, has to be bigger than the cost and mechanics of coming online.
What you do?
So, do you think that we are app developers? The answer is no. What we do, is something that you may not have heard of – we are an app development platform. In fact, we are India’s very first indegeneously developed app platform. Until now, if you built an app, you would use a foreign platform. We are your first ‘Made in India’ solution.
So, what is an app development platform?
At a very simplistic level, think of us, as the WordPress for app builders. If you build a website, you need to ‘host’ it on a server. You need to use a certain language to build the website. You need to apply certain templates to create a look. WordPress provides (or links you to) all the backend infrastructure that gets a website up and running. But the onus to come up with good content and creative ideas for the website is yours, as the owner of the website. The reason everyone wants to build their site on WordPress is because it’s reliable, popular, and simple to do.
Anant Computing is in a pretty similar space when it comes to mobile apps. Except that we offer much much more, in terms of features and value additions for app developers.
What are the benefits of building your app with Anant Computing?
Here are just a handful of the benefits that come when you build your app with Anant Computing;
- You can use the Anant platform to build apps in every major Indian language, thus including a large base of vernacular/non-English audience.
- Apps developed on the Anant work in the most challenging conditions that are common in the Indian market – slow 2G networks, poor connectivity and even offline
- Apps built on Anant are extremely light (small in size and use less of memory and RAM on a user’s phone). Thus they run smoothly even on low end phones.
- Anant apps are ‘device neutral’. To know what we mean, go to any app on the Play Store and check out complaints from users saying that a certain app is not working on their model/version of Google. We guarantee that your app will work on every device. And any app developer will tell you that this is a big deal!
To sum it up simply – Anant Computing is the only ‘Made In India’ app platform that helps you deliver an app experience that is uniquely suited to the Indian user.
And there is more. We are not just a barebones platform. We also have a uniquely innovative app format! We call it the AppWallet.
What is Anant AppWallet?
It is the answer to every marketer’s dream – ‘the segment of one’. We allow you to customize the app experience to every user. Think of the AppWallet as a ‘folder’ on your phone, just like a folder on your laptop. A folder can contain many files – an AppWallet can contain many apps.
When you build your app with Anant, every app is actually an ‘AppWallet’ – a folder which is dynamically linked to the cloud. This means, that if you are SBI Bank, when a user downloads your app, you will be able to ‘push’ many other apps onto his phone automatically. You will be able to update existing apps automatically. The folder is linked to the cloud. Yet, thanks to our technology, the app wallet stays light and barely occupies a few MB space.
The AppWallet can be customized to every end user. For example, a Tamil user will see Tamil apps. Apps can change according to area that you move in. For example, a hospital app can display local hospital information when you travel to another city. We have geolocation and smart analytics built in.
Tell us something about your Vision
We are commited to ‘Make In India’, and ‘Make for India’. Our larger mission is to end the digital divide by unifying the app ecosystem. We make it easier for developers to solve the many hurdles towards creating ‘one app for India’. All they have to do, is come to us.
In fact, Anant’s first product launch was a vernacular language OS for tablets. Evolving the product to keep up with rapid environmental changes (from tablet to mobile, from feature phone to smartphone) has been a challenge, but our vision has ensured we rise upto it.
Meet the team
Anant Computing has a small but passionate team that is committed to the cause of digital inclusion;
The co-founders of Anant are Phani Bhushan (CEO) and Gopal Pradhan (CTO). Phani is an IIT Kharagpur Alumnus and a seasoned entrepreneur with 20 years of experience in the IT industry and Gopal is an alumnus of OUAT having 16 years of IT experience. Both have been committed throughout their career to developing software products and solutions that bridge the digital divide.