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New Delhi, August 23, 2020
Kerala-based Techgentsia Software Technologies Private Limited has won the Grand Challenge for Developing Video Conference Solution, Minister for Electronics & IT, Communications Ravi Shankar Prasad said last week.
Announcing the results of the Grand Challenge on Thursday, Prasad said he was glad that Indian entrepreneurs and innovators have responded to the call for Aatma Nirbhar Bharat (self-reliant India) given by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. They have come up with some world-class video conferencing solutions in a short span of four months, he said.
“We are committed to developing India’s software product and the mobile app economy in a big way and efforts like this will go a long way in that direction,” he added.
The Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology had announced an Innovation Challenge for Development of a Video Conferencing Solution under the Digital India Initiative on April 12. The Innovation Challenge was open for participation from industry, start-ups and individual experts.
An overwhelming response was received from across the country, with a total of 1983 applications being received, which were evaluated and subsequently supported through a three-stage process (Ideation, Prototype and Product Stage), an official press release said.
Out of these, 12 applicants with innovative VC solutions were shortlisted to develop/ mature the prototype for which support of Rs 10 lakh each was provided. The prototypes thus evolved were further evaluated by a jury comprising senior officers of the Government, reputed academicians and eminent members from the IT industry to shortlist five applicants for building a ready-to-market product.
The five shortlisted applicants were further provided financial support of Rs 20 lakh (for three) and Rs 15 lakh (for two), mentorship, testing and onboarding onto NIC cloud. Jury and Mentors comprising eminent experts from Industry, Academia and Government provided extensive support to the Challenge on pro bono basis. The five finalists have pitched the solution and jury which evaluated each of these products in detail and declared the winners.
The jury declared Vconsol, a product of Alappuzha (Kerala)-based Techgentsia Software Technologies Private Limited, as the winner. The winner of the challenge will be provided financial support of Rs. 1 crore with additional Rs. 10 lakh towards O&M for the next three years and will be adopted for use by Government through a contract.
The Jury also selected the products developed by three applicants as potential products and decided to offer a developmental contract to be supported by Rs. 25 lakh each for further maturing their product within three months.
These three products are Sarv Webs Pvt. Ltd. (Sarv Wave), Jaipur; People Link Unified Communications Pvt Ltd (Insta VC), Hyderabad; and Instrive Softlabs Pvt Ltd (HydraMeet), Chennai.
These three products will be further analyzed by a technical committee and subsequently, Ministry of Electronics and IT will recommend to onboard all selected four products on Government e-Marketplace (GeM).
All the video conferencing products will also be provided support of STQC, CERT-In, CDAC and NIC. It has also been recommended that all four products will be hosted on NIC cloud and NIC will facilitate for the adoption of these products for Government use through GeM. All teams including winning team shall also be free to market the product globally.
This entire process of Grand Challenge was conducted with active participation from some of the best experts working as mentors and members of the jury. The Ministry of Electronics and IT acknowledged the role played by NASSCOM president Debjani Ghosh, Chairman Indian Angel Network, Saurabh Srivastava, Sharad Sharma of iSpirit, Dr Rajat Moona from IIT Bhilai, Professor Santanu Chaudhary from IIT Jodhpur, and Professor Yatindra Nath Singh from IIT Kanpur, along with senior officers of the Ministry.