Making of Aakash: The World's Cheapest Tablet|Project Management|Case Study|Case Studies

Making of Aakash: The World's Cheapest Tablet

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Case Details:

Case Code : PROM012
Case Length : 17 pages
Period : 2006-2012
Organization : Ministry of Human Resources Development (MHRD), Government of India, Datawind Limited
Pub Date : 2012
Teaching Note :Not Available
Countries : India
Industry : Tablet

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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

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Indian Tablet Industry

In 2012, the Indian tablet industry was in a nascent stage. According to Hindustan Times, there was a 0.6 million installed base of tablets at the end of 2011. The first entrant into the Indian tablet space was Olivepad from Olive Telecom, which was launched in October 2010 .

However, the device was unable to make much of an impact. In the same month, electronic major Samsung jumped into the Indian tablet market with the launch of Galaxy Tab 7. After that, in March, 2011, Apple officially launched the iPad in the Indian market. Experts considered this a late launch...

Project Management Case Studies | Case Study in Management, Operations, Strategies, Marketing Management, Case Studies

Development of Aakash Tablet

The search for a low cost computing device was not new. Way back in 2002, the first low cost computing device came into existence. In 2002, Simputer Trust developed and released a low cost, portable alternative to the personal computer under the name Simputer, a combination of the words SIMPle comPUTER which could further be expanded to Simple, In-expensive Multi-lingual People's compUTER. After three years, in 2005, One Laptop Per Child Association Inc., offered a US$ 100 laptop to Indian children under the mission to provide inexpensive educational computers in developing nations across the world. Nicholas Negroponte (Negroponte) gave a presentation on the OLPC in New Delhi on April 7, 2006...

Challenges in Development of Aakash

According to experts, the development of a low cost tablet itself was a big challenge. When a good quality mobile phone was not available for under US$ 10, then thinking about a full-fledged tablet and making it a reality was itself a big challenge. When the Ministry of MHRD decided to develop a computing and access device in the price range of US$ 50 many tech and industry experts expected that it would turn out to be a nightmare for MHRD. During the process of making Aakash a reality, the MHRD had to face criticism from various sources. Jha wrote, "Exceptions apart, the US soil has remained the laboratory where new computing technologies get born. And China has refined the craft of manufacturing into its second nature, making the nation, the electronics factory of the world. Then, how would India make the "lowest cost" computer in a tablet form? It has never been known for creating computing technologies...

Looking Forward

According to various reports, the Aakash tablet got an unexpectedly good response from various state governments. Universities too placed big orders for the tablet. For example, University of Mumbai had received around 20,000 orders for the Aakash tablets by the end of January 2012. In the same way, the Andhra Pradesh Government had placed an order for 10,000 tablets. The retail version of Aakash received an overwhelming response. Within 20 days, the pre launch booking had reached 2 million from individuals. Tuli said, "While industry analysts were forecasting only 250,000 tablet computers for the Indian market in 2012, our pre-booking rate is now averaging over 100,000 individual end-user sales each day and have cumulatively exceeded over two million." Experts believed that the emergence of Aakash would not only benefit India but also hold out a ray of hope to other developing nations. Tuli said, "This is not only a concept that applies to India, but has ignited the imagination of governments around the world. The Aakash is proudly made in India, and is destined to revolutionize computing and Internet access for the world."...


Exhibit I: First Prototype of Low Cost Device
Exhibit II: Launch of New Tablet on July 22, 2010
Exhibit III: Indian Government's Tablet and Hivision's Speedpad
Exhibit IV: Tender Process Followed by IIT Rajasthan
Exhibit V: Press Release of Ministry of Human Resource Development
Exhibit VI: Tablet Launched in July 2010 and Tablet Launched in October 2011
Exhibit VII: Selected Features of Indian Computing Access Devices

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