While tenders for supplying the proposed Akash 4 tablets by the Government of India will close by January-end, Suneet Tuli, CEO of Datawind, on Saturday said that “our company is very much in race for Akash 4 tablets and we have fairly good chances to win the contract.”
Tuli, who was born in Ludhiana and moved to Iran and then Canada, said the tender will close on January 28. He said it is the company’s commercial success and low prices which can turn the bid in their favor. “Akash 4 is going to be a large-scale project with the government aiming to provide tablets to 22 crore students in India in the next five years. For such a huge deal, they need low prices with good quality.”
Tuli said, “The market price of all our products is 40 per cent lower than Apple, Samsung and other brands. Big companies are not even bidding for this deal. Akash 4 will be priced Rs 2,500 and the government will be giving a subsidy on it.”
Asked why the original Akash tablet is still not a popular choice for masses, he said, “We have moved a long way from Akash 1 since 2008 and worked extensively on improving our product. It is a misconception that our tablets are not the choice of masses. They very much are. Last year, we sold 11,00,000 tablets and on an average we are placing 80,000-1,00,000 units in market per month, beating Apple in every quarter. We and Samsung are the only top two players now,” he said.
“We were nowhere two years back and today if we look back, I am completely satisfied with the progress from Akash to Akash 4. The government is spending on infrastructure not only in terms of roads but in technology which is extremely crucial for India,” added Tuli.