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Updated: October 8, 2011 10:34 IST

City firm develops world's cheapest tablet PC “Aakash”

M. Sai Gopal
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The Hindu

QUAD Electronic Solutions manufactures “Aakash” on behalf of Datawind

The world's cheapest tablet Aakash is being manufactured in Medchal.

A city-based company, QUAD Electronic Solutions, which has a two-acre campus in Medchal, on the outskirts of the State capital, is assembling the now world famous tablet PC using components imported from China and other South East Asian countries.

QUAD Electronic Solutions is manufacturing these seven-inch touch screen devices on behalf of Datawind, a company from the United Kingdom.

Costs Rs. 2,276

Aakash which costs Rs. 2,276 per unit is being further subsidised by the Government of India and is being offered at Rs. 1,200 to students.

The tablet PC which hogged the limelight across the world for being the cheapest tablet PC to be made, was unveiled by Union Human Resources Development (HRD) Minister Kapil Sibal recently.

To make it cheaper

“Our ultimate aim is to bring down the price of the tablet to $10. It is not impossible and we can do it. It is also high time that the Indian manufacturing companies stand-up and prove that we are capable of doing it,” says Raminder Singh Soin, Managing Director of QUAD Electronics.

QUAD, which stands for Quality Under Able Dynamics, is handling the task of manufacturing one lakh units of the cheapest tablet.

“Once we completely indigenise the product, we will be able to bring down the price further. The team from Datawind, which designed the product, has worked closely with us,” says Mr. Raminder Singh Soin.

It all started in April this year when a technical team from Datawind visited the two-acre manufacturing facility of the company at Medchal.

1,000 workers

The fabrication unit employs close to 1,000 technical workers, mostly youngsters with ITI diploma or class 12 qualifications.

“We have 65 engineers, a majority of them from IITs, who train these youngsters. With over a decade of experience in this sector our infrastructure is best in the business. The Datawind officials liked what they saw,” Mr. Soin said.

700 units a day

At present, the fabrication unit of QUAD Electronics is capable of manufacturing 700 tablets a day. The company has plans to ramp up production to 1,500 tablets per day.

“We wanted to prove that it is not just companies form China or South East Asia that produce quality and durable products. India has already made its mark in software and it is about time Indian manufacturers too did the same,” believes Mr. Soin.


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