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Kerala tech firm's Zoom-alternative Vconsol wins government's innovation challenge

Kerala-based Techgentsia Software Technologies will be provided financial support of Rs 1 crore with an additional Rs 10 lakhs towards O&M (operation and maintenance) for the next three years.

August 21, 2020 / 09:50 PM IST

Vconsol, a product of Kerala-based Techgentsia Software Technologies, won the Centre's "Innovation Challenge for Development of Video Conferencing Solution" on August 20. Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad announced the winner, who was awarded the prize money of Rs 1 crore with an additional Rs 10 lakhs towards O&M (operation and maintenance) for the next three years.

Launched in April, the challenge was aimed at encouraging Indian companies to bring out secure alternatives of video conferencing apps, including Zoom, without compromising on user security and privacy.

The Kerala-based company was founded in 2009 and specialises in internet communication and collaboration. Its business includes hardware- and software-based videoconferencing, having conducted research and development in the space for more than a decade.

Techgentsia Software’s clients include small and medium firms and multinationals from the US and Europe. The company’s videoconferencing solution for the contest is called Vconsol.

In addition to Vconsol, the jury also selected products developed by three applicants -- Sarv Webs, PeopleLink Unified Communications, InstriveSoftlabs -- as potential products.

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Also read: One of these five companies could be India's Zoom alternative

"All three will be offered a developmental contract to be supported by Rs 25 lakh each for further maturing their product in three months," the release added.

National Informatics Centre (NIC) cloud will host all four products. "NIC will also facilitate for the adoption of these products for government use through GeM," the release said, adding that all teams are free to market their product globally.

Announcing the winners of 'grand challenge', Ravi Shankar Prasad said that India should also strive to become a hub for software products. He encouraged the IT industry to leverage existing policies and the enabling ecosystem to position the country as a global powerhouse for software products by building innovative Made-in-India offerings.

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Citing the "extraordinary response" to grand challenges including developing of indigenous video conference solutions and apps, Prasad said that even amid economic challenges and hardships in the backdrop of COVID-19, significant investments have flowed into IT and communications sector, as the "the world trusted India".

"COVID was projected as an area of economic stress but even in these times of economic challenge and hard life, the world trusted India...so the brightest investments in IT and communications we got during this period," the IT minister said.

"The world is looking at India in a big way. I would like innovators to think about that...We have already come out with a software product policy and an encouraging ecosystem is in place...I would urge the software community to leverage India's position of innovation and startups and make it a big hub of software products," Prasad said.

(With PTI inputs)

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