Techgentsia aims one million users of contest-winning Vconsol this fiscal


Techgentsia Software Technologies (TST), a Kerala-based global IT service provider which won the Central government’s Grand Innovation Challenge for developing a home-grown video-conferencing solution in the context of COVID-19 pandemic, will hit the market with the innovative Vconsol product next month.

Joy Sebastian, CEO of the company which functions at Infopark, Cherthala in Alappuzha district, said on Saturday, August 22, that the company would launch the product with an initial target of securing one million users. The company won the marathon and highly competitive Grand Challenge under the Digital India Initiative, earning it Rs.1 crore and a three-year contract to provide Vconsol to Union government offices across the country.

The multilingual, superior-quality video-conferencing app, hailed as the first of its kind in the country with better audio-video than Zoom or Google Meet, will aim at the B2B market with focus on the booming telemedicine and education. “These are the two segments that are in top demand amid a new post-COVID world order which has made health and learning increasingly e-centric,” he pointed out.

“Vconsol, with its capacity to support as many as 80 active and 300 passive participants at a time, however, will not be free for the time being,” Sebastian informed.

The cost involved in its making and marketing will make Vconsol chargeable after “a free trial of maybe a week,” said the team leader of the Kerala-based firm which won the tough competition conducted by the Union Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology.

“The fees won’t be very high. We are in the process of finding resources for sufficient investment that can broaden our clientele,” he said adding that the company hopes to get a million users across continents by March 2021.

 “Our role is as technical supporters. We will install the app for them. The government will run the show, owning the cloud,” he said. The software is capable of functioning in leading eight Indian languages.

TST’s contract with the government is for three years, during which the firm will get an additional Rs 10 lakh annually towards the maintenance of the project. “Having won the contest, we will start marketing the product globally,” Sebastian said.

 Congratulating TST that has a majority of its software clients in America and Europe, IT Parks Kerala CEO Sasi P M said the company’s achievement is a testimony to Kerala's strong and vibrant IT ecosystem backed by the government. This also proves that young minds in small towns can excel and come up with world-class products and solutions, he observed.

“TST will inspire all those youngsters in Kerala working tirelessly to come out with new global products. Our concerted efforts to promote and develop tier-II and III centres in the IT map of Kerala and the world are showing results," Sasi said.

"This recognition coincides with the 30th anniversary of the IT revolution in Kerala, starting with Technopark. Our aim is to make cost-effective and state-of-the-art IT infrastructure available for firms and professionals in not just metros but across the state.”

Referring to the competition, Sebastian said the Grand Innovation Challenge looked “impossible for us many a time”, but tenacity prevailed over the 2009-founded company’s 65 employees. “Our core team of 15 members worked round the clock,” he said about the four-month Challenge that began on April 12 with 1,983 contestants from across the country.

Experts note that next-generation Vconsol can give Zoom and Google Meet a major challenge in video-conferencing. TST’s product can support all technologies in the domain, which is busy chasing a high demand in users since March owing to restrictions imposed following the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic.

TST is located in Pallipuram village in Cherthala that houses state government-owned Infopark with 60 acres of land notified as a sector-specific Special Economic Zone by the Union Ministry of Commerce.

On Thursday, Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, who holds the portfolios of Electronics and Information Technology and Communications, announced the results of the Grand Challenge conducted in three stages: ideation, prototype, and product.

The contest, as part of the Aatma Nirbhar Bharat call given by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, aims to “develop India’s software product and mobile app economy in a big way” and is also in tune with his clarion call for ‘Vocal for Local’.

The jury comprised senior officers of the government, reputed academicians, and senior members from the IT industry.

Image Credit: Onmanorama

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