Sunday, July 25, 2010

Indian Government’s $ 35 tablet story – All HOAX

Mr. Kapil Sibal’s unveiling of the Rs. 1,500 ($ 35) tablet has created quite a stir in the news and tech-media community. The prototype tablet computer’s price is touted to reduce as R&D efforts continue!! Mr. Sibal is promising high-quality education to students across the country with this over-hyped PROTOTYPE tablet (according to him it also comes with a solar option J).

The features are as such-
·         Web browser
·         Multimedia player
·         PDF reader
·         Wi-Fi
·         Video conferencing ability
·         2GB of RAM (but no hard disk, instead using a memory card)
·         USB ports

Mr. Sibal has called the as-yet-unnamed device as India's answer to MIT's famed OLPC laptop. All this looks very glittery and the Indian minister is happy flaunting this to the world. But, the question that evolves here – How practical/realistic is Mr. Sibal in his promise. Time and again our ministers have shown aspirational dreams which have later tasted dust. Just for the sake of cheap publicity, the antics that our ministers play is just shameless. Something similar was promised in 2009 where the news of production of a 500 Rs. laptop was on rounds. Even that story rouse tremendous interest among tech enthusiasts and social workers round the world.

Instead of making the whole discussion ugly by pondering over Mr. Sibal, let’s think why these attempts are mostly unsuccessful. Right from MIT’s OLPC (One Laptop Per Child) to our own 500 Rs. laptop have been in shambles. Those were just immature dreams and far from reality. The question that emerges here – ‘Is the fruition of these kind of projects IMPOSSIBLE?’. I say NO; it’s just the effort put behind these that has lead to dissatisfactory results. If we WANT and work towards a goal, it is always possible – be it any circumstance.

Take our very own TATA NANO; no one would have thought that a 1 Lakh rupee car was ever possible. The project was unsustainable right in 2003 when Mr. Ratan Tata declared his intention to produce a Rs. 1 Lakh car. Later in 2008 when it was launched the price remained the same as promised!! Even though the raw material prices increased steeply in the mean time, so did the labor and production costs - Tata stood to their promise.

This demonstrated India’s emerging technical and manufacturing prowess. We now need to be more accurate and firm on our claims to establish India as a global leader in technology and production. This will be done only when we are more professional in our promises and thus pave the way for the growth of promising and emerging INDIA. I thus hope Mr. Sibal makes sure that the poor population does get quality education by availing the $35 dollar tablet.


Vishal Desai said...

I fail to understand the 'blog' and its 'title'.
Are you saying the product itself is a hoax? - which is what your title entails..
or is the process a hoax - which your story does.

About the title - It is a 35$ tablet period.
About the body of the blog - it says 'let’s think why these attempts are mostly unsuccessful.' and then the blog goes nowhere. Not even one reason is discussed.

And it ends by recommending that we need to be more professional in our promises.

Well 'nuf said. Don;t understand what 'Management Punditz' has to do with this blog.

Management Punditz said...

Hi Vishal,

First of all, Management Punditz would like to thank you for your comment. We feel that improvements in any process can be done only on the basis of ‘reacting to criticisms’, and I hope that we would be able to rectify on the parameters you have pointed on.

Secondly, I would like to give my point of view on the questions raised by you:

1. As mentioned in the description of the blog, it is primarily a Management Blog with additional focus on Marketing, Branding & Advertising. Now regarding title of the blog post and its relevance in the MANAGEMENT aspect – Don’t you think that the dead OLPC project would have been a reality if it would had been MANAGED well? Be it sourcing components in bulk or reduce its engineering costs??

2. And HOAX, here means the FALSE dream shown by our revered minister – Mr. Kapil Sibal. Don’t you think our ministers need some Management Gyan to run our country properly?? So, I would request you to understand the essence of our post to understand it correctly.

3. 'let’s think why these attempts are mostly unsuccessful.' – This line was supported with the points – “it’s just the effort put behind these that has lead to dissatisfactory results. If we WANT and work towards a goal, it is always possible – be it any circumstance.” I do agree that these points won’t suffice the reason, but our author claims to think holistic 

4. And yes, the recommendation to be professional on your promises is very significant here. This is what we think our ministers’ should do to operate our country well. Management Punditz found this topic very much in relevance!! Just consider, when our famous industry personality Mr. Nandan Nilekani can head the governments’ UID project, you just can’t allege that he isn’t capable coz u don’t find any relevance!!!

However, we found your suggestions very encouraging and hence promise that with every blog post we’ll improve both in terms of quality and relevance.

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