ISB Updates

Leveraging Low Cost Technology

Suneet Singh Tuli, Founder and CEO, Datawind, the company that manufactures the low cost Akash tablet, recently spoke to ISB students at the Mohali campus on the topic- “One Tablet – A Billion People”. The interactive speaker session revolved on the future of the Internet, the possibility of reaching three billion users and the potential of ecommerce.

Tuli, who plans to further enhance the reach of the Internet to the poorer classes, spoke of providing free Internet access to the needy through the Akash tablets in the near future. "For those who wrote off the idea of providing Internet or computers to the illiterate, the answer lies in the way mobiles are being used today. These people are texting, using a new kind of language, though they have never learnt the alphabet. This is an example how technology can drive literacy, rather than the other way round," Tuli explained.

Tuli also stressed on the need to minimise data usage charges, and limit it to a meager amount between Rs 10-15 per month. While talking of his dream to manufacture a tablet for Rs 1999, he said, "If I can make a tablet for Rs 1999 and sell it for Rs 2200, I can still earn a profit".

The Canada based entrepreneur was born in Ludhiana, Punjab into a business family and gained professional experience in Iran before moving to Canada. Tuli’s talk provided much required insight into the increasing demand for providing low cost Internet services to the socially disadvantaged across the globe and the various challenges faced by service providers. Tuli also indicated that the future of technology lies in wearable and voice interface which is already making their presence felt.

The session ended with a Q&A round with students quizzing Tuli about the relevance and tools of technology in teaching methods and how they can be best leveraged for the larger benefit of society. This event was organised jointly with the Canadian Consulate General, Chandigarh.