Suneet Singh Tuli, chief executive officer of Datawind, feels tablets can be manufactured more cheaply in Uttar Pradesh than in China. He was in Lucknow to attend the Uttar Pradesh Development Conclave on Saturday.
"It is a misconception that Indians cannot manufacture tablets or computers. Half the employees in the research and development sections of most companies across the world are Indians," Tuli said.
Applauding the Uttar Pradesh's government's decision to give tablets to Class 10 passouts, Tuli said: "It is a major decision and will go a long way in ushering in the next educational revolution in the state."
Recommending that the UP government set up a tablet-manufacturing unit in the state capital, Tuli said: "There is a pre-booking order of 30 lakh units of tablets from the state government."
If the state government sets up a manufacturing unit in the state capital, it would not only cut down the cost of the tablets but would also generate direct employment for 2,500 to 3,000 people of the state per year, he pointed out.
The CEO of Datawind asserted UP was going to be the next IT hub of the country and Lucknow its epicentre.
He advised the state government to provide educational content with the tablets to students so that the latter were no longer dependent on books for information.
On the utility of tablets, Tuli said the students now learnt 24x7 and education was not confined to schools.
In fact, students learn most of the things outside the school, he added.
"In such a scenario, tablets can make a remarkable difference in ushering in the educational revolution in Uttar Pradesh," he said.
Tablets would take over the market of laptops and personal computers in the next 12 months, he predicted. On the stiff competition which the UBSLATE 7 plus, the Datawind's much talked about poor man's tablet, is facing from its competitors HCL and Samsung, the CEO said: "Price will make a major difference. The UBSLATE is much cheaper than the other tablets in the market."
"The average per capita income in India is very low. How can people afford costly tablets?" he asked.
" The market share of costly tablets in India is only 3%," Tuli said.
India, UP in particular, would be the next major market for Datawind's poor man's tablet, he added.
Boon for health
*Though a tablet PC cannot be a complete diagnostic system, it will facilitate online consultation. For example, a healthcare provider can go to a patient in a village and records the symptoms.
*The same symptoms can be forwarded to a specialist online through a tablet. The specialist can suggest medication instantly.
*The patient can be referred to a higher centre immediately if the symptoms indicate such a step is required.
*This could help detect chronic diseases which otherwise aggravate due to delay in diagnosis.