Remember the government’s Rs 1 crore ‘Zoom challenge‘ that was announced in April? Back then, the government of India — had ‘banned’ use of Zoom for some departments and employees — and wanted Indian startups to come up with their answer to Zoom. The Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology announced an innovation challenge for the same and it has now declared the winners of the same.
The IT ministry claims to have got a total of 1983 applications to create an alternative to Zoom and 12 applicants with innovative video conferencing solutions were shortlisted to develop the prototype for which support of Rs 10 lakh each was provided.
The prototypes were further evaluated by a jury consisting of senior officers of the government, academicians and eminent members from the IT industry to shortlist five applicants for building a ready to market product. The five shortlisted applicants were further provided financial support of Rs 20 lakh (for three) and Rs 15 lakh (for two), mentorship, testing and onboarding onto NIC cloud.
The five finalists pitched their solution and the jury declared Vconsol, a product of Alappuzha (Kerala) based Techgentsia Software Technologies Private Limited as the winner. The winner of the challenge will be provided financial support of Rs 1 crore with additional Rs10 Lakhs towards O&M for next three years and will be adopted for use by the government through a contract.
In addition, the jury also selected the products developed by three applicants as potential products and decided to offer a developmental contract to be supported by Rs 25 lakh each for further maturing their product within a period of three months. These three products will be further analysed by a technical committee and subsequently the Ministry of Electronics and IT will recommend to onboard all selected four products on GeM. These are Sarv Wave created by Jaipur-based Sarv Webs Pvt. Ltd, Insta VC by Hyderabad-based PeopleLink Unified Communications Pvt Ltd and HydraMeet by Chennai-based InstriveSoftlabs Pvt Ltd.
These video conferencing products will also be provided and supported by STQC, CERT-In, CDAC and NIC. It has also been recommended that all four products will be hosted on NIC cloud and NIC will facilitate the adoption of these products for government use through GeM. All teams including the winning team shall also be free to market the product globally.