“The app ecosystem is thriving in India, more so when it is available in the local language,” said Rakesh Deshmukh, co-founder and Chief Executive of Indus OS.

The company’s app store, Indus App Bazaar, has seen its user base rise to over 15 million within a year of inking a deep product partnership with Samsung India.

Sharing some insights from a study and the home-grown technology brand’s (Indus OS) edge, he said: “Our study showed that 40 per cent of the downloads did not happen from Google Play; English literacy amongst Internet users was pathetically low (10-15 per cent), which in turn made things difficult for users in terms of understanding the content; and finally, only 20 per cent of users had an email address (the current ecosystem is built on top of email address, which means you will have to share your mail ID, if you plan to download an app (on Google Play).”

“We saw huge opportunity, particularly in creating a destination for downloading an app in one’s native language without dependency on the email address, so as to replace the entire traffic and move it on our platform,” he said.

Deshmukh claimed that the Indus App Bazaar is India’s largest indigenous app store, with 4,00,000 apps catering to 60+ million users, available in 12 Indian languages such as Malayalam, Telugu, Tamil, Odia, Assamese, Punjabi, Kannada, Gujarati, Hindi, Urdu, Bengali, Marathi — and English.

Brand partners

Indus OS works with 10 mobile brands. “Our first agreement was with Micromax in 2015 (as its OEM partner) and thereafter with other Indian mobile brands. The major breakthrough however was in 2018, when we inked a deep product partnership with Samsung. Indus App Bazaar is today present on all Samsung devices in India as a default store.”

To a query on the platform’s growth prospects, he cited a Google KPMG report, which observed that Indian language Internet users would grow at a CAGR of 18 per cent to reach 536 million by 2021, vis-à-vis English users at 3 per cent during this period.

Further, with the advent of Indian language internet ecosystem, a vast majority of users access the Net through mobile devices.

On revenue, he said: “It is advertisement based. While the growth was tremendous (eight-fold increase) over the past year, we realise that the present circumstance might not warrant that kind of growth.”