Photo of Akash Dongre


Akash Dongre

A multilingual operating system available on over 50 mobile devices

Year Honored


"Akash Dongre—along with co-founders Rakesh Deshmukh and Sudhir Bangarambandi—has always believed that “Indian problems require indigenous solutions”. No wonder their eponymous innovation, touted as the “world’s first regional operating system”, is blazing a trail in the Indian smartphone ecosystem. “In our short journey, beginning in 2015, we have already partnered with five domestic smartphone brands (Micromax, Intex, Karbonn, Celkon and Swipe) and built a user base of more than six million, which is consistently growing at a rate of 500,000 OS activations per month,” says Dongre. Indus OS, which is available in 12 Indian regional languages, boasts innovative features such as Indus Swipe (translation from English to a regional language and vice versa with just a swipe), Indus Keyboard (with built-in word and matra (a unit of metrical quantity in Indian languages) prediction) and Indus Reader (which can convert an English text into audio in eight regional languages). Besides, there’s a marketplace called App Bazaar, where over 50,000 apps are available in local languages.

Dongre recalls one of his foreign trips when his lack of understanding of the local language made him feel handicapped: “Everything around me was in a language I did not understand.”

Dongre also realized how digitally less connected the Indian heartland is and how alien English is to a lot of Indians. “After spending some more time to understand the Indian digital landscape and brainstorming with my team, we decided to start building an ecosystem for Indian consumers.” The team built Indus OS on three core pillars: simplicity, innovation and localization. “At the heart of our story lies the desire to equip anyone who is using a smartphone with a holistic ecosystem of their choice,” says Dongre.

Indus OS, which introduced Indus OS 2.0 in July 2016, will introduce Indus OS 3.0 in 2017. “In 2017, we intend to continue to work with the Government of India and app developers alike to build a smartphone ecosystem of choice for the emerging markets population,” Dongre says."