"Zaroorat se zyada eazy!"
Not often do you come across such an intresting venture like Luna Ergonomics which developes new usability technologies that allow users to type in all languages of the world on their existing phone!
In this era of Mobiles and Technologies Luna Ergonomics has introduced us to the technologies called Panini Keypad and CleverTexting. This venture was founded by Abhijit Bhattacharjee a telecommunication engineer and a keen technologist. It was August 2008 when Abhijit along with a small team invested into development of technologies, applications and services to address the painpoints relevant to large number of people of India.
Luna Ergonomics is currently into development of texting technologies for the mobile phone. They have developed the Panini Keypad service which supports composition and sending of SMS in eleven major languages of India. It also offers SMS compression for the first time in the world increasing the payload of a SMS in an Indian language by over three hundred percent.
On the other hand they have developed CleverTexting for the global family of languages for all the major eleven languages of India and for English, Spanish, Portuguese, Arabic, French, Russian, Hebrew, Swahili and Finnish.
Abhijit says "Our technologies use statistical nature of languages to make a prediction about what the user is likely to type next.The technologies are not only applicable for the mobile but also for offering regional language capability on the PC, web, ATM, STB, TV remote, touchscreen kiosks etc."
Abhijit says, "There are about 4.1 billion people in this world who use a mobile phone. Most of them do not use it for typing on it. For several reasons, two of which are that their own languages are not supported to type and typing on the phone is not easy, because it needs multitaps etc." This company boasts about developing the technologies that offers a means to type on their phones conveniently and fast and hence removes that barrier.
It is understood that in this century most people would be typing more and more on handheld devices, be it for texting, accessing the Internet or accessing any other information functions from their phones.
"Therefore our technologies are applicable for the whole world. Our vision is to offer a new usability to write conveniently to the whole world." says Abhijit
He further adds "The final beneficiary of our technologies is the end user. The usability can be transferred to the user via handset manufacturers, telecom operators and direct sales to the user via online stores and offline retail stores. Also enterprise solutions and applications in E-Governance. We have demonstrated our technologies to the National ID card project for its applications in mitigating the technology challenges of supporting regional languages on digital interfaces. We have also shown it to Microsoft for use in its PC."
Abhijit wants to live up to the expectations of the users. Luna Ergonomics has landed usable products in a small frame of time and had put into them whole lot of functions which were only ideas once and now are being used by real people across the globe.
He says "In the coming future we will try our best to manage the opportunity as responsibly as we can. Only if we can steer it well, will an Indian innovation have a chance to seek a stake as a major usability contender for the whole world of phones and other devices. If we can do that right, we could become a fairly acceptable company quite quickly. First addressing the opportunity in India and then addressing the opportunity in the global space. Our Arabic product is already picking up popularity rapidly. So is the awareness of the usability of some of our other global language products."
What sets them apart
Luna Ergonomics is the first Indian company working on usability technology. They have chosen a unique problem and have found an intresting solution to it.
"We first build a utility and then figure out how we can monetize from it. If it is useful, there will be ways to monetize from it. For example, we have global advertising companies who want their ads to be displayed within our applications which are currently being offered free or as trialware." says Abhijit proudly.
His Entrepreneurial Journey
The challenges of entrepreneurship was beckoning Abhijit, a former signaller from the Indian Army, for many years. He says "According to me, it is the thing to do with one's life. Its very self actualizing. I self funded my venture. Later the DST and the Incubator where we operate from had invested. Subsequently, angelic individuals had also invested."
Abhijit came across many challenges in his journey. He says "The biggest challenge is to sustain for the long period that research demands, to carry on investing in time, money and efforts with the faith absolutely in place towards new invention and to offer the organic leadership to keep the team in place. It came naturally, from my past experiences, both in the Army and then in the civic background. I have always been a successful shareware developer, so I have been aware that if I can conceptualise something and start building it, eventually I have always finished."
As far as the mistakes are concerned Abhijeet says "People who are focused on research and invention do not show the same focus in pursuing sales related activities. The boring time consuming stuff that actually pays bills." But by making small progress evreyday Abhijit overcame it too.
The Ergonomist Society, UK acknowledged the arrival of CleverTexting as a first ergonomic keypad for the mobile phone in their member journal of March 2009. It was the cover story!
Luna Ergonomics is also amongst the finalists of the Economic Times – Power of Ideas, all India business plan contest and is also an invitee to the Microsoft Bizspark programme.
Panini Keypad was the winner of the Judges choice award at the Nokia Innovatios 2009 contest for being amongst the top ten mobile innovations in the category of Emerging Markets and Mobile Necessities.
Tips for budding Entrepreneurs
According to Abhijit India has few people who are capable of doing a technology evaluation with their own magnifying glasses.
Abhijit advices the coming entrepreneurs and says"If you want to excel as a research oriented company, which is the most rewarding kind of business, then the journey for that starts right from school. You would have to be a very conscientious student who paid attention to all the stuff and like Rancho, focused on learning and never the marks. You need to learn how to add two entirely different things to make a third thing and the gates will open."
YourStory wishes Abhijit Bhattacharjee all the best and hopes that his success gates remains open throught out his journey.