City-based Chennai Kavigal, an IT software developer in regional languages, mainly in Tamil, is developing a complete suite of office package, code named Sakthi, which is to be launched in a couple of months.
"The first-of-its-kind product in the Indian regional language software market would hit the road with Tamil version initially, and Hindi, Telugu, Bengali and Malayalam editions are to follow up based on the market potential," said Manoj Annadurai, Director, Chennai Kavigal. "All these editions would be in bi-lingual with English as a compulsory language and our main aim is to bring down the Microsoft market in this segment."
The product intends to fight Microsoft brands on price. The company plans to release the package for Rs 2,500 only. "We are looking at further reductions in sale price or even giving free-of-cost to certain institutions and departments provided we get some sponsorship from the State government," said
The complete suite of office package include Padhami (word processor), Keni (DBMS program), Nadodi (browser), Minnal (email manager) and Thuurigai (imaging software) etc. "We also have spreadsheet, scheduler and HTML/ASP editor applications in the suite, which are yet to be given Tamil names," he said.
Although the product is very similar to Microsoft office package, it has some advanced features in certain modules, according to the company. "In Thuurigai, we have provided some advanced tools for the users (features included from Paintshop Pro and Photoshop) which are not available in MS Paint generally," claimed Annadurai. The other features in this section include pre-loaded multiple effects on pictures, thumbnail browser, filters etc.
The spreadsheet program gives users the option of typing formulae in Tamil and it has an extensive set of functions. It supports four keyboard layout, including Tamilnet 99 standards, and even sorting function is available in Tamil. While fields and tables can be created in Tamil in DBMS program, apart from queries typed in Tamil, data from other sources could be imported directly in the same format. "We are also upgrading the browser and email manager, and HTML/ASP editor has some wizard functions for easy creation of webpages even by first-timers without any hassle," he expressed.
The package would be launched on 14 April 2001 to coincide with Tamil New Year's day and the company will be promoting the product through its existing channel network, apart from bundling with OEM vendors. "We are planning to approach Wipro, HCL, Compaq, IBM, Zenith, HP etc for better reach in the market," he said. Presently, the software is based on Win32 OS and "Once we launch our Idham platform, this software will be available on that."
The company plans to sell over 10,000 packages in the next one year. Chennai Kavigal has done a business of Rs 50 lakh in the last fiscal and hopes to close the current fiscal (ending 31st March 2001) with a turnover of Rs 60 lakh.