The $35 Tablet Project Hits a Roadblock – Tender Cancelled

We recently wrote a reminder post on the famous $35 tablet, which was supposed to launch in January, 2011 and it seems the project has hit a roadblock.

The tender for the project has been cancelled, as HCL Infosytems (which got the contract) failed to deposit INR 60 Crore (for bank guarantee).

‘A bank guarantee indemnifies the government in case a vendor fails to deliver the project. As a result, MHRD cancelled the previous order and has re-advertised’.[source].

While the real reasons aren’t yet known, it’s quite obvious (and we have said this earlier as well) that $35 tablet is not a $35 tablet – the cost is way too high and the price is subsidized by the government. Vendors will find it difficult to meet the pricing and expect more friction.

What’s your opinion? Can Indian government really take up a massive project like this and deliver ? Projects like these involve cutting through the bureaucracy/politics and we only hope that we get to see Sakshat tablet in 2011.

Lesson for startups – There is a huge difference between a PoC (Proof of Concept) and getting the product out. Cliche, but execution is the key.