By Annie Mathew, Director, Alliances & Business Development, BlackBerry, India
BlackBerry (NASDAQ: BBRY) is provider of wireless communications solutions. Headquartered in Waterloo, the company has a current market cap of $5.72 billion.
Technological innovation in connectivity and mobility, combined with new Government's 'Make in India' campaign, is giving way to various businesses in India to develop tools that will benefit the world.India is currently the most lucrative market, especially in terms of the Start-Up community. Unprecedented growth in this segment, across verticals, from application development to ICs in the internet of things space has caught undivided attention from VCs and large conglomerates across geographies.
Specifically aiming towards increased development and continuous support in this segment, in May 2013 we partnered with the Start Up village, Kochi to set up an innovation center called Rubus Labs. The aim of setting up the innovation centre was to motivate and assist young Indian entrepreneurs to create innovative applications and provide them with the technological expertise. Most recently, BlackBerry in association with Startup village, organized an online internship which saw more than 1500 student applicants, of which 80 were selected. During this 3-month online internship programme, interns were trained on application development. 40 high quality applications were uploaded to BlackBerry World by the developers. And we are glad that few of these applications are successful, and doing well on BlackBerry World with good number of downloads & associated revenue. Building on the success of Rubus Labs, we have also recently announced out plans to extend the expertise to the Start-Up Village in Vizag.
In addition to the Startup Village, BlackBerry also undertakes various activities across India to strengthen the developer ecosystem. These include:
1. Along with the Kerala Developer Group we have initiated an ongoing internship program called BlackBerry STEP (Student Technical Enhancement Programme). The programme aims at enhancing technical skills of students so they are able to develop and publish high quality BlackBerry 10 applications. As a part of the programme, 50 students participate in regular meetups to learn more about application development for BlackBerry 10 platform
2. Frequently host initiatives like Hackathons, BlackBerry 10 Jam, Developer Group Meetups, BASE (BlackBerry Apps by Student Entrepreneurs) and Hangout Internship Programmes
3. We also recently launched the BlackBerry' Enterprise Partner Program with the aim of increased focus on enterprise ecosystem. As participants, partners can register at partner.blackberry.com, and raise their solution credibility by leveraging the industry-leading
secure enterprise mobility platform. They also gain access to the tools and resources that help build their expertise, expand their business opportunities and realize their full potential. The program is open to organizations of all sizes who create enterprise apps and solutions that leverage the BlackBerry platform.
Our current offering is aimed at enterprise-focused Independent Software Vendors (ISVs), System Integrators, Professional Service Providers and Corporate Developers.With the new government promoting start-ups, there is a new window where BlackBerry and the government can/have come together for helping the start-up ecosystem.
BlackBerry's India Story - Way Forward
In present times, BlackBerry has played a very crucial and important role in connecting the dots to deliver true value. We are uniquely positioned to work with all the stakeholders who need to come together to convert an app into a viable and impactful solution. An example of this is our approach towards the healthcare industry, we worked with Dr. Pavan who heads telemedicine at Nanavati hospitals and application developer SI UST Global to make a series of telemedicine solution.
Also, we work with medical device manufacturer Maestros Mediline to bring tele ECG on BlackBerry; with Mapmygenome to make molecular diagnostics available to the BlackBerry consumer; with Digit secure to make money transfer through BBM possible and so on. These are areas that impact a consumer's life directly, as much it enhances the digital capability of an industry as a whole. We are proud of what we've achieved in India and are working on multiplying the impact through newer technology areas like IoT and others.
As India goes digital, BlackBerry will continue to work towards enabling the startups with the latest technology, tech support and devices to build world class solutions/applications.