Pivot! Pivot! How Indus OS Changed its Fate by Building India’s Largest Android App Store

Pivot! Pivot! How Indus OS changed its fate by building India's largest android app store

We sat down with Lead Engineer at Indus OS, Joshua Britto to talk about Indus OS, his team, and the work they do. His inputs have been included here to give you a clear view of what happened, happens, and will happen at Indus OS.

Depending on how old you are, the words “Pivot! Pivot!” may bring back memories of a certain Ross Geller from the American sitcom Friends.

Ross and his friends were trying to get a sofa to their apartment by taking the stairs. In order to successfully navigate the too-narrow-for-a-sofa staircase, Ross shouts “Pivot! Pivot!” to his co-laborer, Chandler. In exasperation, Chandler tells him to “Shut up! Shut up!”.

The point of this story is to warm you up to another pivoting tale, not of a sofa, but of a tech company (but don’t tell us to shut up please).

What Happened: Indus OS’s Pivot

Pivoting a business is not uncommon in the corporate world. According to one venture capitalist, 17 out of the 26 companies he invested in wholly or partially changed the direction of their business.

Famous products like Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, etc. were not what they are today at first.

Similarly, Indus OS also faced a pivoting conundrum almost a decade ago. The company built India’s first OS that powered many Indian smartphones like Micromax and Karbonn. We were the second largest OS in India after Android and ahead of iOS and the now defunct Windows phones.

But once Chinese smartphones entered the market, we fell behind.

We were at a crossroads. Our organization had to make a choice. But the pivoting conundrum was not a conundrum in truth. The next step was quite clear already. We had to direct all our energies on our app store, Indus App Bazaar. It was self-evident that should be our next step because Indus App Bazaar was already gaining traction with our users.

What is Happening: The Work on Indus App Bazaar

The vision that Indus OS has for Indus App Bazaar is one that would take all our focus.

The app store is not meant only for those who are used to smartphones or technology, but it’s built to aid the not-so-tech-savvy persons. The goal is to not only reach users in the big cities but also the Tier II and Tier III cities. The aim is to break the language barrier too. That is why Indus App Bazaar is available in 12 regional languages apart from English.

To date, we’ve amassed 200+ million users and onboarded more than 4 lakh apps.

However, the work continues. Developers like Joshua Britto and his team are constantly working on fine-tuning the app store so that it delivers quality to our users. If you asked him what it feels like working in an uncharted market, you would expect things to be tense. But that isn’t the case. With alacrity, he would tell you that the work environment here is friendly, cheerful, and encouraging. As a team lead, he instills values like honesty and a mindset of continuous learning and improvement.

The tech used regularly is a highlight of the learning process. Today, they use tools like Android Studio, Confluence, GitHub, JIRA, etc, and pretty soon they’ll adopt Kotlin for Android development. Additionally, his team works with many other departments like the Data Team and Product Team to get things to the next level.

The work behind an Indian app store is relatively in its exploratory stage yet it’s fulfilling and exciting work. 

What Will Happen: The Future of Alternative App Stores

Alternative app stores can deliver the benefits of mobile apps to a population that does not speak the internet’s common tongue, English. Moreover, alternative app stores give developers a fair crack at revenue generation without restrictions they would otherwise face.

No one’s really working on building an app store in India even though there is a need for one that is language localized, personalized to deliver relevant content, and free and fair to all its partners.

We at Indus OS took a chance at building one and it changed our fate. Those who stuck by us are reaping the benefits of success. Those who joined later have embarked on a fulfilling journey. Those who may join us can expect their contributions to make an impact.

Even so, we carry on. Feel free to join us.

P.S. We’re hiring now and we’ve got multiple positions open. Click the link to find a good fit for you: https://bit.ly/3Oz2ylj

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