Category Archives: News

Pune’s Vivek Kulkarni, Architect at Persistent, publishes book on Theory of Computation

The Persistent Systems Blog has just published an article about Vivek Kulkarni, a Principal Architect at Persistent, who has published a book, “Theory of Computation” with Oxford university press.

Here is the description of the book:

The book begins with basic concepts such as symbols, alphabets, sets, relations, graphs, strings, and languages. It then delves into the important topics including separate chapters on finite state machine, regular expressions, grammars, pushdown stack, Turing machine, parsing techniques, Post machine, undecidability, and complexity of problems. A chapter on production systems encompasses a computational model which is different from the Turing model, called Markov and labelled Markov algorithms. At the end, the chapter on implementations provides implementation of some key concepts especially related to regular languages using C program codes. A highly detailed pedagogy entailing plenty of solved examples, figures, notes, flowcharts, and end-chapter exercises makes the text student-friendly and easy to understand.

Vivek has written 15 textbooks used in Indian colleges. His latest book is his first with an international publisher. More about his background:

He has more than 18 years of experience in academia and software industry. He has served as a subject chairman for multiple subjects for the Board of Computer Engineering, University of Pune. He has also worked in organizations such as BMC Software, Symantec Corporation, and Tech-Mahindra.

On how he got into writing textbooks:

In my 3rd year as a Computer Engineering student, I was studying Computational Theory and I couldn’t find any reputable Theory of Computationbooks in the market. 5 days prior to the final exam, I finally found a book. Despite being a tough read, I managed to study for the examination. In those 5 days I realized the importance of computational theory for any Computer Science graduate. As a result of this influence, I decided to take up teaching after graduation. My first job was at Cummins Engineering College in Pune, India where I taught only Computational Theory. Few years down the line, I also served as subject chairman on the Board of Computer Engineering, University of Pune.

In 1998, I published my first book on the subject and now with over 15 books on the subject used widely across throughout universities, I wanted to write a reference book, which would be followed by all the Computer Engineering/Science graduates across India and also as a reference book for those who would wish to learn the subject. I am extremely passionate about the subject and still very active as an academician. I voluntarily teach this subject to many engineering graduates from Pune.

And on how was it writing a book with a full-time job:

Hectic is the simple answer. I worked on all Saturdays and Sundays since August 2011 till March 2013, including holidays. Together with many other personal responsibilities, it was a tireless period.

Read the full article

Pune Becoming an Innovation Hub – Financial Times

Financial Times thinks that Pune is becoming an innovation hub.

The city’s economy (and real estate market) is now driven by the presence of two large and growing sectors: automotive manufacturing and information technology.

Why is the Pune story so compelling? First is the ecosystem already in place:

Willy Praet, a Belgian expat who moved to Pune nearly five years ago, is managing director of the India operations of Kongsberg Automotive, a Norwegian automotive components manufacturer. He says he found “the perfect supplier base for our products in Pune and the 50km area surrounding it.”

Second is the easy of recruitment, since we have over 40 engineering colleges:

“Also, the presence of engineering colleges makes recruitment easier.”

And, Bombay the financial and commercial capital of the country is very expensive and easily accessible via the expressway. It quotes Samir Patil, founder of on this point:

“We chose Pune because the cost of living is low, and the quality of life is high. Mumbai was unviable because the costs of living for the developers would have been too high and we wouldn’t have found the technology talent. And had we been in the US, we would not have been able to create this depth of technology with seed funding.”

And, Pune is also one of the top cities in India if you’re interested in design:

Hrridaysh Deshpande, the director for the DYPDC Centre for Automotive Research and Studies, agrees that Pune is poised to become a hub for innovation. “There are more than 70 design entrepreneurs, several design schools and many clients. We plan to apply for ‘world design capital’ status for Pune, to the International Council of Societies of Industrial Design.”

Obviously, there are challenges, the primary among them being the lack of infrastructure. The traffic, lack of public transport, and the lack of an international airport are cited. But, on this point, the article quotes builder Rohit Gera’s stoic approach to the city’s shortcomings:

“My definition of a developing nation is a place where people live before the infrastructure is in place,” he says, suggesting that it is only a matter of time before the roadblocks to growth are removed.

Read the full article

Pune’s AppSurfer covered by TechCrunch

Pune based startup AppSurfer, which allows Android app publishers to “publish” their apps on the web, so that buyers can try out the app in a browser before having to download it to their mobile phone, has just been covered by TechCrunch.

Here is an excerpt from the article:

Amazon’s Appstore for Android has long allowed consumers to test apps in the browser before purchase, but a new startup debuting now wants to offer an alternative. AppSurfer, as the company is called, has a bigger vision: it wants to become the “YouTube of Android apps.” Whether or not the company can get there is still an unknown, but there’s something interesting about this idea of making apps browser experiences which can be tried, tested, shared, run and embedded anywhere.

AppSurfer was first covered by PuneTech last year, when it was one of the companies selected to be part of the PuneConnect 2011 event. (It was called DroidCloud in those days.) As a result of being one of the top companies of PuneConnect 2011, they were invited by Economic Times’ ET Now TV Channel on their Super Angel Show. AppSufer went on to win at Super Angels show, getting Rs. 1cr of Angel Funding.

App developers interested in using AppSurfer technology can sign up here.

Global Mining Giant to invest $80 million on mining tech innovation center in Pune

Rio Tinto, one of the biggest mining companies in the world, announced the opening of an innovation center at iGate Patni in Pune, which will work towards developing next-generation technologies for mining. Rio Tinto expects to invest about $80 million on this initiative over the next five years.

Just to be clear, we are talking about real mining, the kind where you dig up the earth and extract minerals – not data mining. Software technology is becoming an increasingly important part of mining, and is used in all aspects of mining, including use of sophisticated data analysis and modeling to locate mining sites, analysis to make mining processes more efficient, and also to to improve mineral recovery, and automation to allow remote mining, underground tunneling.

According to the press release, the mining innovation center in Pune will have about 300 engineers focusing on disciplines such as image processing, advanced data mining and analytics, automation and control systems, human factors design and logistics.

This is just one more development that cements Pune’s position as one of the top destinations for technology development at the intersection of software and the “harder” engineering disciplines like manufacturing, mining, automobiles, computer aided design, and computer aided engineering.

QuickOffice Launches ‘Connect’ – Frontend Developed in Pune

QuickOffice, the mobile office/documents software company, has recently launched Connect by QuickOffice, which is an ambitious platform which allows users to synchronize their documents across all their devices (multiple mobiles), clouds (Dropbox, Google Docs, Microsoft SkyDrive), and computers (office computer, laptop, home desktop).

QuickOffice has an offshore development center in Pune (in Pune-based Synerzip), and this team has played a significant role in this project. Vishwesh Jirgale, Architect and Delivery Head for the Client-side of Connect by QuickOffice writes:

For past one and half year I led a team of passionate engineers for Quickoffice Pune ODC and finally Quickoffice launching their new product in market, Connect By Quickoffice, which will change the way you work.

The entire client side development (Android + iOS + Windows Desktop + Mac Desktop) happened out of Pune ODC where we had large team of DEV + QA.

For more information, see this article

Pune based RainingClouds (AppSurfer) get 1cr Angel Funding

Pune based software startup RainingClouds Technologies has just raised Rs. 1cr in angel funding from Vijay Shekhar Sharma, founder of One97 Communications. RainingClouds makes AppSurfer, which allows people to access any android app from any browser.

The funding happened as part of the Finale of the Super Angels show of ET Now. (We’ll update this post with a link to the video of this show once it appears on YouTube.) RainingClouds got into the Super Angels show as a result of being one of the winners of the PuneConnect 2011 event organized by PuneTech along with Software Exporters Association of Pune (SEAP) and Pune Open Coffee Club. (There, AppSurfer is referred to by its older name, DroidCloud).

Here is a description of DroidCloud from PuneConnect 2011:

DroidCloud allows users to try and use Android apps from any desktop web browser. Normally, applications intended for Android phones cannot be used by people who do not have an Android phone. DroidCloud gives every user a virtual Android phone in the cloud that they can use to run apps. This is useful for app developers to demo apps to clients, app publishers to show demo of apps to potential customers and users, and different teams in large organizations to collaborate on apps.

The DroidCloud team consists of Aniket Awati, Ratnadeep Deshmane, Amit Yadav and Akshay Deo, all techies from Pune.

Faster-than-light camera invented by MIT’s Ramesh Raskar (ex-Punekar)

Actually, the headline of this article contains a number of inaccuracies. First, the research is just by Ramesh Raskar, but is the work of a group of people, and Ramesh Raskar, Associated Professor at MIT’s Media Lab, and Director of the Camera Culture Group is one of the people in the group. Second, the camera (like everything else in the universe) is not faster than light; but what it does to is simulate the capture of a scene at trillions of frames per second, thus allowing it to capture things like light passing across a scene. Also, because of confusions in the past, I need to point out that we’re talking about the MIT in USA.

More details on the invention (which is actually done by cleverly bending light and then analyzing the results with a computer) can be found here

In any case, the question is, why is this article on PuneTech? Yes, Raskar is a Punekar – he did is engineering in COEP. However, so what? I am against the idea of Indians getting very excited about major achievements by people who grew up here, but really blossomed in environments outside of India.

However, Raskar continues to be relevant to Pune for the following reasons:

The last one I see as the most important, and far-reaching. Specifically, Dr. Raskar is interested in collaborating with individuals, entrepreneurs, companies, or institutions on at least two of his projects, if not more. Here are details:

  • He is hoping to see that his EyeNetra invention reaches the maximum number of people in India – specially rural India. EyeNetra is the handheld, android-based, cheap device to detect vision problems including lens prescription, astigmatism, and cataract. Raskar is looking to collaborate with someone in India who can make this happen – either as a for-profit enterprise, or as a social enterprise. For more details see this PuneTech post
  • He is hoping that some day, an event similar to MIT’s $100k Entrepreneurship Competition can be created in Pune in particular, or India in general. If there is someone here who can pull this off, Raskar would be able to support the initiative in various ways – including being involved himself, and trying to get people or groups from MIT to also be involved in some way.

Get in touch with Dr. Ramesh Raskar at: (or get in touch with us, and we can introduce you). (co-founded & developed in Pune) raises $40 million, an online ‘deals’ website specifically targeting ‘design’ items, and co-founded by True Sparrow Systems, has just closed a $40 million round of funding led by Andreessen Horowitz. started off as Fabulis, a social network for the gay community, but pivoted to a daily design deals site.

This is the second Pune-startup by Jason Goldberg, co-founder and CEO of Earlier, he had started social|median, again with True Sparrow Systems of Pune, and this had a successful exit to Xing in less than an year.

In general, Jason Goldberg seems to have perfected the art of co-founding a startup with a development team in fully in Pune. This is not outsourcing in the regular sense of the word; he works with Pune based True Sparrow to build a dedicated team for his startup, he works very closely with the team, involving them in the conceptualization, architecture and design of the product, and spends one week out of every 6 in Pune. For more details on how he does this, check out this PuneTech post from his social median days: How social|median is Developed out of Pune

In any case, the full article about’s funding is here

Pune’s 2011-2012 Budget Analysis by Janwani and Parisar

Pune is one of the few cities in the country that regularly and promptly publishes its annual budget on its website. Pune NGOs Janwani and Parisar have analysed the budget and published the analysis so that everybody can get a better idea of where our tax money is being spent.

You can download Janwani’s PMC Budget Booklet Edition here. (If you have trouble downloading from that link, try this page and you should see a link to the budget document somewhere on the page.)

You can also check out Parisar’s analysis of the budget.

Overall, while Pune gets good marks for making the budget available to the public, apparently, the budget is not easy to understand, and making sense of it requires a significant amount of further processing. Parisar has done exactly that.

Now the next step is to convince the authorities to publicize how the money is actually spent (as opposed to how they had planned on spending it).

Will Pubmatic be Pune’s First Software Product Company IPO?

Online ad optimization platform maker, PubMatic, which is developed wholly out of Pune, has just hired Steve Pantelick, a CFO who specializes in preparing companies for an IPO, reports VC Circle.

Earlier, Business Insider ran a story claiming that Pubmatic had gotten an offer of $300 million from Amazon, but turned it down in favor of going for an IPO.

Pubmatic is doing extremely well, as seen in this excerpt from the VC Circle article:

PubMatic acquired ReviNet, a US-based advertising optimisation company in May this year. It recently expanded to Europe and launched more data management and mobile products. Its GAAP revenue has risen 33 times in the past two years and by 51 per cent between the second and the third quarter of this fiscal year.

While Pubmatic is technically US-based, it has two co-founders who are in Pune (Mukul Kumar and Anand Das), and all of its development happens in Pune (with the exception of the ReviNet acquisition).

If Pubmatic does indeed go for an IPO, it will the first mostly-Pune-based software product company to do so. While last year’s Persistent IPO was many years in the making, Pubmatic is just 5 years old, and will be a great source for inspiration for technology startups in Pune.

Pubmatic has been one of PuneTech’s favorite Pune startup companies, and we’ve been covering it (see here and here) since our first month of operation in 2008. We wish it good look, and hope that this is just a first in the series of Pune IPOs

Update: Reader V. Krishna points out Kale Consultants was probably Pune’s first software product IPO. Kale Consultants provides solutions to the airline and travel industry, and has a mix of products and services, so it is indeed, arguably, Pune’s first Software Product Company IPO.)