Newsweek Cover Story on Novatium

Newsweek (International Editions) feature the $100 PC on their cover, with a major focus on Novatium and what we are doing.

If Rajesh Jain is successful, the NetTV, which hooks up to any television, could be the first in a family of devices that connect the next billion people to the Internet. Jain, 39, is cofounder and chairman of Novatium, the Chennai-based company that makes NetTV and NetPC, a similar product that uses a normal computer monitor. Both are based on cheap cell-phone chips and come without the hard-disk drive, extensive memory and prepackaged software that add hundreds of dollars to the cost of regular PCs. Instead, they are little more than a keyboard, a screen and a couple of USB portsand use a central network server to run software applications and store data. Novatium already sells the NetPC for only $100just within reach of India’s growing middle classand Jain believes he can soon drive the price down to $70.

Despite [India’s] rise as an outsourcing hub, PCs are selling slowlyfar more slowly than mobile phones or motorbikesbecause they are too expensive, too complicated to use and too difficult to maintain. What people have been waiting for, some experts think, is a new approach to computing that boils the essence of Internet access down to its lowest costand lowest risk. Jain plans to offer all this in lease deals that include easy-to-use hardware, Internet connection, application software and servicefor $10 a month.

In case you’d like to write to me, email me at You can also email Alok Singh, the Novatium CEO, at

PS: My son, Abhishek, is also featured in one of the photos. His father took 30+ years to feature in a Time/Newsweek (Time did a story on me in early 2000), while he has managed it in less than 2!

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Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.