BANGALORE: Innomedia Technologies Pvt. Ltd., a Bangalore-based R&D unit of Reliance ADA group, has without preamble laid off 110 full-time and contract employees.
The company had been developing set-top-box, CHOISpad, which could deliver IPTV, video-on-demand, Internet, IP telephony and video serving facility.
Innomedia was founded in 1996 by Mohan Tambe, an alumni of IIT Kanpur and a distinguished inventor. Reliance ADA acquired 55% of Innomedia in 1999 and later increased its stake.
Innomedia was also developing a patented remote control, which would have been a handy device to watch TV, browse web, transfer video files and make VOiP phone calls.
Sources told TNIE that on March 19, 2009, Mohan Tambe, MD, Innomedia, informed employees that due to economic downturn Reliance had decided to layoff employees.
A senior engineer, who had worked for more than 6 years at the firm, said the layoffs marked the effective closure of the company and was a “double tragedy”.
“Reliance holds the IP for all the work done by us. No body knows what they plan to do with it,” he said.
For Mohan Tambe, Innomedia layoffs mark a crushing reversal in an otherwise spectacular career. He invented GIST (Graphics & Indian Script Technology) technology, which has become a popular package for Indian languages.
He also developed the ISCII standard for encoding of all the Indian scripts, and has eight patents relating to GIST.
Tambe invented LIPS (Language Independent Programme Subtitles/Dubbing), which is used by Doordarshan.
His citizen ID card technology was used to make ID cards for voters.
Tambe declined to comment when contacted. When approached by TNIE, a Reliance spokesperson said: “The company has centralized and consolidated the R&D and product innovation functions to its state-of-the-art technology innovation centre at Mumbai. The consolidation of these functions would further enhance our cutting-edge in developing significant differentiators as we rollout our new products and services. In line with the best practices, a large proportion of intellectual capital has relocated to Mumbai, while some have opted for other options at the same location."