Ravi Nataraju ( Photo courtesy: The China Post)
Ravi Nataraju ( Photo courtesy: The China Post)
The common image of an Indian in Taiwan is that of a trader or a teacher. But Ravi Nataraju, a Bangalorian settled in Taiwan for the last year and a half, has established a unique tech-based business in Taiwan that has conflicted the stereotype and gone to show how Indian talent and enterprise can also help shape the future of Taiwan and the world.

Nataraju has come up with an innovative idea to build smart cities and create a citizen-government interface. He founded his company ThinkTank without any Taiwanese partner, a one of its kind in Taiwan. In his venture help came from Orange, a French company and one of the world's largest telecom operators.

In layman's language Nataraju's company gives voice to citizens, employees, students and others and acts as a mediator between the top and bottom of the social pyramid. ThinkTank creates artificial intelligence ecosystem for smart cities and specializes in smart-life technologies. Their target customers are government and businesses and they help the voices of ordinary citizens, employees, customers, etc. to reach the government with full anonymity.

For this Nataraju has created software called CLAPPIO and users just have to click the campaign url. Even the government cannot track the users. His company has created another application EXIT which combines MRT (Taiwan’s Metro) exit directions and other special features to inform users of the correct MRT exit at stations.

Nataraju, who is married to a Taiwanese woman Hsiao-shan Shen, told The Indian Diaspora: “As a foreigner it took me a longer time to register my company in Taiwan, and running this programme without knowing Chinese in Taiwan is difficult. However I have managed to make friends to overcome this barrier and having a Taiwanese life partner helped me understand the nitty gritties of the Taiwanese business ethics.
 
 

Poster of 'ThinkTank' in an exhibition in Taiwan

Poster of 'ThinkTank' in an exhibition in Taiwan

Nataraju is among the growing Indian diaspora in Taiwan who have achieved phenomenonal success. His company has just completed one year in Taiwan (https://www.facebook.com/events/1600975670229694/?active_tab=posts) and has two paying clients for their consulting service while managing to win some leads from Japanese and French governments for their products.

 

His company has come up with some unique competitions like: HACKNTU-2015the top 3 most popular hack by audience vote; IDEAS SHOW 2015, the Top 20 ideas for Taiwan; Ideas-Show-X-Fukuoka-2016, the Top 10 team, Fukuoka, Japan. Asia-Beat-2016: top 10 team artworks, Xiamen, China, Smart City & IOT Summit/Expo, Taipei: top-5 team, Orange FAB Asia, IDEAS SHOW+ 2016: Top 12 teams for Taiwan. By participating and winning in these competitions, they are trying to get a global advantage for Taiwan and also display their commitment to friendly, creative, innovative and growth-related activities working as a team.

 

People like Nataraju, among the 2000 odd Indians in Taiwan, are helping India-Taiwan (India has no diplomatic ties with Taiwan) relations by not only contributing to visible economic gains but also bringing cultures together harmoniously.

 

(Namrata Hasija is an Independent Researcher. She can be contacted at hasija.namrata@gmail.com)

 
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