The market for Aadhaar-enabled devices is about INR 2.5 billion. The opportunity to cater to new as well as replacement systems is tremendous. While we as a nation contemplate opportunities for Aadhaar, global leaders like Satya Nadella are quite optimistic and excited about the possibilities that it will enable.
In his book Hit Refresh, Nadella mentioned, “Aadhaar now has scaled to over one billion people, rivalling the growth of other platform innovations such as Windows, Android or Facebook.” He praised creation of the new digital ecosystem IndiaStack. IndiaStack is a set of application programming interfaces (APIs) that allows governments, businesses, startups and developers to utilise a unique digital Infrastructure to solve India’s problems of presence-less, paperless and cashless services delivery.
Recently, central government has mandated all government institutions to adhere to Aadhaar-enabled biometric attendance system (AEBAS). The main intent behind the move is to increase productivity of employees. The system authenticates attendance using Aadhaar number created by Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI).
Till date, only 10 per cent government organisations have started marking attendance on AEBAS. Most government organisations look forward to inviting bid proposals and choose the best suited option for AEBAS. They are looking for reliable vendors to provide a complete solution for enforcement.
Presently, various companies are offering Aadhaar kits, but there is still a huge potential for new players to join the course. Matrix offers Cosec Vega Faxq, which is designed for Aadhaar-enabled attendance marking. It is perhaps the only embedded Linux-based attendance device available in the Indian market as of now. The system user can directly show RFID card, that is Mifare Smart, and provide fingerprint.
Benefits of a cloud-based attendance system
The Indian government has decided to go for a robust and centralised attendance management system that offers easy access, easy scalability and uniformity in architecture while costing less.
To avail these benefits, the concerned government organisation will have to register with the AEBAS server. Employees’ attendance on AEBAS server will be linked with UIDAI server. Attendance will be taken using the user’s unique Aadhaar number and biometric credentials.
Authentication process. Companies like Braintech Services provide iris and fingerprint scanners as part of their UID kit. Ravish, managing director of Braintech Services, shares, “Being a provider of biometric attendance solutions, we foresee AEBAS to emerge as the biggest opportunity in the segment ever. All government organisations are adopting the system as they are getting the required infrastructure as soon as they get clearance from the concerned nodal officer.”
Daman Singh, managing director of MindTech Solutions, adds, “Government buildings are looking to install multiple systems at their every entry gate. Kits are being retailed at 60,000 to 70,000 rupees per unit to organisations, generating up to 40 per cent profit for the vendor.”
The investment required
“The business investment isn’t a major concern, it is about getting your system approved and registered with UIDAI for AEBAS usage by the government body. Once that is taken care of, one may begin with an initial investment of approximately three million rupees. However, the investment cost varies depending on a lot of factors like the quality of product, the inventory to be maintained, whether the land infrastructure is owned or rented, etc,” adds Daman. “I personally feel that vendors who have an experience in dealing with biometric attendance systems will definitely have an edge.”
There are various devices that support AEBAS, and different organisations are choosing to install different systems ranging from desktops to laptops.
“Government organisations and employees need to register themselves on attendance.gov.in. This is an online platform created by central government whereby we can see real-time attendance data of government bodies. Once they have registered, they just need to install any biometric device of their choice and provide connectivity either through Wi-Fi, LAN, PoE (power over ethernet) or mobile broadband. These devices can then communicate with the central server, that is AEBAS. So the process is simple yet efficient,” shares Het Vaghela of Matrix.
Government organisations with over 210 million employees offer immense growth potential. At the same time, solution providers are optimistic about use of AEBAS in private organisations as well. The initiative is drawing encouragement from various stakeholders as it is a part of Digital India initiative.
—Nidhi Arora, executive editor, EFY