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National Instruments bets on education sector, SMBs for growth

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National Instruments (NI) today said it is betting big on the 3,500-strong approved engineering colleges in as well as the small and medium business (SMBs) for growth in India.

The US-headquartered firm today unveiled VirtualBench, an all-in-one device that integrates a function generator, mixed signal oscilloscope, digital multimeter, programmable DC power supply and digital I/O. Users can use the VirtualBench through software applications that run on PCs and iPads.

"VirtualBench can be an ideal tool for students and teachers as it gives them the advantage of using five instruments in a single device and that too on the desktop as well as a tablet," NI Leader (Emerging Markets Marketing) Joel Shapiro told PTI.

Besides, it can be of great use to the SMBs due to its huge utility value and compelling price, he added.

VirtualBench is available worldwide for USD 1,999 and in India it is priced at Rs 1,38,000. The VirtualBench app for iPad will be available in the App Store later this summer.

Describing the firm's strategy in India, NI Marketing Head (India, Russia and Arabia) Abhay Samant said the focus of the company is on engineering colleges with about 2 lakh laboratories, which is a great opportunity.

"Not just this, there are around 3,500 AICTE approved engineering colleges in India and that is where we are looking at VirtualBench," he added.

The company's long term goal is to create a chain comprising of educational institutions, start-ups and SMBs and work closely with them, he added.

"We also work directly with large firms as well as start-ups and at the same time go to educational institutions to educate the teachers and students about our latest technology," Samant said.

VirtualBench takes up minimal space on a desktop or benchtop and simplifies instrument configuration through consistent, Shapiro said.

Besides, it has a user-friendly interface and offers new capability and convenience with a consolidated view of multiple instruments, visualisation on larger displays and quick functionality to save data and screenshots, he added.

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