This is an incident that clearly shows how cut-throat and competitive the eLearning industry has become in India. As smaller companies fight to survive and retain clients, some are resorting to questionable practices in their quest for a share of the pie. Mr. Samir Inamdar is not a stranger to this industry, having first worked with Maximize Learning (subsequently aquired by Techbooks/Aptara) and then having joined Brainvisa (subsequently aquired by Indecomm Global Services) before moving on to start his own eLearning company by the name of Enthuse Technologies.
"The cyber crime cell of the city police on Saturday arrested Samir Inamdar on charges of violation of copyright laws allegedly leading to a loss of Rs 100 cr to a city-based e-learning firm.
According to a press release by the police, Inamdar had been dismissed from Brainvisa in 2006 and formed his own e-learning company subsequently. However, he illegally retained possession of Brainvisa's product demonstrations and their source codes, and later tried to pass these off as his company's products to potential clients.
Inamdar's lawyer and friend refuted the charges, saying that he was "innocent" and was "being framed".
According to a press release issued by Brainvisa, Inamdar was employed in key positions in Brainvisa Technologies Pvt Ltd, Pune and Brainvisa Inc, US. During his stint in the company, he had access to its products, demonstrations, source codes, proprietary data and confidential information. After being dismissed from service, he illegally copied this data and information.
The press release further said that Inamdar then started his own e-learning company, Enthuse Technologies Pvt Ltd. The Brainvisa management recently learnt that Inamdar and his associates had uploaded product demonstrations originally developed by them, along with their source code, on Enthuse's official website. Inamdar was allegedly soliciting clients by passing off the products as Enthuse's own, the press release stated.
Brainvisa expects to potentially suffer business losses to the tune of US $ 9.5 million annually as a result, the release added. The company has pegged the value of the intellectual property and confidential information allegedly in Inamdar's possession at US $ 500,000."
UPDATE - 24, JUNE, 2009 - Asma Thorve, ex-Vice President of Brainvisa also arrested by Pune police for providing Brainvisa data to Samir Inamdar. More here.
UPDATE - 4, DEC, 2010 - Brainvisa case: Court partly rejects discharge plea. More here.