OCR Engines

We use OCR extensively. It’s a vital first stage for textual analysis. For desktop applications we’ve found Foxit Phantom and Abby Finereader to perform well, but neither are ideal for an automated workflow.   Ideally we would prefer a minimalist solution, either a command line tool or a software library  (Python is our weapon of choice here).  We like tesseract for English language OCR…but we haven’t had satisfactory results for Chinese or Tamil script.  What are our options here?