From seed to sapling

Author : Achala Meddegama

Dr. Alex Lin from Infocomm Investments quoted some interesting figures about start-ups at the inaugural APICTA business forum (2015). A ‘start-up’ is a newly established business. Silicon valley big boys such as Facebook, Uber and much closer to home WS02, were once start-ups, and we ESOFT Technologies are one today. Coming back to the story, a recent study by NUS found 81% of IT based degree students wanted to begin or be part of a start-up, yet after 03 years from graduation only 1.3% had ventured starting up.

These figures had tallied in most ASEAN countries they had cross checked. It was found it is catalytic to be a wage earning professional e.g. as a banker rather than go through the stress of creating something on one’s own. It was also fascinating when he said, ‘well all the established companies need regular shoes filled’. These countries offered so much support which include millions in start-up funds that are hardly being used… . Hopefully, I saw the new budget carries something about start-up support and IT parks to foster growth of new companies. ET too submitted budget proposals this year. We want to actively be a part of #buildSL.

I was lucky. My ambition to start something good for Sri Lanka has so far paid off. Initially, I had written about my ideas to a couple of prospective investors but failed to attract their attention.

Esoft Technolgies Private Ltd. Logo

ETs’ logo is made up of ‘et’ spelled over each other. an continuum of sorts.

I shared my ideas with someone whom I knew to be a true entrepreneur. An icon of the ICT sector in Sri Lanka and the region, Dr. Dayan Rajapkse. I had first met him during my undergraduate days where I was fortunate to be a student of his on Theory of Computer Science. It was late 2013 when I sent him a single page proposal with the idea for a local tour booking engine. One that was unique in more than a few ways which would allow both local and foreign tourists to enjoy the best hospitality in the world via a home grown product.

When we got together, we talked about innovation. And the theme of innovation driven enterprise (IDE) entered our bustling minds. We got in Shageevan as our CTO, a young and enthusiastic technophile whom I had met during an earlier assignment. He was a guy who could create a perfect product. He could do the pitch, development and do business. We were thrilled to get him on board.

Our plan was simple. Engage a small but dedicated team who are outstanding in their fields. Start rolling out a few products that offered us the ability to venture into blue oceans using bleeding edge technologies and standard ones that would do the trick. That’s it…

Team ET wanted to create products and services in 03 major sectors being

  1. e-commerce (Booking engine, Travel and tourism, Travel services)
  2. IoT (Smart Hardware, Business Intelligence, APIs, HRM)
  3. Unified communications over SIP (VoIP, CRM integrations, enterprise communications, IP-PBX, Call centre).

We had great products in mind and we were determined to develop them. Nevertheless, it was not all highs, there were lows as well, there still are and we are happily… on top of them.

So here’s the answer to the critics’ question: So how is ET different? We present 03 solutions that are either niche services, are cutting edge, practical and above all are innovative. - Sri Lanka Travel and Tourism comes with a promise of the smoothest booking process you can experience. And you get the best rates and deals with us. Coming soon is an impressive Android app. and more services you simply cannot do without for any trip.

Cloud time attendance and access control device

Supply chain management and manufacturing in progress. Pre-orders taken now.

This IoT Time attendance and access control device is something we are really proud of; we are one of the few Sri Lankan companies with the ability to design and build our own hardware and software as PCBs  + embedded systems. Our electronics engineers do amazing work, they work with me to create APIs through which data is accessible free of charge to our customers, or hosted on their own local or cloud servers. They tackle ICs and optimize code on micro-controllers running few KBs of RAM as easily as we tackle verbose code on multi core processors. From where we were just one and a half years ago, it is mind bending to say the least.

We named this Hello call centre recently. It’s robust, easy to integrate with your MISs and CRMs, helps you manage calls with ques, logs, recordings, round-robin and a boat load of cool features. Coming next is a cloud PBX on subscription basis.

That’s a pretty long story made short as possible. Do keep us in mind for your other ICT requirements including bespoke software, mobile and embedded requirements as well. We are proud to be Sri Lankan, genuinely give our 100% and a bit more to ‘our customers who we consider to be a part of our family’. ESOFT Technologies ~ doing it right.

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