Sachira Fernando is a self-proclaimed collaborator when it comes to the tech industry in Sri Lanka. He has involved himself in many projects concerning technology, with his latest venture being an app known as NicNac, and it has got Colombo buzzing.
We sat down with him to talk about NicNac and his other ventures.
What is NicNac?
NicNac is an anything on demand platform. I would say it’s like your digital butler. It will get anything done for you from your groceries to your food deliveries to your lunch, breakfast, dinner to your laundry done and running errands, pretty much anything.
How do you think life has prepared you to run NicNac?
For me, I want everything done in the easiest way possible and business is anyway about solving a problem in society. Around the solution, you are building a monetization model to make a business. So I think my laziness in getting here and there would have eventually led me to building an app like this so that I could always seek convenience.
What kind of customers make your client base?
Our existing market is 75 percent female and the rest is male.
What are the other ventures under your belt?
Erbanlab is the other company, basically what it does is, it focuses on developing tech startups and selling them. We also develop tech products for other startups and if they want anything done, they come to us and we have the consultation programme and we run them through that and we get their stuff done. We also have an ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) known as Sense Cloud.
You recently visited Barcelona, Spain. Could you tell us a little about that?
It was the Mobile World Congress and we were basically selected to exhibit there. In Barcelona we were exhibiting Sense Cloud. We had done some tweaks to it and introduced new features to it.
One good thing we learnt about as a Sri Lankan start up eco system is that we are way below the average standard, when compared to the Asian startups and the European and American startup cultures there. In addition to being an exhibitor, it was a good experience for me and the other startups who were there because we kind of figured out where we were as a country and where we stand as an ecosystem and how far we have to go and what sort of steps we have to take for the next five years or so.
Could you tell us about Sense Cloud?
Sense Cloud is an ERP which basically handles your customers, inventory and does your accounts and finances. Everything can be done using this software. You can run an entire business through this software.
Do you have any role models in life?
Yeah I do. Basically in terms of design and entrepreneurship in the international arena I follow Steve Jobs a lot. Because I believe that I sink up with most of his visions. And locally Dr. Harsha Subasinghe who is an investor of NicNac. I really look up to him in terms of his business style so I would say these are the two main role models I have in the business.
Finally, if you have one piece of advice to give to the youth, what would it be?
Well I would say, do not follow anyone, do not follow your parents, your sisters, brothers or your friends. Just be yourself and do whatever you want to do and ultimately you might fail in the middle but still you’ll be happy doing something you love. And sometimes it may turn the other way around and you may be successful.
By Sahla Ilham Abu-Bakr