Huawei app

“Huawei App Gallery: In the center of the scene for emerging application developers” – Dhanika Perera- Bhasha – Adaderana Biz Français

As a country that produces very talented individuals in many fields, Sri Lanka has experienced a digital boom in recent years with many budding entrepreneurs and startups moving to ICT and IT service companies. Over the past decade, many digitization initiatives have been carried out with the support and recognition of government institutions. Having recognized the importance of generating digital infrastructure, government institutions and stakeholders have led laudable initiatives that have produced long-term results. These initiatives gave young people enough space to release their innovations freely.

Innovation goes hand in hand with the development of applications. In recent years, a wave of new apps has emerged which has also seen the rise of many app developers and a strong community. People with futuristic visions who imagined the rapid disruption of smartphones, have embarked on the development of applications or as we call applications to improve the experience and ease of use. There are key people who clearly identified the urgent needs and introduced innovations to the market.

One of those people is Dhanika Perera, Founder and CEO of Bhasha Lanka (Pvt) Ltd, who started her career in app development in 2011 focusing on her passion for creating meaningful innovations. Its widely recognized app, Helakuru, drastically changed the way Sri Lankans used smartphones, as its new technology allowed users to type Sinhala on smartphones. The Helakuru app has positively impacted over five million Sri Lankans, allowing them to express themselves with the luxury of using Sinhala, which for most Sri Lankans is the native language.

Here is an excerpt from an interview with Dhanika Perera where he describes how disruptive technologies and changing environments give way to application innovations.

Q: What are your innovations in terms of technology?

A: Our flagship app is Helakuru which is now a super versatile app that offers different kinds of digital services to uplift the digital lifestyle of Sri Lankans. Initially, it met the most basic need of Sri Lankans to express themselves in their native language and as a result, it gained enormous popularity as an innovative brand that immediately won people’s hearts. Now we have been able to serve millions of people with the Helakuru brand and we are continuously working to bring more innovative digital services to the same market.

With innovations like Helakuru, we were able to fill in the market gaps that solved real world problems that people were facing, before anyone else. Unlike most other IT companies, we have solved the issues of our own staff having our own local taste as a strength, targeting the local market. The world-class quality we have delivered with our innovative, locally tasting products has led us to such acclaim.

Q: How important is innovation to a local application developer?

A: Innovation is the key to gaining competitive advantage in order to stay ahead and win the game. If you think differently, you can see society’s problems as opportunities. Such thinking allows you to come up with innovative products to solve these problems. It was our strategy from the start and it was also the key to our success.

In terms of IT services, Sri Lanka is ahead globally, but we need to pay more attention to the development of IT products that have greater capacity to contribute to GDP and economic growth. In this case, app stores provide a great opportunity for innovators to bring their innovations to the world. Now with app stores anyone can promote their apps and become a professional app developer.

Information technology is an area where innovations find a voice, which is why I encourage young people to embrace this area and reap the maximum benefits from it.

Q: As an innovator, what do you think of disruptions like the Huawei mobile services (HMS) introduced?

A: Technology changes rapidly and it is essential for any business to come up with innovations. HMS for me is a huge space for users and developers with its highly customizable features.

As app developers, we always like to embrace disruptive technologies. I see app stores as a huge disruptor in the software market because they allow any app developer to distribute their products around the world without hassle. Huawei, which offers its own app store, makes this opportunity even greater.

This is a huge opportunity for developers and ultimately it also makes life easier for people by having access to millions of apps that they can use for their daily needs. This new platform will significantly influence Sri Lankan consumers to get the most out of their Huawei devices.

Q: How is the entire Huawei App Gallery and HMS experience so far with Helakuru and what can we expect from you in the future?

A: In terms of performance, HMS is smooth and easy to use, especially the Huawei App Gallery which allows easy access to millions of app downloads. So far our apps have run smoothly on HMS and as app developers this is what we expect at the end of the day. Publishing our apps on Huawei’s new platform was seamless and I’m happy to say that now Helakuru is also available on Huawei App Gallery, making it easy for any Sri Lankan Huawei user to download Helakuru for free. We are working closely with Huawei Mobile Services to improve the user experience for Helakuru users and we continue to identify consumer needs and develop versatile applications suitable for a wider audience.

We are certainly proud of where we are now, from the beginning with smartphones, Android and iOS to reach all digital platforms including desktop platforms like Windows, MacOs and Linux. Now our main task is to make sure that we deliver continuously, identifying the market needs to meet the rapid technological changes, so that our users can always have a cutting edge digital experience.


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