Today, our world is available on mobile. From people to pictures, from messages to memos, from calendars to contacts; we just can’t do without mobiles. The dependency on mobile apps & services in our day to day life is indubitable. Developments and innovation in the mobile ecosystem are trying to compete with Usain Bolt. The demand for everything going mobile is obvious and the opportunity in this space is unrestrained.
A startup from Kerala, Livares Technologies, which offers mobile technology solutions, web application services, enterprise/software solutions and voice application services, has come up with an app that lets you be close to your phone even when you are not. In our series of conversation with Aneesh Chandran, one of the 7 co-founders, we got to know more about Livares Technologies and the their latest app ‘Phone Away’.
Livares was founded by 7 founders – Aneez Ahmed, Aneesh Chandran, Rineez Ahmed, Jaseel A R, Shihas A S, Mahesh K M and Sumesh R Nair – all born and brought up in Kerala. All of them have completed their engineering from Kerala University. They were always a part of the organizing team for their college fests that gave them a little experience in team management. The four years of learning outside the classroom made them to think of doing something different many times.
But till the end of college, none of them had any intention of becoming an entrepreneur. The aim was to bag a Bachelor’s degree and get a good placement. When they passed out of college they all decided to deviate from the initial plan. They decided to learn more individually, come back after 6 months and put together all the individual knowledge they will grasp in this time and start up. And all of them came together to start Livares Technologies. Currently they are a team of 16 based out of Technopark, Thiruvananthapuram.
Aneesh says, “When we started in 2010, there were only glimpses of the start-up ecosystem in Kerala. We were unaware of the do’s and don’ts.” In the beginning, startups were all a complex mystery to their families. Most of them had no idea of what a start up is and they needed quite some convincing. He adds, “They had the typical middle class thoughts of high paid jobs. But even then they had faith in us and supported us. Support from family and friends has been amazing and it really helped us in overcoming initial hurdles.”
Livares Technologies (P) Ltd. (Livares) works in mobile, voice and web solutions. They recently launched an Android app, Phone Awaywhich allows users to access their smartphones from alternative mobile phones or through email. This app helps in getting insights into the calls and messages received even if the phone is not with us. After installing the application user has to register an email address and an alternative mobile number on which they wish to receive data from the original phone. Phone Away’s other features include:
The application uses mobile internet (GPRS/3G) or WiFi only when needed and turns it off automatically after use in order to save battery. The app has seen over 25,000 downloads in 2 weeks. Currently they are working on the feedback they are getting and are expecting to release Phone Away plus very soon with some more features including message flyer, theft mode etc.
Livares also has Kiddie Doodles - an alphabet learning app for kids, JangGoMart – a social network for local business owners, LivSupport - client support solution for companies to manage their client’s details and centralize client relations, Retail Mentor - shop management solution, EZ Drive - a learning package for the Kerala road traffic awareness campaign etc in its kitty.
They use open source platforms to build their solutions which in turn helps them to bring down their cost of offerings. Aneesh adds, “The use of open source platforms provides us with a distinct competitive advantage over many of our competitors who use mainly proprietary hardware and software systems. It helps us keep pace with the rapid changes in technology. The development and innovation in the field of open source technology revolves around a collaborative community of developers who constantly provide inputs and methods to upgrade these platforms; making them more efficient and updated compared to propriety counterparts.”
They are planning to launch another product mVoiz this December. They are actively partnering with the Government of Kerala to improve its e-governance systems. Livares is associated with Kerala State IT Mission for implementing mobile application for M Governance system. The first app is already launched and others are under development. They are also working with Kerala Motor Vehicle Department, Keltron, Snap-on Germany for implementing Automatic Vehicle Fitness Testing Station in Calicut and Kannur. Their corporate technology partnerships include Ernst & Young, Snap on Germany, Easy Park Bermuda & USA, Eapen Organization USA etc.
Aneesh signs off by saying, “For us, entrepreneurship is a lifestyle choice. It is a passion to create and innovate something. Innovation can be defined in a lot many ways; creating a whole new product, service, product segment, finding gaps and customer issues in the current market and addressing them by improving the existing market, product or service. We are putting emphasis on process and product innovation and have imbibed this into our work culture.”
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