Janaki Technology – The story of a Nepali startup

Janaki Technology has become a leading Value Added Service(VAS) Provider and Social Media Product company in Nepal. Started by two college students – Manish Modi and Arbind Sah in 2007, the company is now recognized even in international market.

Janaki Technology owns product like Sparrow SMS which offers wide range of SMS services from receiving live football scores to updating your Facebook status via. SMS. Many giant businesses in Nepal like DELL, Surya Nepal, TATA Nano, Unilever, White House college and CAN use Sparrow SMS for various business solutions. With Picovico, you can convert you Facebook images into amazing videos adding some music and themes. Social Aves, which is currently in alpha provides you marketing solutions via. social media.
Janaki Technology

How it started?

Janaki Technology was founded during the college days. While doing Bachelor’s in Computer Engineering at Institute Of Engineering (IoE), Pulchowk Campus, Manish and Arbind started internship at Nepal Telecom(NT) in their third year. The two were developing CDMA billing system under the supervision of NT’s senior engineer. They were so dedicated to the project that they even remained at Pulchowk hostel during Dashain holidays to work for it.

Unfortunately, they had a bad news. The senior engineer passed away when their project just got completed. They were at great shock after the death of their mentor. Along with this, they were in dilemma as they felt that their hard work was gone in vain. After one month, they dared to contact other senior personnel at NT. Surprisingly, they found that the people at NT were also looking for them and their project. They accepted to implement the billing system at NT for which they had to register their company. This way the company “Janaki Technology” was founded.

The next step

After success of their first project as a company, they started developing products for other local clients like NAME – a medical entrance academy when they were still in the college and Triveni. After completion of engineering, they opened their own office and did projects from freelancing websites like Elance and Odesk. Later their friends Dhruba, Amit and Suraj joined them.

The birth of Sparrow SMS
Sparrow SMS
While working as a freelancing company, Janaki Technology developed a SMS system for a client at New Zealand. As the mobile market was growing in Nepal, they saw a business opportunity and customized the SMS system for Nepal. They started working on VAS system for Nepalese market.

Sparrow SMS offers services to businesses like SMS voting, Campaign management, SMS contest and Visiting card. Sparrow SMS has useful servies via. SMS like updating Facebook, Twitter or sending E-mail. It even helped to raise over Rs. 1 Lakh for the treatment of Kumar Kanchha – a popular Nepali singer via. SMS. It now provides VAS solutions via two shared short codes 5001, 4001, or with dedicated shortcodes. With more than 50 thousand likes, it’s one of the most popular Nepali pages on Facebook.

Suraj Sapkota and Manish Modi
Suraj Sapkota and Manish Modi (photo courtesy : aakarpost)

Picovico and step into the international market
Janaki Technology has stepped into the international market with their product – Picovico. It’s a tool that converts images to videos with beautiful translations and music. The product is simple and anyone can use it with few clicks. Along with its simplicity, internally it has GPU based rendering platform which creates videos at a speed which is very difficult to match for any competitor. The research and development of the product took place at Janaki Tech. When they had to marketize the product at international market, they had little idea. But later they came to know about Startup Accelerator and Picovico got selected by it. Manish and Suraj have moved to Bangalore and have taken the product to next level. Now the product has an international recognition and good market as well.

What the founder has to say ?

Talking about Startups in Nepal, Manish feels it’s unfortunate not to see many of them. Unlike most graduates, he doesn’t blame the syllabus for it. He instead blames the ecosystem in Nepal which always teaches us to play safe. A youngster in Nepal is not encouraged to turn his idea into product. He feels everyone should have belief in their product and should love what they are going to do. He advises all that once you start a company and build product, either you will be successful or you will end up with good experience.

(Based on Manish Modi’s presentation at Locus 2012 as well as online conversation with him.)

Startup Stories in Nepal is a regular section at Kalopati. If you have started your own Startup and are willing to share your story, you can contact us via. email, Twitter or Facebook.

  • Inspiring Story! Congratulations & Best of Luck. 🙂

  • nice article ! Best wishes for days ahead.

  • Good going guys!! Keep up the good work. There is a long way to go.

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  • arun chand

    Good work guys maybe in the future u two make it big like Jan Koum &Brian Acton