Your Business: Company sees chance with mobile apps

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Sheenu Chawla says the mobile craze is a great opportunity. Photo / Sarah Ivey
Sheenu Chawla says the mobile craze is a great opportunity. Photo / Sarah Ivey

A number of dynamic app development companies are thriving around the country. SUSH Mobile is an enterprise app company set up by immigrants Sheenu Chawla and Sulabh Sharma who did their post-graduate study here.

Their company has developed Speak Like a Pro, an app for its client Spicers NZ, which gives business people tips and examples to improve their public speaking.

The $1.29 app is at number three on the Apple app charts business section, and went to number nine within 48 hours of its launch.

"Nothing has been done like this before, the app analyses your speech. There's a lot of science behind it, it measures gaps and pauses," says Sharma.

SUSH (rhymes with push) Mobile was set up in 2008 by Chawla and Sharma (Sush is the combination of the first two letters of their first names), to do web solutions for the then Auckland Regional Council.

"When the mobile craze came in we decided that that was a great opportunity," says Chawla.

SUSH has since developed enterprise apps for organisations such as Local Government NZ, Spicers NZ and Ritchies Coachlines, as well as budding entrepreneurs. It is also developing apps for some big corporate players.

The directors, both from New Delhi, have maintained their links with India and have set up their own Indian-based research centre in their hometown, a hub of three staff who keep them up to date with the technologies emerging from the country.

"This is the most dynamic industry, we need to keep pace," says Chawla.

The trends they have learned about early on thanks to the research centre, include augmented reality (AR) - where a smartphone camera can be held up to an image, and the picture becomes interactive or digitally manipulable.

"We talked to a school principal who was very excited about making the classroom [more] interactive," says Sharma. It will work well for retail showrooms and ad agencies among other applications, he adds.

SUSH, based in Auckland's High St, with an office in Wellington due to open soon, has seen its growth rate almost double in the past year, going from four to 15 staff, and a turnover of close to $1 million.

The mobile application development agency is attracting strong interest from Australian media agencies and is working on an Indonesian project.

"Our focus is on applications that have a value attached to them, giving companies an edge on other businesses," says Chawla.

One of the apps SUSH recently launched is the Precision Farming app, an "all-in-one" tool used to order, monitor, measure and record the activities of fertiliser spreaders on farms, saving farmers thousands of dollars on purchasing the GPS devices usually used to track their fertilising.

Another new app is the DIY Form + app that allows users to create and fill out custom-made forms on their smartphone or tablet.

The motivation to build apps is not just for the sake of building them, says Chawla. "We are building a solution that is adding sustainability to the organisation."

SUSH is working on a project focused on cafes and their loyalty plans. The app will keep all customers' loyalty cards in one place, and small businesses will be able to pay $3 a month to participate and register.

- NZ Herald

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