September 14, 2017 12:39 PM Nasana Bajracharya

KATHMANDU, Sept 14: Some three years ago, John Chhetri was chatting with Ekta Books’ Owner Ram Chandra Timothy over a cup of coffee. They both discussed the idea to create an i-learning system and agreed to work upon it. 

They combined software and animation to come up with the name SoAni Tech. SoAni Tech officially came into existence on June 24, 2016 with the prime motive to work on i-leaning, where they digitalize all textbooks from grade I-X. But, SoAni Tech also has a hold on an array of technological aspects with four main domains of work including software, websites, mobile applications and i-leaning.

The idea seems quite similar to that of alternative learning technique introduced by MiDas Education. But SoAni Tech uses Unity to develop their i-learning system, which is more easier to develop and feasible to use. Partnership with Ekta Distributors have guaranteed official and copyrighted contents for SoAni’s initiative.

As per John, the duo then selected some people from different sectors that had years of experience. They brought Sajana Maharjan, Subeksha Timothy and Salomi Lepcha on-board as directors for finance, human resources and management/public relations, respectively. Ram Chandra Timothy serves as the president while John is the managing director for the company.

They have a team of experienced professionals, including software engineers, computer engineers and interns, and each individual has their role figured out separately. They give priority to communication and hold meetings every morning to discuss and track their progress.

So far, SoAni Tech has taken projects of many I/NGOs, educational institutions, created and managed their websites and software systems from the scratch. One of the distinct works they have done so far is developing an application called ‘Patan Heritage Walk’. 

In cooperation with Lalitpur Metropolitan City, they have developed the app where a tourist can learn all the information about the neighboring monuments, homestay facilities and landmarks, among others, with the help of audio and video files.

“The information we have uploaded are official data, provided by the Metropolitan City and Department of Archeology,” informed John.

Simultaneous to other projects they receive over the year, the i-leaning team is working on CDs that will be sold together with the books in the next academic year. Textbooks from Grade I to V have already been digitalized and they are working to include Grade X textbooks by the end of this academic year. They also aim to sell 45,000 copies of the CDs, which will be attached along with the books, sold by Ekta Publications. 

“It’s not that we are trying to replace books. But the world is going digital and there will come a time when the world might just be paperless. We are just gearing for that time,” added John. Once they are done with the basic digitalization process, they also plan to develop the app in 3D and virtual reality once. 

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