Software entrepreneur Samson Korawali has helped establish five start-ups and a digital consultancy located in Australia and Papua New Guinea. He tells Business Advantage PNG that the country can benefit from developing its online business capacity.
‘Website development and SEO (search engine optimisation) is really lacking in PNG at the moment.
‘When you Google someone’s business, or try to find local information, there’s hardly anything relevant and up to date. It is really frustrating for me, and I am sure for others too.
‘This is a major problem, but at the same time, a huge opportunity for businesses to utilise digital strategies and integrate SEO.’
‘Exporting goods and services via online platforms would positively impact our country.’
‘Investing into the right technologies that align with the business goals can transform a business, if executed by the right people and strategy. Exporting goods and services via online platforms would positively impact our country and currency. It will also help generate more jobs.
‘Our Internet Payment Gateway limits this, though, and I am actively working with BSP (Bank South Pacific) on a project to make this possible for us all.’
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Korawali grew up in Lae and moved to Sydney in 2006 to train in 3D game development, multimedia and mobile app development.
After three years working as an employee in Sydney, he started his own business, KK Consultancy, which is registered in PNG and Australia. It has been operational for six years.
‘We provide innovative digital solutions, servicing clients across the mining, government, corporate and educational sector. We’ve done 3D visualisations for mining companies, showing exploration and rehab simulations, website development and SEO, branding, software development, mobile app development and multimedia.’
‘Let’s increase opportunities.’
Korawali says his clients range from some of the biggest mining companies to start-ups.
‘I am trying to encourage start-up companies to use online platforms to sell their products and drive visibility.
‘Let’s increase opportunities to do business, not just locally, but across the country and even internationally.’
Korawali has branched out into starting up other businesses. The first was a biometric solution for monitoring employee hours.
‘Instead of clocking in manually, we have a face recognition system that employees use to clock in and out by looking into the device.’
Another business, registered in America, is called RunwayBuy, a fashion app.
‘Another app is called GoFood PNG.’
‘People can attend fashion shows live or streamed online and buy in real time when they take a photo off the runway.
‘It creates a platform for designers to showcase their designs on the runway and then sell their designs at these shows through the app.
Another app is called GoFood PNG.
‘It is almost like Uber Eats in Australia but it is the PNG version. We have partnered up with some of the biggest restaurants in Port Moresby. We have a staff of five.
‘We have drivers who go to restaurants, pick up the food after you order it online, and deliver it to your doorstep. That has been going on for about a year and half now.
‘Most recently, we have partnered with a few grocery stores, so people can order online and have their groceries delivered to their doorstep.’
Korawali’s biggest project is a learning management system (LMS) called Reelae: ‘a platform that a student and teacher can interact on. Institutions sign up to this service, student accounts are issued, and the student can interact with the teacher and other students in their classes.’
The teacher can share the lectures, take attendances, mark group work assignments, and facilitate forums.
‘Our analytics engine (using Artificial Intelligence) is robust and powerful, sifting through a student’s interaction and activity while using Reelae. Stats are sent to the teacher showing their performances and activity.’ Version 1.0 is now ready to be trialed across Australia and version 2.0 is due for market release later on this year.
Staff from the University of PNG and some Australian universities have already signed up to trial version 1.0, which is being provided free.
Korawali is looking to raise capital to complete the development of version 2.0 and prepare for commercialisation later this year across Australia and PNG.
Eventually he wants to expand into Asia, Europe and the US, then have an initial public offering (IPO) in the US. He believes that the current LMSs on the market have severe limitations.
‘Even Stanford and Harvard are using legacy learning systems and we want to disrupt that market.
‘We are looking to grow organically, be patient and strategic so we don’t grow too quickly.
‘We want to compete with the “big guys” overseas.’