2011 was a big year for Agriya with our customer base expanding far and wide and opening up new markets in the Middle East, South East Asia and the Orient. We welcomed many visiting clients to our office in India over the year and we can say with confidence that we are a truly global provider and are delighted to be able to highlight some of the exceptional projects our clients have been working on in the last 12 months.
Just like in 2010, 2011 was all about daily deals and group buying with our market leading GroupDeal software continuing to be the number one choice for businesses to build a daily deals website. This is reflected in our selection of client websites below which is dominated by customized and highly successful websites that were launched in 2011.
When Big Deal decided they needed to launch a group buying website in Thailand there was only one logical solution for their demanding requirements. GroupDeal has been given a complete design makeover with beautiful attention to detail. See for yourself, Big Deal are selling dozens of coupons for every deal they run.
When you are from a country like Switzerland, a melting pot of 4 different languages, you need a website that is multi-lingual to cater to all audiences. Fortunately for Y-Deal they found GroupDeal, the only truly multi-lingual group buying software available that can handle multiple languages on one site and multiple currencies. A quick glance at their recent deals shows that being multi-lingual really pays off with dozens of coupons being sold on all deals.
The Daily Hookup
With a grungy design, The Daily Hookup website has been developed with exclusivity, environment and fashion in mind. The deals are not a hodgepodge of spa and beauty treatments but are crafted by their curators who secure deals that they would want to buy themselves. Due to the national nature of the website the software has even been integrated with a content delivery network for speed and optimization.
Deal LX is a large European company with business operations in over 12 countries that covers a large range of currencies, cultures and languages. They had some of the most demanding requirements we’ve seen because they wanted to quickly launch group buying websites in 15 countries. After extensive research they chose GroupDeal because of the easy customization options, excellent technical support and the simplicity of integrating new payment options. Deal LX offer dozens of deals every day across their vast network of GroupDeal powered websites and are now selling thousands of coupons on most of their deals.
Australian based group buying website, Spurr, have taken Agriya’s GroupDeal software and customized it almost beyond recognition. With a fantastic blue and gray design it’s one of the best looking daily deal websites we’ve seen (and we’ve seen a lot!). Spurr are offering new deals every day and past performance shows they are selling dozens of coupons every day with everything from deep sea fishing to iPhone battery cases on offer. Their most popular deal has sold a little over 1,000 coupons which in reality is barely even starting to use the full power and capacity of GroupDeal.
Deal d’un Jour
Roughly translated as Deal of the Day, Deal d’un Jour is a Morocco based daily deals website chose GroupDeal because it offered easy backend translation in to the local language (French) along with integration with a local payment provider. The front end of the site has been completely customized with a fantastic blue theme and looks unrecognizable from GroupDeal’s default layout. They are now offering deals in over 25 cities throughout Morocco and have so far successfully run over 600 different deals with dozens of coupons purchased on each one.
City Setter is a Spanish based daily deals website powered by Agriya’s GroupDeal software and completely transformed on the front end thanks to a brand new design and layout. City Setter have received a lot of attention from the Spanish media with mentions in some of the biggest national news websites (which you can read if you speak Spanish!). The entire website has been translated in to Spanish and the website now sells hundreds of coupons on each deal.
By combining the population’s love for daily deals and the needs of charities to get donations, Charitable Coupons have hit upon a winning formula where customers can get great deals and donate to charity at the same time. With a completely new look and feel, GroupDeal has been solid as a rock as dozens and sometimes hundreds of coupons are purchased for every deal that they run. With a focus on Kansas City, Charitable Coupons hope they can expand their unique business model to other cities in 2012.
Singapore is buzzing with group buying and daily deals websites at the moment and Kingdom Deal needed a rock solid service provider to ensure that when their website went live they would have the reliability and security to compete with some very well funded businesses. Fortunately this is what GroupDeal has been designed for and Kingdom Deal is successfully offering new deals every day on mostly accessories and other products. Most deals have sold more than 10 coupons with some even selling dozens.
Renting out your spare room or couch is becoming an increasingly common way to earn a little bit of extra cash and our Burrow software is the perfect product to create a website like Airbnb. However it also works beautifully for mainstream vacation rentals websites and Bungalow Stays have taken advantage of this with their new website which lets people rent big villas and mansions around India for a night or even for months.
Deals, deals, deals, hundreds of deals filling up your inbox – unless you’re in Germany and sign up to Mac Shnapp which eats up all the deals from German group buying websites and condenses it in to one easy to view email. This website relies on our Feedy software to aggregate deals and organize them on the website in an easy to use manner. Custom deal feeders had to be created and the new front end design looks nothing like the default Feedy theme. Since this is website is based in Germany, the company took advantage of the simple translation system to translate everything in to their native language.
With so much emphasis on daily deals and vacation rentals in the last couple of years it might be easy to forget that Agriya also has a wide range of other products. Red Foto uses Agriya’s Photoz software which lets anyone run a photo albums website a lot like Flickr or Picasa. This website has been highly customized with a unique design and has been translated completely in to Spanish.
These are just some of the exciting projects that Agriya has been working on in the last 12 months and with the number of projects in the pipeline we are confident that 2012 is going to be an even more successful year for our clients as businesses innovate to differentiate themselves from the crowd.
If you are an Agriya customer and you think we’ve missed out your customized website from this list please let us know in the comments below and we’ll make sure we’ll add your site and description right away!
China is one of the biggest markets in the world with its fast growing economy and unique form of capitalism, companies across the face of the Earth are fighting to get a presence established in this vast country. While we have many clients from Hong Kong and completed many different daily deal and group buying websites we’ve never worked on a major customization project with a mainland Chinese client until now.
Earlier this month, Agriya signed a contract with a Beijing based consumer company to provide backend support, maintenance and development consultation to their Chinese team of programmers. As part of the contract three Agriya employees had to travel to China’s capital city to formally sign the contract and start working directly with the China team. Two of our programmers will be working onsite in Beijing for the next two months and we’re thrilled that they are as excited about the project as we are and are certain that this will help increase the cultural understanding between India and China – almost certainly the world powers of the future.
One of the Agriyans has just returned from Beijing this week so we caught up with him to find out more about this country and the job Agriya will be doing there.
On Society Development
Aravind, the CTO of Agriya and the go to guy for anything technical, was extremely impressed with what he saw of China, which although confined to Beijing allowed him a unique insight in to this often mysterious culture. “In terms of infrastructure development, China are about 5 or 10 years ahead of India” Aravind said, “Beijing has a reputation of being massively crowded just like any Indian city but the thing that struck me was there weren’t as many people on the roads or outside, everyone seemed to be working indoors or in offices.”
On The Communication Barrier
It has been notoriously difficult to do business with China in the past because of the inherent language barrier. India has been able to capitalize on this because every university graduate is taught in English and English is the connecting language for the dozens of different languages spoken in India. You’ll often find groups of middle class Indian teenagers conversing in English in the coffee shop rather than their mother tongue. China on the other hand is only just beginning to implement English as a mandatory skill to be taught to students and one statistic we’ve seen says that there are more students learning English in China than there are English people speaking!
But how did this affect the communication between Agriya and the Chinese company? “Spoken English is a big problem for the Chinese” says Aravind, “beyond the basic words such as hi, thank you, please and hello they didn’t seem to be confident speaking the English they knew. I’m not too sure why this is because their written English is generally quite good and we have been able to converse through emails and instant messenger in the lead up to this trip.“. In order to overcome the language barrier, the Chinese company brought in translation experts to help facilitate the communication between the two sets of developers, in the end two local translators were hired along with a 3rd who was flown in from New York.
Did the introduction of translators help with the communication? Aravind reveals what it was like. “It wasn’t too difficult for us to communicate because we are all used to having translators in our own country; sometimes you need to buy something from someone who only speaks Hindi and I only speak Tamil and English so we need to get a translator involved. The same goes for the Chinese companies, they are so used to using translators for business it’s almost second nature for them now and the translation etiquette with the pauses is well honed. There were small issues because the translators need time to learn the technicalities of the project and programming in general but apart from that everyone seemed to be comfortable using translators and who knows, with Indians’ reputation of picking up new languages quickly we may have two fluent Mandarin speaking developers coming back to Chennai in a few months!”
On Chinese Programming
India and China both have different reputations for the things they are good at. India is often showcased as being a knowledge and brain center, a place to outsource business work and China is famous for its manufacturing industry which creates virtually every toy and product we buy nowadays. China is trying to establish itself as a knowledge center and we’ve seen a small increase in the number of Chinese BPO and IT companies, but what are their standards like?
Aravind tells us, “From the code that we reviewed which was produced by the Chinese programmers it was quite solid and well programmed but it used techniques and customs that we were using 4 or 5 years ago. They’ve got a good grasp of the basics but they struggled with the more advanced styles that we use in our software.” There are probably many reasons for this, Aravind revealed, most likely because “the advanced coding theory is usually published in English and it takes a while for it to be translated properly in to Mandarin, so India’s programmers are able to use the techniques immediately but Chinese programmers have to wait until it has been accurately translated to put the theory in to practice.”
On The Chinese Work Culture
Both India and China have a fierce reputation for producing hard workers that will work from morning to night and even through to the next morning if you demand it of them, but the Chinese work ethic even blew away Aravind, “I was amazed at how dedicated and sincere the workers were, we’ve always believed that we had hard workers at Agriya but China seems to take it to another level. When we arrived we urgently needed translators to start work on Monday and the Chinese HR lady was in her office all weekend on the phone trying to arrange a translator, that she could just leave it until Monday didn’t even cross her mind, I don’t know if she even went home on Saturday!“.
On The Chinese Cuisine
India has a well deserved reputation for being one of the culinary capitals of the world, simply put: you haven’t lived until you’ve tried real, authentic Indian food cooked in India by a housewife. Forget what you eat at your local Indian restaurant, real Indian food is far better. All three Agriyans were naturally apprehensive about the food they would get to eat in China since it’s so different to what they were used to and to make matters worse one of the team members is a strict vegetarian.
Aravind explains “We were all worried about the food options although the two programmers thought they would be OK because they are non-veg eaters but non-veg in China is mostly pork, beef or from some nameless animal and after the first culinary experiment they decided Chinese food wasn’t for them! Fortunately Beijing is a lot like any capital city anywhere and there are restaurants to suit every taste bud and just down the road from the office there is an Indian restaurant which even serves the famous South Indian dishes like Dosai and Idly!”
This is not the first time Agriya has ever done some on-site work, infact we’re quite experienced with it now and have sent programmers to Canada, the Middle East and now to China. We understand that some customers want the cost savings of outsourcing to India but with the convenience of having programmers in the same office and we’re happy to work with anyone to get our programmers to your location for the duration of the project.
This new project in China is a milestone event for Agriya because it represents an entry in to the last major economy – something which very few other Indian IT companies have managed to achieve.
We wish the two Agriya programmers living onsite in Beijing the best of luck and we hope to be able to publish many more photos of Agriya’s first big project in China.
For those of you who are not Uber-nerds like us, you might be confused by the term “web property” but it basically means a website built to earn income. This has been part of the business plan of Agriya for a long time now to create various web properties in different domains, and just like London buses, we wait for one and suddenly two come along at once.
So let me tell you a little bit more about these great new sites…Eve’s Cafe – www.evescafe.com
Eve’s Cafe aims to become the number one stop for women around the world who are looking for help, advice, tips and information on a whole range of lifestyle choices. From Food to Fashion, Health to Wealth, no stone is left unturned in this online web magazine. Eve’s Cafe has been built on the Cake PHP platform and incorporates a custom design with integration. Articles and video tutorials will be added to the site daily and we’re open to advertising enquiries on the site for suitably related products and services.iSongs – www.iSongs.fm
iSongs has been created using our Volume software with a fantastic custom design (one of the first to make me go “wow!”) and a few script modifications. The portal is aimed at the Tamil speaking community because apparently I’ve been told that there are 90 million Tamils in Tamil Nadu alone, and that figure doesn’t include the diaspora spread across the globe! Tamil music is upbeat, loud and proud which makes it the perfect companion for Volume
To celebrate the launch of these two web properties we held a small launch party on the roof top terrace of our office and I’ve included some of the pictures from the event below!
2009 has been an incredible year for Ahsan Technologies – the parent company of Agriya. Since it took over in April, we have moved to a brand new office, had a company sports day, had a company outing to a big farmhouse near the sea, launched no less than four awesome products in iSocial, Rayzz Video Sharing, Volume and Discuzz, continued our relationship with Fortune 100 companies and acquired some massive global companies as customers because of our Rayzz software.
With so many achievements and milestones (like selling thousands of copies of our software) we had good cause to celebrate on the 31st December.
The main speaker for the event was me (pictured left, and wow, top of my News Resolutions is to lose some weight!), largely because no one else wanted to get up and speak infront of 200 people but also because we decided that someone else should do the speaking apart from our Vice President of Marketing and HR Manager!
I basically recapped some of our milestones and achievements for 2009, such as the launch of Volume which has gone on to be our fastest selling product of all time thanks to its reliable framework and awesome design.
We then had people come up and talk about their teams, the team leader for Kootali explained how it went from an abandoned client project to one of our most popular products today. A team leader from the services team waxed lyrical about how well our service projects are going and how 96% of our projects are completed on budget and meet the deadlines set by clients (which have become tighter because of the economic problems).
Then some of the Freshers we took on just over a year ago got up to speak – which is quite a daunting task when there are 200 people watching you – about their personal growth and what they have achieved in the last 12 months. Some have even gone on to be team leaders in such a short period of time!
Other freshers did some performances which included a hilarious comedy sketch (if you can speak Tamil!), dancing and singing. Check the YouTube video of the comedy sketch below but don’t worry if you can’t understand Tamil…neither can I and I live here!
The afternoon of speeches were rounded off by our Business Development Team, although not all of them were too keen to get up and speak (don’t worry, Rommel, I won’t mention your name!). If you can understand Tamil, the video will be posted below once it’s uploaded
Then there was the cake cutting, but fortunately this time the Indian, err, tradition of smearing cake icing on people’s faces was forgone! For some reason it always seems to be me with cake smeared on my face no matter whose birthday it is!
The evening was closed by the prize draw of our Twitter competition. We drew five lucky winners out of the hat live on camera. The winners were able to choose any one of our products and get a free logo and installation as part of the prize! Do make sure you follow @agriyanews to find out about future competitions and cool prizes! The prize draw video is posted here if you want to see it for yourself.
So that concluded 2009, I’ll finish with some photos that highlight some of the great things we’ve achieved at Ahsan in the past year.
We got brand new offices and now have three floors of development
However, the jury is still out on who made the decision to make the offices neon green!
We had a great day at the company sports event – the ladies decided to create floral designs instead of exerting themselves though!
The ladies looked stunning in their sarees on our Traditional Indian Dress day
And the guys looked super dapper in their South Indian dhoti’s
The inauguration function of the new company was a massive success
The guys all got in to the “Hawaii” spirit for the inauguration function!
We launched Volume, iSocial and Discuzz in 2009, Volume has gone on to be our fastest ever seller!
The iSocial video was a lot of fun to make and can be viewed here
And finally we rounded out the year with our New Years Eve tea party!
If you are an Ahsan, share some of your experiences of 2009 in the comments below!
For everyone else, don’t forget to keep up to date with what we’re doing by following our twitter updates (@agriyanews) and becoming a fan of Agriya on Facebook (there are loads of other photos on Facebook as well, go and check them out!).
Today, we celebrated yet another birthday at the office and this time round, it’s Mr. Aravind, our CTO. Birthdays are special days that are dedicated solely to you, and are to celebrate one more year of precious life. Nothing beats a birthday celebrated around people you care about. In our own little way, we tried to make this birthday special for our beloved boss, with lots of love, food, wishes and presents!
Before he reached the office, his company’s email inbox was filled with tons of birthday wishes from Ahsanites. After all wishing somebody a very happy birthday shows there are people that love him and truly care a lot about him. It shows he is important to them; it lets him know that the world is beautiful, filled with people who he means so much to. He thanked everyone through mail which also made us feel proud and happy.
His cabin was decorated with colored papers and balloons when he walked in. Most people went into his cabin, to wish him in person.
Let’s not forget, no birthday would be complete without cake! By 6:00 pm, all the Ahsanites assembled on our lovely terrace for the small party. It started off with the birthday song while Mr.Aravind blew out the candles and cut the cake after which everybody enjoyed the snacks. This little party of ours was filled with fun and laughter, and was one that all of us will remember. Take a look at some of the pictures!
It gives us immense pleasure to inform that the launch of cssilize.com took place today at 4pm in Room No:105 . We are very happy to inform that Mr.Rajesh is the only person behind this concept and its successful launch.
In this connection Mr.Dhileepan had given the Welcoming address, followed by Acknowledging speech by Mr.Sivachidhambaram,Mr.Gabriel,Ms Jayashree,Mr.Ohmkumar,Mr.Vijay,Ms Munira,Ms Sheena,and Mr.Bhoopathy who had given us a brief about their experience in this project.
Next we had Our Chief Guest Mr.Swaminathan who also felicitated in the programme.After which we had our Special Guest Mr.Aravind who gave us a motivating speech about the launch and he had a very special thing stated of our Beloved and unforgettable colleague Mr. Suresh that his name can be mentioned in the above project done as he was the main person behind the well being of this launch. Next we had Mr. Victor who had also wished one and all in Rajesh Team.
Prizes were distributed by Mr.Aravind ( CTO ) of Ahsan Technologies.
Finally on behalf of Ahsan Technologies and my own behalf I Anitha menon extend my sincere thanks to Mr. Rajesh and his team to have successfully launched this cssilize.com.I once again wish them all the very best of Luck for their future endevours.
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