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POSTED AT 10:03 AM 21-12-2018

Gamata Tech opens avenues for youth entrepreneurs across Sri Lanka

Image Courtesy: Daily Mirror

Panel discussion

I.C.A.N Advertising introducing their innovative solutions targeting rural Sri Lanka

Locals covering 19 Districts over Sri Lanka attended the event

Gamata Technology, an accelerator platform initiated by youth-tech entrepreneurs covering every corner of Sri Lanka, was officially launched recently at a ceremony held in Nelum Pokuna Mahinda Rajapaksa Theatre. The event was delegated by young entrepreneurs, leading tech companies, renowned personalities and locals covering 19 districts over Sri Lanka.

UN SDG Action Award Winner 2018, Youth Advocate, Social Entrepreneur and The Road to Rights Youth-Led Organisation Founder Dr. Ashan Perera addressing the gathering

The concept of Gamata Tech was build based on research done on technological usage for several years, across Sri Lanka. The research exposed how a high percentage of youth misuse the technology at their hands, due to lack of knowledge and empowerment. On the other hand, they explored the lack of technological knowledge of Government officials and other parties. Drawing along the conclusions received, the founders explored the avenues and potential of the youth in rural areas, who lacked a platform to enhance their strengths and execute their innovative ideas.

The event was also used as an arena to introduce several innovative mobile applications to strengthen the technological revolution in rural areas, introduced and innovated by I.C.A.N Advertising. The applications included Friends Belt (a genuine social media platform suitable to Sri Lanka), Gedarata Plus (a multi-vendor shopping platform from home), Esenin (A taxi app which passengers and drivers use), and (A comprehensive directory).

The event had several sessions which educated and shared the opportunities for youth entrepreneurs from rural areas in Sri Lanka. One of the highlights of the day included the panel discussion which cultivated dialogue on digital Sri Lanka, with the participation of erudite speakers of the industry. The experienced panellists included Foundation of Goodness Founder and Chief Trustee Kushil Gunasekara, Good Market co-founder Achala Samaradiwakara, PickMe and Yoho Bed Co-founder Fathhi Mohamed, Sarvodaya Fusion Strategic Management Consultant Isura Silva, and UN SDG Action Award Winner 2018, Youth Advocate, Social Entrepreneur and The Road to Rights Youth-Led Organisation Founder Dr. Ashan Perera. The panel was moderated by Paramount Co-founder and CEO Dr. Nirmal De Silva.

The discussion was built around subjects such as ‘Opportunities and challenges of the rural entrepreneurship in SL’, ‘Responsibility of a society powered with technology’, ‘Why Sri Lanka needs entrepreneurship’, ‘Social entrepreneurship’, and a wide range of subjects that cover the arena of rural entrepreneurship.

Welcoming the gathering, Dr. Ashan Perera commented on the importance of a platform such as Gamata Technology: “While we were conducting the initial researches, I met many young Sri Lankans who had wonderful innovative ideas; websites to promote tourism, integrate and notify people and business places, platforms to reach the international audience of historical monuments while being at their own hometowns. But these innovators lack the technology and the knowledge to execute these ideas. So if we all can take the right technology and right technological resources to the rural areas, we can build our country with these ideas to great heights. Even though there’s people are waiting to change the world in rural areas, there’s no stage built for them to do so. World is moving in great speed with technology. If we do not transport technological knowledge and skills to rural areas, we won’t be able to join the international arena.”

He further added: “This launch of Gamata technology program, we hope to take the program to the people in all 25 districts. We will be meeting the youth, government officials etc. If we can give the right technological knowledge to these groups, we can find many resources for every industry. These resources are the ones which will change Sri Lanka, strengthen the culture, traditions and the unity we hold. We should identify them. I welcome the business sector, entrepreneurs, and policymakers to join with us in strengthening them. The people who are behind this program can change the cities, our country and win the world.”

The generation of innovative ideas was given much attention at the panel discussion as the panellists discussed how the trend of business models has given way to the course of evolution. They emphasised how businesses are no longer profit-oriented, but socially responsible businesses modelled around changing the society can sustain in the market. Good Market co-founder Achala Samaradiwakara mentioned that it is all about using the current issues of the system, and changing the system using technology. It’s not always about doing something new, but doing it differently adopting to the context and customers. PickMe Co-Founder Fathhi Mohamed added: “Environment and other social crisis are discussed at every platforms today, and the panellists provided examples on how we can prepare ourselves as a country to face such adversities in the future through social entrepreneurship, by solving the issues in the rural areas, by the youth entrepreneurs, using technology.”

Sarvodaya Fusion Strategic Management Consultant Isuru Silva explained how norms and attitudes of education in Sri Lanka has to change. They discussed how as opposed to the popular myth, we can elevate and promote traditions and culture of Sri Lanka through technology.

Many businesses complaint how Sri Lanka’s market is less competitive as it is limited with a population of 21 million. The panel conversed on how such factors does not matter, as long as a strong business model with flexibility is used. The probability of expanding Sri Lankan initiatives such as PickMe into the global market was also discussed.

Gamata Tech is an independent national initiative collaborated with The Road to Rights Youth-led Organisation and Mithuru Mithuro Movement. The event was supported by I.C.A.N Advertising, a grassroots initiative which has made an impact on lives of people in over 15 districts through tech-based platforms. I.C.A.N has been engaged in the technology and advertising industries for over three years and with a team of experts in this field for over six years.