Top row: From left CEO Harsha Purasinghe, ICTA Managing Director Muhunthan Canagey, and Malaysia OMESTI Bhd Executive Director Mah Xian Zhen. Second row from left Microimage COO Suren Rupasinghe, Dialog Axiata Group CEO Dr. Hans Wijayasuriya and SLASSCOM Chairman Mano Sekaram
Microimage, the company that started as a high-school startup and built through sheer determination and passion, celebrated its 20th anniversary at a warm and cherished event on 7 October evening.
The significance of this event was the heartfelt gratitude and appreciation shown to all those who were a part of the company’s humble, yet incredible journey.
The evening kicked off with CEO Harsha Purasinghe showcasing the journey of their proprietary software, the very first Sinhala Unicode Keyboard, Helawadena, a collaboration between the ICTA, Microsoft and Microimage making Sinhala, Tamil and numerous other language ‘keyboards’ ubiquitously available. The initial Microimage product was given a small space in a store (at Majestic City) owned by another small startup, EPSI. Ironically, the owner of EPSI was none other than Muhunthan Canagey.
Canagey, Head of ICTA, ‘remembered’ and shared this journey with the audience. “I am extremely proud to be standing here acknowledging the success of Microimage. Harsha and I have come a long way together and achieved many accomplishments together. I am more than proud to have been a part of this journey.”
Next, it was COO Suren Rupasinghe who spoke about Sri Lanka’s pioneering Human Capital Management (HCM) solutions: developing time and attendance, and payroll software for the manufacturing sector. Despite rejections and disappointments, the company only strived harder and launched the HCM8R2 which ended up as a game-changing experience to the HR industry.
The company was proud to service a large established growing client base across the region, deploying in seven markets, which includes Sri Lanka, Maldives, India, Singapore, Malaysia, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Brunei and Saudi Arabia.
Harsha then spoke about the company’s foray into the international arena tying up with Asia-based OMESTI Group.
This strategic partnership with Microimage was intended to bring leading edge Human Capital Management (HCM) solutions to Asian markets. Known as MIHCM (Microimage HCM) Asia, the new venture used Kuala Lumpur as a launch pad to deliver proprietary HCM solutions to South East Asia and beyond, leveraging on the regional networks of the OMESTI Group.
Executive Director of OMESTI Bhd, Mah Xian Zhen, who had flown down especially for the occasion paid a glowing tribute to the Microimage team and their plans to enter the East Asian countries like Cambodia, Thailand, Myanmar, and Indonesia.
Meanwhile Microimage was transforming from being just another provider of desktop language software into a very successful software research and development company focusing on providing innovative solutions in key product lines such as human capital management software solutions, enterprise software solutions, and mobile solutions/software localisation.
At this point, Mano Sekaram, Chairman of SLASSCOM, aptly summed up the Microimage story by saying that despite all the hardships faced along the way due to various industry shortfalls, the company did not give up hope but flew the flag for Sri Lanka at every tech forum, locally and internationally, bringing pride and recognition to this country. “Every successful company has to have a soul, and Harsha is the heart and soul of Microimage.”
Seeing an opportunity to get into mobile media, the company then started developing a radio automation software which turned out to be the mission-critical innitiative for radio operations.
Today, Microimage Mobile Media powers all key radio networks and the leading DTH TV operators. Microimage Mobile Media Broadcast platforms are now marketed in other regional countries as well.
During this time, Microimage introduced ebooks via the BookHub to Sri Lanka in collaboration with Dumindra Ratnayaka (ex-Etisalat) and Rajiva Gunasena of Gunasena Bookshops. They did not stop there but went on to develop a music app called ‘Thaala’ to facilitate legal music downloads, which was launched together with Dialog Axiata’s music service offering.
Dr. Hans Wijayasuriya, Group CEO of Dialog Axiata, said: “Whilst we live in an era of disruption, and breaking down things yesterday to do things today, it is heartening to see a company that has risen from humble beginnings to become one of the biggest successes in this country today.”
Apart from making game-changing software, Microimage veered into social innovation with the first-ever disaster and early warning solution called DEWN. This a world class social innovation that emerged after the Indian Ocean tsunami was a great collaboration between Dialog Axiata, Microimage and the University of Moratuwa’s Dialog Research Lab. This is currently deployed with the Disaster Management Centre of Sri Lanka.
Today, Microimage Holdings has become the umbrella organisation that oversees all of its diversifications including Microimage Impact. This new arm will engage in various social impact initiatives and all revenue generated from this social venture will be put back into fostering social ideas towards social impact harnessing the power of technology.
Giving an insight into the future of Microimage, Harsha outlined plans of their new office in Sydney, Australia and Dubai.
The biggest announcements of the evening were the HCM15 version, which was demoed through a beautiful video and mStudio 3.0 poised to revolutionise the broadcast industry as never before, as Microimage continues making headway beyond the shores of Sri Lanka.