Calcey Technologies, a software development services company and a full member of AmCham Sri Lanka, is celebrating its 10th anniversary in May this year.
Mangala Karunaratne, Calcey’s founder and CEO, recounted the company’s decade-long journey to success with fond nostalgia. “It all began in my Dad’s old office premises at Kularatne Mawatha in Maradana, where we had just two developers. I used to work in the Silicon Valley for Nortel Networks as a Product Manager, and then during the dot COM bust I decided to start this business. Being an astute entrepreneur at heart, my dad encouraged me to use the relationships I had forged in the States and start an offshore consulting business. Our first software development client was Taleo Corporation, for whom we developed a world-class knowledge base. We never looked back.”
Today, Calcey Technologies is a multi-million dollar consulting business housed in a four-story building at Seibel Avenue Kirilapona, with 60 dedicated staff and furnished with all amenities.
“We served many famous names along the way, like WikiMedia Foundation, Hoya ConBio, BNBuilders, or JiWire Inc,” says Mangala. “One particular client relationship that blossomed into a great partnership was that with Compare Networks, a giant in the Biotechnology marketing space. We began by providing BPO services for managing their Web content, and ended up developing an entire platform to manage their online B2B marketplaces. We’ve done business with Compare for over 5 years to date, and I must say we hit it off really well with them.”
Calcey provides an array of technology consulting services such as Web Development, Software Development, Cloud Solutions, Testing, Business Analysis, Project Management, Mobile App Development, and User Experience Development. Calcey also have expertise in a wide range of development platforms like .NET, DotNetNuke, iOS, Python, PHP, Android and other popular mobile and Cloud technologies. Calcey engaged in a significant capacity expansion drive in 2011 by hiring over 20 engineers and acquiring five new clients, inclusive of big names like The Society for Information Display and Stanford Business School.
“I believe we are a truly innovative company in comparison with most other offshore development companies. We have dared to be different by investing some of our profits to incubate Products and spin-off new ventures, harnessing the creativity and ingenuity of our own staff. Our first product is already online at Xaffo.com, and is a foray into the rapidly expanding space of Social Media Intelligence. We hope to do what Google Analytics does for Websites, but this time with a Social Media angle to the metrics provided. Its early days for Xaffo, and we are keeping our fingers crossed,” said Mangala.
Ruwan Rajapakse, VP Professional Services at Calcey, says that one major contributory factor for their success over the years is the absence of heavy process and humbug. “We follow a lean and collaborative project management paradigm for engaging our clients, in true agile spirit. We keep paperwork and process to a minimum, and use prototyping extensively. It has saved time and helped avoided conflict with the client. We have invested in the right collaboration tools for the job, like a simple enterprise backlog, and we use these tools extensively. I have seen some software companies spend vast amounts of time and money on adhering to complex “processes” involving lots of document templates and statutory obligations, processes that sometimes drag down the projects with them. We do the bare essentials, and get by famously with our clients. The reality is, its better to invest in right hiring and good training, rather than in process adherence, – said Ruwan.
Calcey plans to celebrate its 10th anniversary of business by organizing an inter-university “hackathon” or programming competition. Mangala says “we will of course have a big party and felicitate our staff and those who helped us, but we also want to do something to impact the new generation of undergraduates who have aspirations to become top-class software engineers; hence the idea of a hackathon.” Undergraduates in software engineering will have something to look forward to in May this year.
Over the years, Calcey Technologies has donated equipment for two IT centers in Matara and Neluwa to help the needy. Mangala is also a Director of FARO, a nonprofit organization, which actively assists rural youth in Sri Lanka to find sustainable employment and career opportunities in the Business Process Outsourcing industry.