KATHMANDU, Jan 28: “Most of my ideas begin at a coffee shop,” says Bibhu Man Rajbhandari, an app developer who entered the field of graphic designing and evolved from them on to currently working totally as a developer of iPhone applications. He did his Bachelor’s in Computer Information Systems from Apex College but was already working in the field while pursuing his studies. In all his professional career, he has freelanced all the way and aims to continue that.
Rajbhandari talks about freelancing, app developing, and his latest Shree Swasthani Brata Katha iPhone app.
I’ve always been interested in creating something of my own. In this tech field, where the trends change fast, I think it’s better to form a team of capable people as per the project, rather than keeping a fixed staff throughout. I employ that method. Also, I think that freelancing is much easier and more productive.
Tell us about the Shree Swasthani Brata Katha iPhone app.
The concept came from a friend, Suraj Shakya, and was a result of a random brainstorming on creating an app related to Nepali culture. After a year of planning, and 20 days of work to create the actual app, it was launched on January 9. It’s an easy to use app which is the combination of both an e-book and an audio book, hence it allows users to both read the Swasthani easily, as well as hear it being read out. It cost US$2 at the App Store, and since its release, 250 units have been downloaded.
So you’re focusing on the international market rather than the Nepali one?
Yes. There’s no means for online payment transactions, and so even if people living in Nepal want to buy the app, they aren’t able to. Most people in Nepal have Android-based smartphones and use apps that can be downloaded for free. But I believe they would be willing and able to buy apps if they had the mechanism to do so.
Do you find this discouraging?
No, I don’t. There are ways you can work around this. I use the money from my freelancing work for clients to fund my independent projects.
You take on Nepali-made apps?
They are getting better by the day, design-wise. But I think that to get approved by the App Store itself, you have to follow very strict guidelines (except for games). So I think that ultimately sets a standard. For more information on Rajbhandari’s apps, visit www.syaau.com