Why I Love Technology

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Image"Phones today are more powerful than computers I used as a kid, apps become increasingly awe-inspiring and problems are solved everyday using technology."

Technology excites me so much I get goosebumps just thinking about how cool it is, and how much cooler it will be with every passing year.

When we started the first daily deals company in Sri Lanka, we took the risk of starting a large scale online business in Sri Lanka and it wasn't without its problems. Many questions came up; isn't the internet penetration too low? Isn't credit card penetration too low? Wouldn't people be afraid of buying things online? These were all valid concerns and had to be addressed in order for us to be successful. We understood that the internet penetration in Sri Lanka is far lower than developed countries, but we also understood that the population in Colombo and the suburbs would be able to sustain the daily deals business in the beginning. To solve the issue of credit cards we allowed for cash payments and mobile payments. Internet penetration might be low, but almost every Sri Lankan has a mobile phone. Would people buy online? Yes they would, we've provided the platform for many Sri Lankans to experience their first online transaction, and this excites me to no end!

It doesn't end here though. Now that we've been able to get Colombo to transact online, we want the rest of Sri Lanka to experience this as well and this is why we launched our retail store. By offering a large range of products with delivery all over the island, we've essentially increased our customer base and are already fulfilling orders to every end of the island. A wide range of products is sometimes hard to come by the further outside Colombo one gets and this is where technology and innovation come to the rescue! It may sound trivial to some, but the thought of someone in Bibile ordering an iron online via our site is simply awesome!

This is happening all over the world; another very exciting application of technology happened about two years in South Korea. The supermarket chain Tesco used technology in a remarkable manner to increase their customer base and market share. Much like any business, Tesco wanted more customers, but they were lagging behind the number one player in the market, E-Mart and they didn't want to increase market share by simply building more stores. Instead, they studied their market and realized that many South Koreans spent a lot of time commuting to and from work and supermarket shopping was simply an inconvenient necessity. Understanding this, Tesco created virtual supermarkets in subway stations, where virtual shelves showcased accurate pictures of groceries. Pedestrians, who at one point idled away their time waiting for their train could now do their grocery shopping by simply scanning a QR code using a Smartphone app and have their groceries delivered to them after they go home. This is just downright cool!

This virtual grocery store attracted more than 10,000 new customers and increased Tesco's sales by 130%. They are now the market leader in online sales and a close second in physical store sales.

The applications of technology are endless and today, technology is used to help the environment, in medicine, in agriculture, to stay well informed and even to stay in touch with your loved ones.

In short, if you can dream it, technology can be used to make that dream come true and that's why I love technology.

Have a question about entrepreneurship through technology? Connect with Jeggan and other experts on the World Bank Sri Lanka Facebook page.

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