Churning out creativity

New apps 'Birthday Forest' and 'StoresMunk' are creating a buzz in the market

KATHMANDU: Nepali apps developers seem to be on a roll — coming up with some of the most innovative applications the country has witnessed so far. Two new apps that are creating a buzz in a market that is slowly getting overcrowded are ‘Birthday Forest’ and ‘Storesmunk’.Birthday Forest — an app developed by Samrakchan Ghimire along with his friends — makes one’s birthday more than just a gala occasion to be celebrated with family and friends. Ghimire, who is the co-founder of Birthday Forest, says, “Birthday Forest app takes request from people via web and mobile applications to plant trees in selected community forests like Dallu Community Forest, Satikhel Women Community Forest and Gaukhureshwor Community Forest on their birthdays.” According to him, the app developers guarantee the trees will be planted for three years and keep updating the status of the sapling along with its photo every six months. Its GPS location will also be provided so that users can have the pinpoint location of the planted tree via Google map. Moreover, he claims they place a nameplate in front of the tree with information about its owner, planted date and a short message.Ghimire says he got inspired to develop the app when once on his way to Kathmandu from Pokhara, he witnessed some naked hills. The team of developers that included Roshan Karki, Prayag Upadhaya, Dipak Malla,Anuj Mahat, Ram Kumar Bhandari, Dhurba Prajapati along with Ghimire built the app within two weeks and launched it two months ago.For planting a tree, a user only has to fill up a form where he or she can choose a predefined place to plant, type of tree and date to be planted, and then send the request to Birthday Forest. Users have to pay minimum amount of fee, depending upon the place and treechosen. Payments can be made via eSewa for people within Nepal and via PayPal for those residing abroad.Sharing about the challenges faced during the making of app, Ghimire says, “Finding the location to plant trees and getting approval from various government departments was full of hassles,” adding that getting a visibility for the app after it was developed proved to be another problem. Informing that they have spent Rs 60,000 in developing the app, Ghimire says, “The app has been downloaded around 600 times till date.”Meanwhile, Vivek Bhusal, co-founder of Storesmunk says, “Storesmunk is designed using web and mobile technology through which business owners are able to send notifications to customers for special or short deals.” According to him, the concept of the app was developed to facilitate business people to communicate about their special offers while customers are also eventually benefited by knowing the offers via the app.The team of developers included Suman Humagain, Anjan Shrestha, Niranjan Panthi, Bimal Maharjan, along Bhusal. The app was launched in June. According to Bhusal, Bhatbhateni Supermarket and two restaurants in Jhamsikhel have added this features and shown interest in the app. He claims there have been around 100 downloads of this app till date. Bhusal adds, “By using this app, users don’t miss out on any special offers from their favourite stores.”Sharing the challenges faced by the app, Bhusal says, “Though, it’s hard to make people understand about the app and its market is small, we believe it has tremendous potential for growth if we market the product effectively and efficiently.”With word of mouth as a major tool of publicity, both apps are gradually gaining popularity. Both apps are compatible with android users and can be downloaded via play.google.com for free.

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