Australia’s Different to double size with Sri Lankan hires

ECONOMYNEXT- ‘Different’, an Australian tech company with a property development app, is looking to double its team with Sri Lankan experts to expand into global markets, a top official said.

“Sri Lanka has a huge opportunity to harness the talent of our people and create a great technology export industry,” Co-Founder Ruwin Perera told reporters in Colombo on April 10.

Different has around 25 employees in Australia, which Perera is hoping to more than double with Sri Lankan recruits.

"We will start with about 30 (Sri Lankan hires) in the coming months," he said, adding that the firm is currently finalizing office space in Colombo.

"Sri Lanka has such talented software engineers, designers and product managers," he said.

"We need that talent, and why not create well paid job opportunities in the country as well?"

"The technological budget for this year is several million US dollars, and how it is split between Australia and Sri Lanka is purely decided on talent and progress."

He said firms like Different, owned by Sri Lankan expats, could help Sri Lanka reach its 5 billion US dollar IT export target for 2020 by hiring locals.

Different automates property management services including listing and pricing, rental payments, insurance, taxes, and maintenance requests.

The app is available in Melbourne and Sydney, and will be expanded to the rest of Australia, and at least one global city in the near future, Perera said.





Perera said that Different is experiencing a double digit growth in sales.

Different charges a flat rate instead of a commission to compete with traditional property managers.

Perera said the cost for managing a small one-bedroom apartment and a larger house is similar, making the flat rate attractive.

Australia’s Air Tree Ventures and Silicon Valley’s Foundation Capital have invested in Different.

Different has gone through two rounds of funding, raising millions of dollars in both, Perera said.

The firm’s largest shareholders currently are Perera, and his co-founder and wife, Mina Radhakrishnan.

Radhakrishnan was a former global product head and one of the first 20 employees at Uber. Both Perera and Radhakrishnan were former employees at Google.

Perera was a former Director at SoftBank Internet and Media and a Consultant at Boston Consultancy Company. (Colombo/Apr16/2019-SB)



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