Looking around the new generations of people in Bangkok travelling on the sky train, dining in a restaurant, having a drink in a pub, sitting with friends, and even walking on the street, you may notice that many of them are engaged on their smart phones. Have you ever wondered what they are doing?
Mobile apps development
Beyond a mere communication tool, a mobile phone has become an item that plays an important part in many people’s lives today. No longer just a device to receive and make phone calls, a smart phone owned by many people today offers extensive functions.
With many mobile phone applications (apps) available, users can now take advantage of the technology to help them with many things in their daily lives from sending and receiving free messages and images, reading news, checking e-mails, editing and playing images, checking currency exchange rates, learning a new recipe to cook dinner at home, to looking for the nearest bars offering happy hours.
The list of today’s mobile phone apps is endless. It is perhaps, however, just the beginning of the revolution. Mobile app development is on the rise.
“I think the apps trend in general has not reached its peak yet. Many people see it and want to make apps for their companies as well. Though it’s getting harder to get an app out in the market, I believe many more apps will be released,” says Anders Kjeldsen, owner of Kelson, a Norwegian company in Thailand capitalizing on this trend.
Establishment of Kelson
Since 2007 Kelson in Norway has been creating mobile applications, website applications, websites, and graphic designs for international clients.
Norwegian entrepreneur and programmer Anders Kjeldsen, 32, started Kelson in Thailand in 2010 with about five employees. The company employs 11 full-time staff today. The IT and Design Department consists of three programmers (including Anders), three mobile app developers, and three designers – two of which can also do website development.
“I made my first program when I was seven so it’s natural for me to do this kind of business. I have always been interested in creating programs because I think it is mentally challenging. I enjoy writing programs and see how they turn out on screens. However, we need good designs to sell them too,” says Anders.
Kelson creates mobile apps, web designs and graphic designs for many local and international clients. The company also sells its works to its partners in Norway and Denmark. Mr. Stelvin Tham, Business Development Director, says that most of its clients were Scandinavian in the beginning stage. However, the company’s customer base has grown to include more Thai and other foreign companies in Thailand. One of the company’s main advantages here is that all staff can speak good English.
“Many startup companies who have business ideas come to us. We discuss ideas and offer them advice on feasibility and cost-effectiveness. If they are interested, we then give them a quotation,” says Stelvin.
Mobile apps trend
Since the mobile apps trend has taken off, the company has created many apps for iOS (iPhone, iPad etc) and Android devices such as online banking apps, currency trading apps, beer branding apps, cooking apps, restaurant menu apps, advanced games apps and many more.
One of the company’s most popular apps is a game app that the company developed together with one of its Danish partners for Danish Carlsberg Brewery, which launched the app last Christmas to promote the release of its annual “Christmas Brew” of Tuborg beer. The app was very well received and became the top downloaded app in Denmark for a few weeks last Christmas.
Based on number of downloads, another most popular app created by Kelson is EURO 2012, which hit over 50,000 downloads globally during the football season. The app allowed users to see football fixtures and receive instant updates on teams’ scores and ranks.
“I told the guys in the office to take some time off their main work to create an app that they want. The only one condition was that that they must include the company’s logo on there for promotional purposes. A lot of them like football and they came up with a brilliant idea,” says Stelvin.
The app was free to download. According to Stelvin, the purpose there was to showcase mobile apps created by Kelson which hopefully will bring more clients to the company.
“Most of the free apps we make are usually used for marketing purposes. There are many free apps with advertisements in them, and success comes from a large number of downloads,” says Stelvin. “But you can also sell apps. If you have an app that is demanded by a mass market worldwide, for example the ‘Angry Birds’ game, which hit at least over 30 million sales, then it takes off and a price of 99cents per download could lead to millions of dollars.”
Though there are many mobile apps available in the market, just a fraction of them become global hits.
“A lot of people think they can just make an app and it’s going to sell itself just because it’s available out there. To make an app popular, it actually requires a lot of marketing and research. You need not only to create the best app that stands out, but also to create interest in that app among people,” says Anders.
The company’s rates for making an app vary depending on complications and technical work requirements. For a simple app that works on a mobile phone without internet connection, prices start from 30,000 baht.
“We seldom go under 100,000 baht for creating an app. Many apps are complicated to make because we need a server site that links information to the system. For example, we created an app called ‘Skuup’ for a Norwegian client. This app monitors a user’s location and provides information about available discounts at businesses within a 5km radius. This kind of app requires a huge system,” says Anders.
Apart from making mobile phone apps, the company also offers web design and graphic design services. Though Kelson’s service rates are higher than most local companies, Stelvin states that the company delivers quality and handcrafted designs, and clients are sure to get what they pay for.
To give the office a good creative environment, the company aims to keep the office atmosphere casual and relaxed.
“This isn’t just work,” says Stelvin. “We do this for fun as well.”
For more information, contact +66 85 225 1730 or visit www.kelson.co.th