There is no dearth of talent in our Barak Valley. From Art and culture to academics to even entrepreneurship. All the three districts of the valley have their share of talented youths who are marking their name in the wall of entrepreneurship today.
Be it an 18-year-old Swarnadeep Das from Hailakandi who developed a full-body sanitization machine or Rizwan Mazumder who gave us an alternative to Xender and Share It by building Lightspeed a file-sharing app or Minakshi kemprai, the woman entrepreneur who at a very young age found her own merchandise company.
The list goes endless and adding to the list is one such talented and a visionary young lad from Hailakandi Noman Hanif Barbhuiya, A Tezpur University graduate, a geek by nature whose passion lies in physics and programming as his Facebook bio says isn’t just beating about the bush but he genuinely created a staggering mobile application which is making us say “Cam Scanner who”? Mr Noman and his friend Zahirul Alam Laskar developed ProDoc Scanner last September and in just a few days it has around 3,000 plus downloads on google play store with a rating of 4.8 stars out of 5. So, let’s know the journey of ProDoc scanner and most importantly the journey of Noman Hanif Barbhuiya and Zahirul Alam Laskar from a small town of Assam to building an internet startup.
But before that let’s understand what drove the two youths to give up their comforts and start writing complex lines of codes for our comforts in the word of Noman Hanif Barbhuiya.
“It was the end of June, the Indian Government on a whim decided to ban 59 Chinese apps (which now can be considered to be the first phase of app banning, as 118 more apps including PUBG was also banned on a later date) over the issue of ‘privacy’ and ‘data security’ with the ongoing standoff between India and China at LAC.
Among the 59 apps, the most significant app among Indian users was CamScanner, a document scanner app whose users ranged from students to MPs and ministers.
Naturally, after the ban, there was a rush to find a suitable alternative among users, and among developers to provide a suitable one living up to the user’s set standard of ‘privacy and data security’. At this juncture, we (Noman Hanif Barbhuiya & Zahirul Alam Laskar) both studying at Tezpur University, staying at home due to COVID 19 pandemic, decide it to be the right time and opportunity to venture in with their product and fulfil the user’s requirements.
After continuous work, simultaneous rigorous testing & analysis, for about 3 months, we came up with the alternative and accordingly named “Prodoc Scanner”, subsequently released in Play Store under their startup named Awessam Apps India”.
Cachar Chronicles’ correspondent Bishal Nath got in touch with lead developer Noman Hanif Barbhuiya and asked him a few questions. Below is an excerpt from that interview.
CC: So Noman, tell us something about yourself.
” I love Physics, I love Programming and I do a lot of procrastination. So these are the 3 Ps of my life”
CC: What about your schooling?
“I have studied till my class 10 in Sishu Sadan High School, then I did my HS from Srikishan Sarda College, Hailakandi and later did my Bachelor in Physics from the same College. After my graduation, I joined Tezpur University for my Masters in Physics.”
CC: Moving on, So when did the bug of coding bite you?
CC: Okay so what are the languages that you are acquainted with?
CC: So, how did the idea of ‘Prodoc Scanner’ came to mind?
“It began two years back, when I got admitted in Tezpur University, me and my friend Zahirul Alam Laskar, the second person in Prodoc team he’s the User Experience designer, he designs like how the layout of the app will be and how to improve the user experience. So, two years back we bought a domain for AWESSAM APPS.
CC: Awessam Apps? What is the history behind this name?
“ The word ‘Awessam’ is a portmanteau of the word ‘Awesome’ and ‘Assam’. Although registered two years back, due to time constraints, we could not work on any of our ideas which we wanted to work on back then. I went for Masters and my friend Zahirul Alam Laskar also got into Masters the following year, and hence no work could be done.”
CC: So basically, Zahirul Alam Laskar is the cofounder of ‘Prodoc Scanner’, Can I say that?
“Yes, but as a product cannot have a cofounder, so more precisely, he would be the co-founder of ‘Awessam Apps’, and under which we released the ‘Prodoc Scanner’.”
CC: Okay got it, so by now how many downloads or installs did you get?
“A little over 3500”
CC: And when was it published?
“It was published on September 8. There was a bug in the initial build and hence we did not promote or share for a few days until it got fixed”
CC: So what are your future prospects, I mean where do you want to ‘Awessam Apps’ next?
“We are working on some AI-based solutions. Artificial Intelligence based solutions, and we will post some of our insider look in our Instagram account.”
CC: Are you going to have entrepreneurship as your career?
” I am not sure as of yet, as I will definitely go for ‘research’ but most likely entrepreneurship will stay as developing is my passion and the entrepreneurship can be regarded as the outcome of my hobbies and passion.”
CC: So, will you earn any revenue out of ‘Prodoc Scanner’?
“Right now, we are not earning anything, because we are not sure how to place our ‘ads’. We don’t want to bother our users, we find ‘ads’ annoying, so we can’t push something to our users which we don’t like ourselves. It is a two-dimension optimization problem, to show ads while making sure that users do not face any problems. There will be a sweet spot, and we are trying to figure out that sweet spot.”
CC: Okay I will be concluding here, Any final message for future entrepreneurs of the Valley who want to do something but are scared to proceed?
“See if anyone wants to do something in the IT sector, where you are staying and how much money you have does not matter, what you need are just a good internet connection and a good computer. What I mean to say is if you want to do anything in software, you can start with almost no capital. But again, like if you are from those families with tight financial constraints, my advice would be to keep entrepreneurship as plan A, while also continue work on plan B as in like for a job, so that if your entrepreneurship fails, you have something to rely on.”
Team Cachar Chronicles wishes Noman and Zahirul and Zahirul Alam Laskar a warm congratulations and wishes them good luck for all their future endeavours and urges the readers to check out the app on play store, use it and encourage local entrepreneurs. CLICK HERE to download PRODOC SCANNER.