In 2013, Silicon Valley was already saturated with tech start-ups, venture capitalists, and programmers coding at the speed of light to stay on trend with consumer needs. It was the year Twitter filed for IPO with just one woman on their board, which caused an understandable amount of public criticism. In the same year, miles away from California, a software development company called ITvTi was founded in Fiji. Rob Cromb, co-founder of high street fashion brand, Kookai, started the company to foster the growth of technology at home in Fiji. By shifting the manufacturing of Kookai clothing to Fiji a number of years ago, Rob and his team drastically lifted employment options, particularly for women. Now they have set out to establish a strong and sustainable tech startup culture in Suva.
The company that started five years ago with three young graduates from the University of the South Pacific now has ateam of 14 young people with female representation. True to the success stories from Silicon Valley, ITvTi houses a young and innovative workforce with the average age of employees being 24 years. Since it’s inception, the company has concentrated on the development of these young people with particular focus on continued learning. This organic approach to growth and future-focused operations has naturally led to a specialisation inapp development (iOS and Android), web design, e-commerce and building business intelligence software. The ITvTi team were quick to see a trend in the local market — a reliance on offshore developers by local companies. To prove that local graduates could compete on
a global level, they set out to develop and launch the “Find Fiji” App earlier this year. “A lot of local companies are engaging offshore developers to do their software development and we wanted to let the public know that there is a local option available that is just as good or better than their offshore options. Our USP graduates are highly skilled and fostering local talent is a huge priority for us”, ITvTi Marketing Manager Tulaga Witcombe said. The Find Fiji App is free to download and an easy way to quickly search up businesses and services in Fiji. As a local or visitor, you simply type in what you’re looking for and all your options pop up instantly on your smartphone screen. Users can search by name or by category, which is especially useful for visitors to the island — particularly the in-built feature which gives users directions to the service provider they choose. The team has also introduced a “Hot Deals” section where businesses can advertise specials and promotions. Asked about future aspirations, Tulaga was quick to affirm his belief in the talent and potential for technology in Fiji. “We want to make Fiji a hub for software development by providing world class software solutions. We are primarily driven by the goal to create jobs for our IT students in Fiji and to enable a future where Fiji becomes an exporter instead of an importer of technology services. ITvTi also wants to use its knowledge in technology to assist local businesses with taking their product to market and helping authorities with software solutions that improve productivity and efficiency.” The “Find Fiji” app is available to download from the app store on all iOS and Android devices.
ITvTi Team in Fiji