Colombo-based start-up Duthaya launches pilot program to assist citizens with on-demand services

With the sharing economy on the rise in Sri Lanka, Colombo-based start-up Duthaya Digital Services has launched a pilot program for on-demand services, allowing Sri Lankans, who are currently undergoing a severe economic crisis, to complete tasks with extraordinary ease.

The new Android app was released last week. Most chores can be completed in 120 minutes or less, and customers can book and confirm a task in five minutes or less. Booking a messenger (or “Duthaya” in Sinhala) for a specific government service, sending or receiving documents or packages, or a business need can be now done via the app. Duthaya Digital Services has been funded by Digital Zyndicate, a Delaware-based Venture Capital firm, since its inception and now owns a controlling stake in the company.

Duthaya mobile app creates and facilitates an online and mobile marketplace that connects freelance labour with local demand, allowing consumers to find immediate assistance with many on-demand daily tasks, such as waiting in line, applying for banking and government services, and picking up and delivering items from local businesses.

Consumers are actively looking for goods and services that can be purchased with a few clicks on their smartphones or other mobile devices. Other companies in the sharing economy, such as Uber and Grab, also provide a variety of on-demand services, such as courier services and food and item delivery.

Aside from on-demand rollout, some government service task requests are permitted to be postponed for the day and then resumed the next day, so it is not about facilitating one-day service offerings with government services.

Commenting on the company’s investment in Duthaya, one of Digital Zyndicate’s co-founders, Madushka Dias, said, “First, we must recognize the changing environment and change our mindset to act with purpose rather than regret. While most business and political leaders see these times as tumultuous, we see them as a time of incredible opportunity. To succeed, you must play your cards correctly. Duthaya provided us with an ideal opportunity to get into this space because the sharing economy is still growing, and businesses should take note,”

Dias also stated that they would closely assess the success and failures of the pilot program with the management team of Duthaya Digital Services. The Digital Zyndicate will then decide how the same service can be expanded to several South American and Southeast Asian countries in the next few years.

Dias continued, “We started Digital Zyndicate as a seed investment firm with a grand purpose in mind, and with Digital Zyndicate majority ownership, Duthaya could realize even greater opportunities, increasing earning potential, and connecting consumers to a wide range of affordable services.”

According to a spokesperson for Duthaya Digital Services, the company has received over 15000 applications from potential freelancers eager to join as ‘Duthayas,’ often seeking short-term work and projects through the platform, and a significant portion of those applications are to work in Government services. The company will concentrate on providing more and more government services through the Duthaya app because the company believes there is a real nesh market there.

The spokesperson also stated that the company conducts background checks on freelance workers before they are approved and activated to work. They also sign an agreement with Duthaya Digital Services to ensure customer service excellence.

Furthermore, the company states that every potential Duthaya, who offers to do various jobs, will be meeting with someone from their operations team to learn extensively about the company and jobs they have to perform.

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