Every dot commend your way to owing a uniquely Geek T-Shirt? Well now you can. In a Move that may not challenge the global might of e-bay, a self confessed nerd has taken upon himself the challenge of setting up an online store.www.lankangeeks.com to help fellow geeks(read as IT enthusiasts ) Shop to their hearts content without leaving their chair or paying exorbitant shipping costs.
Aptly called “Lankangeeks”, the pioneering web-based retail service is the brainchild of 27 years old Nishshanka de silva, software Engineer @ CAM Management Solution, who is also a self confessed Geek. A graduate in computer science from the University of peradeniya, he attributes the shipping costs that make online shopping for products from US and UK based sites, prohibitively expensive as his motive for developing ‘ Lankangeeks’.
“In Sri Lanka we didn’t have that kind of site,” he says, explaining that since he researched the online ‘shopping cart’ concept for a project, he was able to launch the geeks operation with this facility.
Elaborating further Nishshanka declares that he wanted to create a sense of identity for IT professionals, to provide products exclusively for them.
”This is for Microsoft MVPs (Most Valuable Professionals), Software Engineers, IT Students, anyone with a passion for computers,”He says.
According to Nishshanka there are many online clothing websites in sri lanka, but there are drawbacks such as high prices and common everyday blandness, that don’t make the products very appealing.
“Lankangeeks is based solely on internet. Our Customer care is based mainly on email and online chatting. There is no face to face contact or even telephone contact. But if needed, they [the customer] can contact me,” he states.
He stresses that lankangeeks strives to provide the best customer service possible, by responding to queries immediately either by chat or email. ”lankangeeks prides itself on being the quickest adding.” when doing online business the main problem is that the customer can’t see the actual product before they buy. So we overcome this by providing all information about the product and real time images as well.”
Lankangeeks also offers the option of customized T-shirts. The usual procedure, if you want a custom design is to contact a t-shirt supplier and discuss the budget and designs. This usually means several visits. if your company has a design to be printed, you must go to the supplier’s location, or they must come to you. This wastes a lot of time. but at lankangeeks, everything is internet based.
if a company, Organization or individual needs a custom printed t-Shirt, all they have to do is send us an e-mail or chat with us. We design the T-shirt based on the requirement and e-mail the design to the customer for approval. If the customer gives the go ahead, we do the printing and deliver the product.”Nishshanka elaborates.
Obviously, the venture has proven to be very successful” nishshanka says. He started operations in April 2008, and recouped within three months all the money he expended on the business.’ I did not expect to break even so quickly. ’ he enthusiases.
Basking in the glow of this success, Nishshanka plans to develop lankangeeks further in the future, and include caps, trousers and shirts in the geek collection.”More than 30 new designs are in the pipeline. My primary goal is to open Geek outlets [actual physical stores] in kandy , Colombo and Galle .This is because a sector of the geek market in sri lanka doesn’t like to order products via the internet. However these stores will cater only to geeks. Each customer will have to provide evidence company ID or student ID that they are members of the geek fraternity. After checking the IDs, the accepted customers will be given a membership card. This is to maintain our uniqueness prevent unauthorized duplications.”
Nishhsnaka concludes:”I feel that all Sri Lankan IT professionals should have their own identity. Their clothes should speak for them.”
By Uditha D.  Man Mission Magazine Sri Lanka