1.Can you tell us about Media Defined and its products?

[Himansu Karunadasa] MediaDefined, headquartered in Dallas, TX, USA, is a leading SaaS Software Company specializing in Virtual, Social, and Classroom Learning Management and Certification solutions tailored for enterprise customers. Our flagship product, the NetExam Learning Management System, has been used by global giants AT&T, DELL, AMD, Oracle, Johnson & Johnson, IBM, and Honeywell.

Industry experts recognized NetExam as a top-tier LMS for Channel Partner Training, awarding it first place in the “Channel Partner Training” category of Talented Learning’s 2023 TOP 15 Specialty Learning Systems Awards. This award has been given out only twice and NetExam has won it both times.


2.What kind of company can benefit from NetExam?

[Himansu Karunadasa] I can think of three primary categories.

Companies that rely on a partner, dealer or reseller network can certainly use NetExam to train this external workforce on how to best represent the company. NetExam measures the performance increase in your external workforce and helps you correlate it to training. For example, if you rely on a reseller network to sell your product, we can show you how much more trained resellers will sell as opposed to those who are not. A global personal computer manufacturing company that uses NetExam found out that trained resellers sell 143% more than those who do not.

The second category is companies that need to train their customers on how to use and make the best use of the products or services they offer. In situations like this, we’ll help you measure the increase in customer satisfaction or the decrease in your customer support cost to justify your investment in customer training. We’ve helped a lot of companies save a lot of money in support costs.

The third category is employee training. Companies in this category use NetExam to train and certify their employees. NetExam’s integrations with HR systems make the data flow automated and seamless.


3.What are the new technologies you see coming up in the Learning Management space?

[Himansu Karunadasa] One of the new products that’s going to come out in the next few weeks is our ‘AI for Enterprise Learning suite. This suite has a collection of AI-powered modules for course content generation, exam generation, contextual translations, essay/video grading, interactive simulations, subject matter expert chatbots, etc. The modules are powered by a private large language model (LLM) that our enterprise customers will have control over. Our team has been working jointly with IBM’s WatsonX team to develop this product.  


4.How did you get started in Sri Lanka?

[Himansu Karunadasa] Before 2008, all our operations were based out of our Dallas, TX office. However, due to rapid growth that year, we recognized the need to enlarge our engineering team. I had always wanted to give back to my country of birth, Sri Lanka, and was aware of the exceptional engineering talent there. So, in 2008, we launched a pilot project with a small team of four to assess its potential. One of those original team members was Vipul, who initially came on board as our Software Engineering Manager, to lead that team. The team’s work surpassed our expectations and we kept expanding it. Within approximately five years, we were able to delegate the majority of our engineering tasks to our Sri Lankan branch and Vipul transitioned into the role of General Manager. We now have about 60 engineers.


5.What are the challenges and opportunities of managing a software company in Sri Lanka?

[Vipul Perera] It’s been both a very challenging and rewarding experience managing the company. But what I am really happy about is that our operation generates significant foreign income for Sri Lanka at a time when the country can really use it.

It was indeed a challenge operating the business during the time of the COVID-19 pandemic as well as during the economic crisis in Sri Lanka when fuel was rationed and there were regular power interruptions. The Sri Lankan office is MediaDefined’s primary software development and support centre. So, we had to be fully operational 24/7 to support our global customer base.  Shutting down operations for a period of time was not an option. My management team and I were able to find ways to keep things running smoothly with the dedication and hard work of our staff.  We have a very committed and dedicated staff that I am very grateful for. We try to give them the best work conditions.


 6.What do you do to maintain such a committed team and what led to the decision to locate your office in Katubadda, away from the bustling centre of Colombo?

[Vipul Perera] Embracing the challenge and the associated risks, as mentioned by Himansu, proved to be a turning point. Five years after our inception in 2008, we successfully transitioned over 95% of our engineering work to Sri Lanka. During this period, I assumed the role of Director of Operations and I introduced the ‘Second Home’ concept to our Sri Lankan office. This approach has significantly reduced stress levels among our team, fostering a happier and more productive work environment. We’ve always prioritized the convenience and well-being of our staff, a key factor in our decision to locate outside of Colombo. This choice has not only facilitated hassle-free commuting but also offered a green and serene work environment. As a result, we’ve maintained a staff retention rate of over 85%.

Our efforts were recognized last year when we received the ‘Best Solution Provider of the Year’ Award at the South Asian Business Excellence Awards 2022. This year, we’re thrilled to have been honoured with the ‘Best ICT Company of the Year’ Award. Additionally, I personally received the ‘CEO/Director of the Year’ Award at the Commonwealth Business Excellence Awards 2023.


7.Do you plan to market your product in Sri Lanka?

[Vipul Perera] Yes, we are planning on it for 2024.

There are so many companies in Sri Lanka that fit into the categories Himansu described earlier. We would like to make our best-of-breed software platform available to those Sri Lankan companies as well.

NetExam is a multilingual software platform available in 28 languages including Sinhala and Tamil.  With our Development and Support Center right here in Sri Lanka, we are well-equipped to support the local customer base.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *