ENOVA in the Aroma dialect of Central means cloud and the Kula family from Paramana Village knew the significance this has with this day and age in technology and named their small company eNova Software Solutions.
When the Kulas started their business in 2013 the android mobile phones were sold at K99 and using cloud technology they named their business eNova 99.
The motivation to start up the business in information communication technology (ICT) came from the only brother in their family Professor Raula Kula who is a software engineer and lives in Japan.
Prof Kula who graduated with a PhD in 2013 from NAIST University in Japan wanted to give back to his community and the nation what he had learnt and created a tool called the Enova tool that they now use for their data collection.
Youngest of the family Emily Kula-Lea left her career with the Department of Environment and Conservation (now Conservation and Environment Protection Authority) to manage the business.
“It’s a family business that I run with the help of my dad, mom, big brother and sisters.
“We have a tool that we use for big data collection which comprises of a smartphone, QR codes and analytics for visualisation.
“We are also part of the ICT Cluster Association of which the patron is Deputy Prime Minister Davis Steven.
“We’ve been with the ICT cluster for two years,” she said.
Prof Kula worked with Daltron Electronics Company and with their father Gai Kula’s 30 years’ experience with bio-diversity and community assessments they came about with the idea to start data collection.
“We saw the need for our people need to be heard and without any reliable data, it would be difficult for them to receive services.
“Our first project was with National Statistical Office (NSO).
“We did a business registry which we called eBizReg and with that project we faced some challenges and we did some changes,” she said.
Lea said NSO wanted an application that would map out their business so they developed an application for that.
She said it was a big project, the first for eNova Software Solutions.
“After that we had other smaller projects and then in 2017 we joined the ICT Cluster Association.
“With the ICT cluster we started our journey with Justice and Attorney-General Minister Davis assisting us with projects and we had a project in his Esa’ala District with the Goldies Bird of Paradise which is still an ongoing project.
“We created the SIYAE app which means Goldies’ bird of paradise in their local dialect.
“We tried to make the application local as possible so they named the application,” she said.
Lea also took part in the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) 2018 in Port Moresby where she made a presentation at the Senior Officials Meeting 1 for bridging the digital divide.
She also took part in the agriculture week for the Apec Food Security and Women’s forum. Enova initiated a project in the Paramana Village in line with the local level government election that took place in 2013.
Lea said it was a household survey to determine the number of people participating in the election.
“We trialed it, went around to the village and did collections of the number of people living in the houses and we took a Global Positioning System (GPS) of all the houses.
“That was a first project and there were trials and errors that we learnt that we could improve our application.
“We proposed to the NSO and they engaged us to do the business registry,” she said.
Lea said the NSO project started in 2015 and in 2017 they had a trial in Lae and Port Moresby.
“With the application it mapped out the businesses in PNG both in Lae and Port Moresby.
“Using the PNG standard industrial classification we tried to map out the types of businesses and at what level and whether they existed or not using the GPS location.
“Those were the results that we were expected to give – a map, statistics and the types of businesses and where they were located.”
Lea said NSO saw that the project had potential to be used on a wider scale and also to help them with GDP collections.
“With the changes in the NSO management, we couldn’t continue our contact with the officers at NSO. We have not been given any feedback yet. We have given the applications to NSO and the staff received training on how to use the applications,” she said.
Another project for eNova was the PNG Sports Foundation expo.
They registered all the school students who participated in the expo to see if the students were interested in certain sports.
“We asked the questions to the students and they had a choice of three. It was a three-day event and they had to choose the best three sports,” she said.
Meanwhile Lea recently participated in a pitching competition for women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics sponsored by the US Embassy.
She was recommenced to the US Embassy and selected to attend the Global Inclusive Science and Technology competition.
It was a five-day event involving 15 women competitors from all Apec economies.
“I was privileged to attend this event in Chile and from the experience that I have learnt I want to teach the younger children how to do coding technology,” she said.
The Kula family members have different areas of specialty which helps them in the management of their business.
“My dad Gai Kula is the mentor and we have two consultants; my brother Dr Kula and my sister Winifred Kula-Amini and our marketing manager is another sister Elma Polum.
“We operate our business from home at Gordon,” she said.
Lea said currently they were working on smaller scale projects including event management for two clients, the Badili Club and the ICT Cluster Association.
She said with the Badili Club eNnova Software Solutions provides registration for their events.
Recently in the first week of October the Badili Club Red Table event was hosted in which eNova provided the coding for the event to help manage their sitting arrangements.
“In September we also had professors from different countries in science and technology present the Bridges 2019 event organised by University of PNG and Nara Institute of Science and Technology (NAIST) .
“Nara in partnership with UPNG had engaged eNova as the local support to help organise the event at International Convention Centre.
“Having to change from biochemistry to technology I had to learn hands-on with support from my brother and sisters. After receiving his doctorate in software engineering my brother decided he wanted to give back to the country and his people.
“During that time also with the election and ballot papers going missing, we wanted to come up with a system that would be easy for our people to understand. We came up with this to help our people understand.
“With the codes that we developed it makes it easy for our people to use.
“It is also to address our low literacy issues in the country and we also want to go paperless.
“With the growing technology around the world, we need to keep up to speed and the way forward for our people is education,” Lea said .