App developers, Eriko Varkey and Yasmine Rasool, are creating a stir in the Middle East with unique apps like Halla Walla, which allows users send each other emojis with Middle Eastern themed design.
Tell us something about your programs.
My partner Eriko and I formed Yerv, we create lifestyle apps. Our first release was Waastaa, a visual directory of the creators of the world. We discover hand-picked creatives in cities around the world and collaborate with them in real time. Waastaa means being connected, so we created a visual diary for can’t-miss events by creatives.
Halla Walla aims to capture the true essence of an Arab family
in your city or anywhere in the world. From illustrators to chefs and everything in between, just search and swipe through stunning portfolios, connect with the makers through chat and even find out where you can see them and their works.
The second app we released is Halla Walla, the first Arab emoji keyboard app featuring emojis and GIFs created for the Arab World. Halla Walla aims to capture the true essence of the wholesome Arab family. It allows users to access hundreds of designs from characters in their national attire to traditional comfort foods and features exclusive Arabic text bubbles.
What efforts do you put in to maximise your reach?
We strongly believe in focus groups, the more the better. Getting feedback from our audience gives us the ability to provide a product that can be useful and benefit for both us and our client.
Do you have a success mantra?
We believe in the phrase ‘there is a solution for every problem’.
How do you handle competition?
The more people help a similar cause, the better for our customers.
Do you plan to develop more apps in the future or venture into something else as well?
We are currently in the process of releasing phase two of Waastaa, which will include a cultural guide functionality. We will reveal more in the upcoming months. Yerv creates ideas into apps, we have many more creations in the pipe line.
Is there any message/advice you would like to give to the potential developers?
Never underestimate the power of branding!
Words By: Pooja Kulkarni