By: Elite Plus Editorial Team
As IT becomes more integral in our daily lives, Arnon Tangstitporn, one of the founders of Ayodia ROP explains what he has been doing to make his company and Thailand key global players.
Please tell us how Ayodia Registered Ordinary Partnership (Ayodia ROP) was established?
Ayodia R.O.P was the inspiration of a group of new generation people who all specialize in Information Technology (IT). We all love developing products or services in this field, especially developing software and applications.
We took our name, Ayodia, from the name foreigners called the former Thai capital, Ayutthaya. At that time, the kingdom of Ayutthaya was quite powerful and prosperous, trading with many countries in the region and beyond. Our goal is to one day make the Thai IT industry and products to also become well respected around the world, just like Ayutthaya in the past.
When did you realise you had such a love for software development and how did you bring together this group of people with a similar passion?
I became captivated by IT at a young age as working with computers and learning to create programs seemed to capture my attention in my earliest memories. When I got ready to go to university, I was determined to study IT and software development.
I could say that I was very fortunate to meet my colleague while at university as we had similar goals and determination. Together, we won the Imagine Cup competition organised by Microsoft. During that time, we didn’t just focus on our studies. We also participated in many different related activities and won several other competitions. We were first runner up at the National Software Contest (NSC) organised by NECTEC developing a 3D war game based on Thai history, specifically during the reign of King Naresuan the Great who led the Siamese fight for independence from Burma, now known as Myanmar. This game is called “Yuth”. We then participated in and won the first prize in another National Software Contest (NSC) competition developing an online multiplayer game based on the Ramayana epic called “Ramayuth”. In addition, we were first runner in TICTA Thailand ICT Awards.
These competitions and activities we participated in were tests that challenged us and proved we were on the right path. The more we participated, the more our love for IT grew. Because we had the same goals and determination, my partner and I along with the others associated with the company have been committed to making Ayodia ROP a success from the start.
Why did you choose to create a war game that takes place during the reign of Ayutthaya?
I love Thai history. However, what I love most are past times of conflict as I feel there is much we can learn from these. Ever since I was a child, I have wondered why there were no computer games on Thai history and so, it was always my dream to create one. So, while a student, when I felt I had enough knowledge and skill to create my dream game, I worked hard to develop one and enter it in a contest.
At that time, many people felt that computer games were something bad. Parents were afraid their children would become addicted and so discouraged them from playing. However, from a developer’s point of view, a game is one of the most complex software programs to be developed. Creating a game is very difficult and tests all your ability.
When developing a game, we must first think about what kind of content we want to present, and of course, when creating a game, there has to be some action and fighting. Therefore, the content had to be related to war at the core. We then moved on to designing the characters. For this, we had to do a lot of research on how soldiers dressed at that time. After this, we placed them in a 3D model. This model had to be designed in great detail, then coloured and finally exported into the game content, which is the first step in writing code to combine storyline and visuals to complete the game. However, this is not the end. After a game is created, it has to be tested before being seen by the judges and later released.
To be able to successfully create a game, we need to know and understand the logic and theory of real-time computer graphics, networking, artificial intelligence (AI) and much more. Not all software developers have all these skills, but through experience in game development, I have learned to adapt and develop software to produce more advanced games.
Ayodia ROP has now been developing software and applications for both the government and private sectors. What are the differences between working for government and private organisations?
In the private sector, we have worked for Siam Cement Group (SCG), PTT and King Power to name a few, while for the public sector, our clients have been the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA), Provincial Waterworks Authority, Equitable Education Fund (EEF) and Thailand Convention & Exhibition Bureau (TCEB). As far as differences working with each sector sectors, the private sector is a little more flexible and friendly. Government entities are very strict about paperwork, and there are many more required steps to follow. There are also many more signatures required when working with the government, which makes the process much slower and cumbersome.
What would you say are Ayodia ROP’s strengths?
This is a difficult question to answer. Let me talk about how I want Ayodia ROP to be viewed by our customers and what I want them to appreciate about us. First of all, we always try to be the best we can for our customers, and second, we never have an issue with not finishing a project. After developing new software or an application for a client, we remain responsible for its maintenance. Our work and relationships are based on honesty and ethics. If there is a misunderstanding, we will discuss this with our client and try our best to deliver the best result for them. We are continuously learning about new technology and adapting it for use by our company. We provide continuous training for our employees, both internally or by sending them to take classes outside the company. We send our employees for training that will lead to certification, for example, by Microsoft MCSA and MCSD as well as others.
How has Ayodia ROP dealt with the Covid-19 pandemic?
For us, I do not think we have really suffered. I feel that the pandemic has actually forced us to change our behaviour; we have to be able to adapt.
Now, as far as the IT sector, nothing has really changed, however, I would say that profits have declined. Our work load is basically the same, but earnings are down. Many customers are afraid to invest in new software, but instead to choose to spend their money on enhancing their old software to make it more stable during the pandemic. Meanwhile, because of the pandemic, many more people are working from home, and so companies really need to make sure the IT system or software they rely on will remain stable.
I would like everyone to view Covid-19 this way. With this pandemic, many say we must adapt to a “New Normal” way of life. Personally, I disagree with this concept. I, myself, believe that the pandemic is the reason for a “New Normal” way or life. It has only speeded up the evolutionary process which is forcing people to change and adapt more quickly than before. I view the current “New Normal” as temporary as a stimulus for new investment that will further change the way people are and will be living in the future. When I speak about investment, I do not only mean money. I’m thinking employee engagement, IT knowledge and many other things. What I believe should really focus on are “Economics”, “Convenience,” and “Optimization”, what they call ECO, which I consider our route into the future. Therefore, if we develop new products, IT software or any other innovations based on ECO, this will lead us to the real “New Normal” way of life. However, not everyone is ready for this new lifestyle, but sooner or later, the world has to change. Covid-19 is only something that is speeding up the process of people adapting to a changing lifestyle.
Any final thoughts for our readers?
Currently, many start-ups are interested in new IT technologies: Artificial Intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT), Blockchain, Cryptocurrency, Big Data and others. Sooner or later these technologies will become integral parts of our lives. We cannot go against this. However, before adapting these technologies into usage or jumping into these fields, we must first know our capabilities. I would like to advise start-ups or anyone interested in entering this field to first know your ability and the positioning of your company. Begin right, and the rest will follow. As for Ayodia ROP, next year, we plan to launch two or three new products. I cannot reveal what they are now, but we are doing our best to produce and present these products to the world.