Eight years ago, one of my mentors told me the above quote, he further shared that by giving and sharing, one does not lose, rather one will “get and grow”. It sounded contradictory, against every principle in the competitive society that our world is. I simply could not comprehend this. Our consulting firm Sterling Team was then a fledging company without any track record. We needed all the help and support from others we could get, not the other way around.
It took half a decade for the meaning behind this quote to sink in. Our team had developed and grew over those first few years and we were looking to do more. We felt called to help micro and small retailers manage their sales and inventories and this calling manifested itself in a new Android application: iREAP POS Lite. Launched in November 2014, it is available free of charge AND free of ads on Google Play. This was a way for us to give back to society, it was our social mission.
“Is this app really free?”, “Are there any strings attached to it?”, “Where do we get income from?”. To date, 16 months after its launch, there are still many who doubt and question our motives. It is difficult to answer these questions convincingly, but we try our best. We are a consulting firm which implements integrated software for corporate customers. Many of our customers are from the retail industry, and hence, we have developed much skill and expertise in the retail sector and IREAP POS Lite is the fruit of our passion.
In April 2015, less than half a year after our launch, we received an encouraging comment from Alex, a user in Russia, who complimented the app for its robustness and ease of use. He was convinced that the app could be useful for many Russians and following the spirit of our social mission, he translated iREAP POS Lite into Russian for FREE. We were all amazed. Someone who did not know us at all except through email correspondence was willing to support our social mission. Our updated version release ver2.05 was released later that month, offering Russian in addition to the original Indonesian and English.
We thought we were lucky until just a few days ago.
On February 17 this year, we launched ver2.19 which supports yet another language, French. Reaching users of other languages and cultures were not even in our wildest dreams, but it seems that fate has connected us with others who embodied the same spirit as us. The effort of Dominique Viard has now made this app available to French speaking users, not only in France, but in many growing French-speaking economies around the world . Both Alex and Dominique believes in the impact the app can have and were willing to help us transcend language to impact more lives.
Now, eight years later, “Giving is Getting and Growing” means so much more to me.
Our user comments are our reward, we are regularly affirmed by the simple encouragements we receive from users. Some users even offer valuable comments and contributions which help us grow. I have to admit that not all the comments we receive are motivating; we still come across a few unsatisfied users. However, they do not put us down as we work towards improving iREAP POS Lite.
For more details about our Corporate Social Responsibility program and iREAP POS Lite, please visit http://www.sterling-team.com/solution/free-ireap-lite-pos-android/.
May we continue receiving strength to further pursue our social mission.