As the smartphone has become a daily necessity, countless apps are released every day, with worldwide app downloads surpassing 175 billion in 2017. The company we’re going to introduce today is Drama & Company, a developer of South Korea’s popular business card app called “Remember.” Let’s meet with company CEO, Choi Jae-ho.
Drama & Company is an IT startup that has developed and supplied a business card management app known as “Remember.” The company was established in 2013 and it began to provide the app in January 2014. The word “Drama” in the company’s name is actually the short form of “Dream and Make it Happen.” It reflects our firm determination to cherish dreams and fulfill them.
Choi entered Gyeonggi Science High School for the Gifted at the top of his class and graduated from the Electronic Engineering department at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology. He worked as a consultant for six years at Deloitte Consulting and Boston Consulting Group. In 2013, he set up his own company to take up a new challenge. He dreamed of establishing a business networking platform based on business cards. In the envisioned platform, relations starting from business cards would create new relations and lead to successful business opportunities. As the starting point for the new service, the company launched a business card management app in 2014.
This is how the app works: users activate the app and take a photo of a business card. The image of the card is transmitted to our server. Then our typists enter the information on the card and save it on the users’ smartphones. In two to three minutes, the users are notified of the result. From then on, they can find the information whenever necessary. For example, if you take a photo of the business card of A, the app automatically reads and saves their information on it. Later, you can find the information about A by searching for their name or company. You can also send a text message or email to them or visit their office.
When meeting people for business purposes, office workers usually exchange business cards. Names, titles, phone numbers and email addresses are written on the cards. They put the cards in a small box or slip them in a name card book. The box or the book is soon filled with cards. It takes too much time and effort to arrange them one by one. But if the cards are just piled in the corner, they lose their purpose as an information source. Users of the app, “Remember,” don’t have to worry about that. Once they take a photo of business cards that they received offline, the information on the cards is automatically saved in their smartphones. With this service, Drama & Company accounts for 80 percent of the domestic business card management app market. Why is this service especially popular, among other similar apps?
When “Remember” was released, there were about 100 similar apps. They used the optical character recognition or OCR method to recognize letters. But with this method, it is difficult to correctly recognize the letters on business cards, which vary in font style and size. As a result, users had to double-check and correct the information themselves. Due to the inconvenience, they no longer used those apps. We wanted to improve the situation. We found people who didn’t feel inconvenient in managing business cards at all. They were company executives who had their own secretaries. They simply gave business cards to their secretaries and asked them to type up the information. That sounded very convenient. We thought we could perform the role of the secretary. That’s how we came up with the idea of manual transcription.
After users of this app take a photo of business cards, company employees type up the information on the cards themselves and send the result to the users’ smartphones. So there are no recognition errors, and it takes only a few minutes to type the information. The manual transcription technology differentiates “Remember” from other apps based on the traditional OCR method. Moreover, users can download the app for free. The free, convenient app became famous through word of mouth, with the number of registered users increasing fast.
The app now has about 1.8 million registered users. We have carried out promotional and marketing activities, of course. But more importantly, a lot of users were pleased with the service and recommended it to their friends and colleagues. Our important goal this year is to explore overseas markets. We’re planning on advancing into foreign markets from March. We believe “Remember” will prove competitive in other countries, as it has already done here in Korea. We want to let overseas consumers enjoy this convenient and valuable service. Our ultimate goal is to expand the app into a business networking service and earn profits from it. Exploring foreign markets will help realize the goal more quickly.
The service has secured 1.8 million registered users in just four years since its launch. Next month, the app will be exported to Asian nations where business cards are widely used and English-speaking countries as well. From the initial stage, the company attracted investment worth 8.6 million US dollars, including the government fund of funds. Last year, it drew massive investment from Naver, Korea’s top search engine operator. The company is confident about the success of its overseas business as well, as its convenient app with recognition accuracy is considered competitive enough in foreign markets. On the back of wider markets, the company will seek to develop a business networking platform.
For now, “Remember” is recognized as its key role of “digitizer.” Moving beyond simple typing, the app should evolve into a “finder” that would locate something or someone users want to find when doing business. We have to make more efforts to create the new business networking platform that connects users with individuals or with companies. If the users are sure of the effectiveness of the business networking service, the new platform will prove its value and create some profit model as well. The business card management app will certainly expand into the wonderful service.
By managing business cards effectively, you could find customers to buy your products, experts to help you with your business and partner companies to establish an alliance with you. Drama & Company is dreaming of creating an ideal business channel to connect people and deliver information. The company believes in the value of dreams, and it definitely has a bright future ahead of it.