Tell us about yourself?
I hold a degree in Telecommunications Engineering. I consider myself a technology native. Passionate about scaling top consumer software products & services in both developed and emerging markets. My recent venture is in the health care industry, where the focus is on making health care accessible and affordable to all.
What do you think is the single biggest misconception people have when it comes to startups?
From my experience, those who venture into entrepreneurship are not properly understanding why they are doing it. Why just get a 9-5 job, get your salary at the end of the month, pay bills and keep moving? Why take the risk of starting a business from scratch with all the uncertainties? I always admire anyone who takes up the courage to try to solve a problem facing us. In the end, they are creating opportunities for others.
If you could go back in time to any moment from your journey, and give yourself one tip, what would it be?
This quote sums up all that I would say to myself: ‘Keep pushing’. The timing for your ultimate break can take place anytime as you journey on; “Never give up on a dream just because of the time it will take to accomplish it. The time will pass anyway.”
What makes you stand out as an entrepreneur?
Resilience, perseverance, and never afraid to continue experimenting!
What are some of the best working habits you’ve gained over the past couple of years?
*Work-life-balance. Work hard but always remember to take care of yourself.
*Respect other people’s time and deadlines
Give us a bit of an insight into the influences behind the company?
More than half of the people globally lack access to essential health services. Health care for most of the world’s population is self-pay and cash-paying patients get a raw deal as 20-40% of global health care spending is wasted per the WHO. My company is bringing a solution that will ensure health care is affordable and easily accessible to all.
Where do you see your business in five years?
Whilst the focus is helping patients pay less, our health savings vehicle is powered by data monetisation (all patients population-level data will be de-identified). I see the business expanding to many countries because most places are embracing big data and the monetisation aspect of it.
What do you think the biggest challenge will be for you in getting there?
Different governments have different policies surrounding digital health data. The challenge is how complex will it be to navigate through the compliant issues?
Talk to us about your biggest success story so far?
We initially piloted in rural Kenya and managed to onboard over 3k patients on our USSD platform (a simple technology that does not require internet-enabled devices) – working closely with community health workers who go door to door in the village. That was quite impressive and validated our assumptions quickly!
How do clients and customers find you? Are you much of a salesperson for yourself?
We are scaling with community health workers who are on the ground and social media outreach.
What one tip would you give to fellow startup founders?
Networking is key. Be open-minded. Listen carefully to your target audience (what they want NOT what you think is right for them) – and, if you need to pivot, – do it!
And finally, what do you hope the future brings both you personally, and your business?
I’m hopeful for the future. Technology is an enabler and if we leverage on it, we are onto something that is going to solve some of the world’s pressing issues.