M-Changa is Kenya’s premier mobile and online fundraising platform. M-Changa gives a technology solution for events that we all participate in multiple times a year – the Harambee. M-Changa makes fundraising easier, more transparent and ultimately more successful.
We were curious about this fast growing start-up and managed to get hold of Kyai Mullei, CEO and co-founder M-Changa and this is what he had to say.
Tell us a little about yourself
I am a co-founder of M-Changa (alongside David Mark) and my background is in information systems design. I have an MBA in Computer Information Systems and 7 years’ experience in the field mostly designing financial systems for mid-tier firms.
What was the inspiration behind M-Changa, how it began and what did it take for you to get where you are now
The inspiration behind M-Changa was a real event. I was invited to be in yet another Harambee committee and I realized that the way it was being done was not sustainable in this day and age. Too much time was spent reconciling figures and managing communication, too much money was spent on venues for meeting to decide how to raise money. Too much confusion ensued toward the end of the Harambee because of multiple channels of payment. We decided that a solution was needed!
What were you doing before M-Changa
In 2006, I co-founded Kenya’s first development- focused information web portal, DevInfo Kenya and went on to develop hybrid software and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solutions to over 20 small and mid-size organizations including the African Centre for Economic Growth. I developed and managed financial services platforms for EPASS International in Kenya – a trade finance company with over USD$ 50 million in turnover. I have designed and developed mobile applications for financial services firms in Kenya and mobile commercial gaming in Haiti. He was featured in Africa Business Review’s Young Tech Entrepreneurs in 2012.
Did you know you were going to be an Entrepreneur all along or did it happen by chance?
I knew that working for someone was not an option for me during my time in college.
How successful are you in the business? Is there competition? And how do you face them
13,000 users and millions of shilling raised on M-Changa platform to date. There is no direct competition for our product. There are no other platforms that are designed for fundraising with all the nuances and requirements for this complex undertaking.
How is the response in your market, and who is your most important client?
We have an array of clients, the most common client and therefore the most important are individuals and organizations raising money for education-related activities.
Does ICT play a big role in you organization?
A massive role, our platform is a virtual one and relies heavily on ICT in all aspects of business operations.
Does your company have the power to influence ICT especially in Kenya, If yes how, if no why?
M-Changa is already an influencer of ICT policy in Africa. We are routinely invited to present and speak about innovation and policy across the continent. As one of three major crowdfunding platforms in Africa we are a local leader in alternative financing and have developed strong partnerships with local institutions.
Where could you place Africa in terms of ICT development?
Africa is decades behind the rest of the planet in terms of true integration of ICT into the day to day lives of citizens of the continent. Ironically it is because we are starting from 0 on the continent that we are able to create homegrown solutions for homegrown problems. In the next 5-10 years Africa will own its own ICT and be placed and measured against itself and not the rest of the planet.
What do you love most about your business and your life as an Entrepreneur?
Satisfied clients – because this means business success. And as an entrepreneur, the opportunity to create something that did not exist before.
What keeps you and your team motivated?
Satisfied clients- we pride ourselves on our ability to deliver a product / service that people want and to deliver it well.
What can your team not live without?
ICT tools – without this we would not be able to deploy our service.
Is there a specific skill one needs to join you, if yes what is it
Desire to be part of a success story – and everything else that comes with the territory.
What does M-Changa have in store for the future?
M-Changa will continue to be at the forefront of fundraising in Kenya. This year will see M-Changa establishing partnerships across multiple sectors. Smarter and more intuitive fundraising is also in the near future with deeper social network integrations as well as geo-locations in fundraiser discovery.
Who was the most influential person or mentor in your life?
My parents, they did and still do ask all the tough questions pertaining to whatever it is I am involved in, this has helped tremendously in making decisions (personal or business).