“We have access to very good skills, and we have the right regional experience. This is our position of strength.Our goal is to be globally attractive and competitive in building solutions relevant to our market. We will double down on improving our skills and solution development processes to increase the quality of output for our customers,” he wrote in a blog post.
According to Dr. Kamal, the community and the eco-system iHub serves has changed and the change comes with more opportunities and jobs. iHub is therefore learning to utilize its own insights help local and global companies connect, build and invent to provide solutions to their customers’ issues.
“There is a need for invention. I believe strongly that our market is underserved with truly differentiating inventions that solve regionally relevant problems,” he added. “The essence in our shift is from serving a somewhat abstract community to serving customers that make up our community. This should not be misconstrued as a transition from doing good to making money. Commercial viability is essential for the iHub to continue to do good and the better we will do commercially, the more we can reinvest into our people and the community we serve.”
Dr. Kamal, an immediate former director IBM Research – Africa based in Nairobi, Kenya, started his career at IBM after graduating with a PhD in Theoretical Physics from Germany’s Göttingen University. He went on to hold various executive positions at IBM Research in the US and India. His major focus has been Smarter Cities, e-government, creation of impact-driven commercially viable innovations, business process management, cloud computing and enterprise social computing. He is also an elected member of the IBM Academy of Technology.
As the interim CEO of iHub, Dr. Kamal will be at the center of creating an ecosystem for innovation and technology to solve pressing issues as well as building ventures, creating jobs and developing skills. He is best suited to drive iHub’s shift to better service offerings, profitability and acceleration of innovative and forward thinking start-ups.
As everyone knows, The iHub has been at the center of Kenya’s tech ecosystem and has led to the birth of several other hubs in the region and across Africa, having a mind like Dr. Kamal to drive iHub’s mission is one great achievement.
“We have a unique strength in connecting people and organizations in the region. We are respected for our past accomplishments and we are trusted today as in the delivery of services relevant to the community. This is our position of strength. But despite our competitive advantage, we will double down on understanding the abstract notion of community better and learn to serve the community for what they are: our customers who expect value from us they cannot get elsewhere,” he concluded.
Image credits:BBC Focus on Africa