Sodexo rebrands Kenya unit into Apptivate Africa to target the corporate e-lunch meal card scheme

French-owned Sodexo, a digital lunch scheme provider has relaunched as Apptivate Africa in a bid to sign up more companies across Africa after a two-year test run in Kenya with less than 100 companies using its e-lunch product M-Kula which was launched in partnership with Jumia Food.

The firm also improved its shopping vouchers and increased choices for employees to meet the growing demand of the scheme by local firms seeking to improve their overall business productivity by boosting staff morale and productivity.

“We have shown that feeding workers via the mobile application that will help employers motivate their staff,” said Neil Ribeiro,  Apptivate Africa Chief executive officer.  

Sodexo Kenya, an offshoot of global benefits and rewards firm Sodexo based in France, sees the relaunch as the beginning of a journey to make more employees happy, improving productivity and boosting economic growth.

“Our strategy now is to develop solutions for the consumer. We will allow consumers to send gifts to each other on M-Tuza, and will allow Kenyans to access the special offers from our food vendors even if they do not have an M-Kula wallet,” added Ribeiro.

In 2014 the Kenyan Government identified employee feeding as a way to help drive productivity and amended the Income Tax Act to allow employees to receive Ksh 48,000 every year in meals, tax free.

Unlike normal supermarket vouchers which do not offer much variety and the voucher could only be used in one seating, Sodexo’s vouchers come with no logistical inconvenience as the vouchers are created and distributed from a web portal from the comfort of your desk. The users can use the digital vouchers at over 200 outlets and they don’t have to use it all at once.

M-Kula, according to the two firms, allowed employees access to Jumia Food delivery services, right at their office against monthly meal passes set up online per employee. The digital meal cards provide caters to both accountability and control and is available on both iOS and Android platforms allowing employers to implement the staff meal process through the platform by handing out vouchers that the staff can redeem through M-Kula.

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The deal was to allow allow consumers access to over 200 restaurants listed on Jumia Food website but not many restaurants took it up.

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