The head of Safaricom’s innovation lab, Kamal Bhattacharya, has left Kenya’s biggest telecoms company less than a year and a half after he joined. He left after leading Safaricom’s Alpha innovation unit since April of 2017.
The former IBM executive told Reuters he had left to focus on a technology start-up which involves the education sector.
An email sent to Safaricom staff said that Bhattacharya elected to leave the company to pursue other interests. The email, however, did not give any details regarding the fate of the company’s Alpha Innovation lab.
Bhattacharya presided over the piloting of Bonga, a social messaging app that will link to its widely used mobile money platform Mpesa in an attempt to move the company into the application business.
Alpha is yet to announce any other products apart from the app.
Kamal Bhattacharya also previously worked at iHub, in the position of CEO. He oversaw the transformation of iHub from a community focused space to a revenue-centric space. In March last year, Mr. Kamal left iHub and joined Safaricom to lead the innovation team.