M-Kula signs up over 360 outlets as firms run to take advantage of its tax-free lunch scheme

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Apptivate Africa, a Kenyan based digital payment solutions firm launched an E-Lunch application in 2018 to help employers reinstate employee motivation through providing lunch.

Following various cases they have come across on employee turnover that is pegged on lack of motivation from their employers, a dreaded nightmare that most employers are yet to find lasting solutions for.

Apptivate Africa believes that, most employees at work are less motivated because apart from the paychecks, most employers concentrate on work delivery instead of having emphasis on their employee’s basics like food which is a necessity to make employees happy and more productive.

The M-Kula idea was handpicked from the Kenya Finance Act gazetted in 2015 which allows employers to spend Sh48, 000 annually on every employee’s lunch as tax-free income a voluntary scheme that is slowly gaining traction among corporate companies.

Apptivate charges every employer an average Sh3,600 shillings per month for every employee using the M-Kula App. Employers are allowed to choose on the payment plan and are permitted to pay up to Sh12, 000 per employee per month.

Nairobi based companies Tespok, Bean Interactive, Grant Thornton are among other firms that have signed their employees on the M-Kula App for their daily meals.  CEOs from both companies have undoubtedly confirmed that since the introduction of meals scheme, their employees have improved in productivity and also recorded positive energy from the deliveries they have made since then.

Cubist pharmaceuticals one of the companies that had incorporated lunch provision on the company daily schedule did a pilot test for 30 employees and they pointed out that the employees were productive and more energetic.

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“Since the launch of the application, we have 110 companies, 360 merchants who have signed up and we have 7,000 transactions per day. With the application on, food lovers are guaranteed convenience as they will receive their food on time,” said Apptivate Africa CEO Neil Ribeiro.

Apptivate notes that, since the inception of the application, it has recorded there has been a growing number of signups from companies who are adopting the lunch provision concept.

As the company eyes expansion to larger markets, Neil Ribeiro urges more companies to take advantage of the tax-free lunch scheme inscribed in Kenyan laws to achieve shared growth with their employees.

“Employers are realising they need to provide more than a pay cheque to keep their teams motivated. Food is a basic human need, and a great way to get employees motivated and create an emotional connection between them and the company,” Added Ribeiro.

Currently, M-Kula has over 360 outlets, ranging from kiosks that serve meals between Sh100 to Sh300, restaurants that offer lunch from Sh200 to Sh400, various middle level food chains and high end food courts that charge between 300 and 1, 200 per plate served.

M-Kula also has partnerships with Jumia’s online eatery Jumia foods and K.tchen who deliver foods to offices within Nairobi. Additionally, there are over 30 caterers who dedicatedly prepare and deliver meals at offices. They charge between Sh100 to Sh600 per plate on average.

Apptivate anticipates that, through the lunch scheme, employers are likely to see improved productivity, high employees’ retention and as well as achieve as high as up to 150 per cent Returns of Investment (ROI).

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In a 2014 study conducted by Eat Club, a food delivery service firm, it was established that, 54 per cent of employees are likely to stay with the company if free lunch is added to employees perks while 70 per cent are likely to recommend the firm to their friends.

In the study, it was also pointed out that, employees will improve focus by 46 per cent, happiness by 60 per cent and productivity by 49 per cent on average and indicator that, adopting the scheme by companies will be as solution to some of their daily employee turnover encounters.