journey started in 2008 with an Aiducation scholarship. Now, 8 years later he has successfully launched TechNet, a provider of dynamic and affordable websites and mobile applications for local Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in Kenya. In an interview, he tells us how everything started and what role Aiducation played in the success of his business.
Emmanuel, how did you come up with your small business idea?
Upon joining University, I developed a passion for website designing and development. This was brought by the need to set up an online e-commerce shop for my mother, who was running a boutique at one of the tourist hotels on Kenya’s coast. Through watching youtube tutorials and other tutorials from free online courses provider like Cousera and others, I honed my web designing skills. One day, I successfully designed a fashion blog website for one of the students. Before I realized, the student had become my first client and I went on to acquire extra clients and set up a company.
Was this a project you have always dreamt of launching?
Never before had I dreamt that I would run a company that deals with web design and mobile applications development. I think the fact that I realised that there was a market gap where web design and apps companies never targeted SMEs that is when I started pushing myself to the idea that I can one day bridge that gap. Well, I guess we are on motion to achieving that.
What role did Aiducation play in the success of your business?
Through Mentorship academies organised by Aiducation International, I have gained vast knowledge on running a business. I was privileged to be given a role by Aiducation International as the Head-coordinator of one of the Swiss Re Start up academies – something that gave me a lifetime experience of leading a team and being always 100% professional. These fruitful experiences have enabled me to launch and run TechNet-Kenya.
IT was also through Aiducation, that I got a chance to apply for the Swiss Re
Emmanuel is passionate about developing his business.
Were there any challenges you were facing when you started your project?
When starting, the company faced major financial constraints. TechNet needed items like computers and internet connection in order to serve clients, but due to lack of funds, these items were always limited. I remember for the first few months my personal laptop had to perfom double duties of school work and also business work, even though it was not even suited to handle heavy duties like web development.
Are you now a full-time business man at TechNet Kenya?
Yes, I am. Apart from my studies at university which will be over in 3 months’ time, nothing else catches my full attention more than TechNet-Kenya.
What does a normal working day for you look like?
I usually wake up at 5.00 am every weekday to prepare for the day. Each day I list at least 3 new things I need to achieve for the company. My classes usually start at 7.00 am and in some days might run to as late as 7.00pm. In the middle of the day, I usually take some hours to either finish on a website for a client or learn a new thing in web design. My day often ends as late as 11 pm when I have work for a client.
What is the most memorable feedback you have ever received on your project?
“I really appreciate the hard work, dedication, understanding and professionalism that you put in place to help me realize my dream.” This was the statement by an owner of a fashion website.
What are the future plans for TechNet-Kenya?
We would like to expand our market share in Kenya. To reach that goal we have set different actions we need to perform which most are already in progress. We hope to see massive effect in less than three months’ time.