‘Making people’s life cheaper makes you richer.’ Meet Sadiki, who is living by this statement made by Dr. Vincent Ogutu during one of their chats while in the University.
A tech enthusiast and the brains behind KIRA Computer Services, Sadiki, a fourth year student at Strathmore University narrates how he started his business. Initially, his goal was to sustain himself while on campus so as to avoid relying on his parents for financial needs. KIRA Computer Services, a project inspired by Sadiki’s love for technology, was started when he recognised the need to transition from exhausting manual jobs with meager pay to cater for himself and focus on his academics. He gained the confidence to start KIRA Computer Services after going for his Service Based Learning(SBL) at St. Mary’s hospital in Kibera. Here, he created a database system for the organization, enabling them to manage information digitally. “All their information was stored in physical papers and files,” he says. He still visits the organization once in a while to check on the system and make enhancements as needed.
Starting by fixing the smallest machines: phones, radios, laptops, just to mention a few, gave him the confidence to delve into the world of providing solutions to tech problems. Presently a team of seven, they are growing the business over time. They are now fixing or installing the internet, developing applications, among other big projects. One of the projects that Sadiki looks forward to is to develop an application for a school. The app would enable parents to receive all the communications regarding any changes in the school without depending on the updates sent through the students.
“I started KIRA because of the tough economic situations back at home.” Sadiki says he appreciates taking every unit offered in his course seriously because each one of them has been beneficial to him and his business. The communication Skills he acquired in the first year empower him to communicate effectively with his clients. Additionally, he leverages negotiation skills, particularly in financial matters, along with other fundamental skills that one requires before starting a relationship or business.
Sadiki has encountered some setbacks while on this journey of growing his business, notably with time constraints as he prioritizes his academics over KIRA Computer Services. Managing client expectations, especially regarding the effort required to accomplish a tech project is a challenge, with some clients perceiving the charges as excessive. However, after conducting their research, they come back to him. Additionally, acquiring clients is not guaranteed for KIRA Computer Services as the team largely relies on referrals or word-of-mouth marketing, a slow process but which they appreciate because it reinforces Sadiki’s patience.
An introvert, Sadiki says that he is trying as much as he can to make friends, business partners, mentors, clients, among others. This presents a challenge for him as it is currently the sole avenue through which he can acquire clients.
“Currently, KIRA Computer Services operates as a mobile shop but we are now more into creating visibility to our potential clients. At the moment, we are a team of seven people with diverse skills in the tech field. This team will grow as I envision KIRA Computer Services to be a very big firm for all technological solutions.”
Sadiki’s word to anyone who is aspiring to start a business is, ‘If you want to start a business, start with your passion. It is easier to grow in what you are passionate about rather than what you think will generate quick profits.’
Article Written by Teresa Nekesa
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