Cellulant team at the 2017 KPMG Top 100 Gala Dinner
Mobile phones have become ubiquitous in Africa. According to GSMA — the organization that represents mobile operators worldwide, with more than 420 million mobile subscribers, mobile money accounts are replacing traditional bank accounts in Sub-Saharan Africa. This has made the need for growth in the financial technology sector essential to accelerate the growth of African economies.
This is where Cellulant comes in.
Cellulant is on a mission to digitize payments for Africa’s largest economies. Recently recognized for innovation and KPMG Top 100 club 101, Cellulant is a payments company that is powering mobile and digital payments in Africa; and redefining Financial Technology in Africa. The company has transformed from it’s early days when we used to offer digital content, to what is now a payments network of serving more than 40 million customers across the continent.
“From the onset, we set out to solve real problems for everyday Africans. That meant that we built operations that were agile enough to meet market demands,” said Ken Njoroge, gCEO and founder of Cellulant.
One of the most recognized work done by the company is the innovation we brought to Nigeria, impacting agritech and the way farmers accessed subsidies. Having obtained a licence from the Central Bank of Nigeria to operate a mobile payments’ scheme in 2012, Cellulant took to market one of the large-scale uses of mobile commerce to drive sector transformation by rolling out an e-wallet for the Federal Government of Nigeria. The solution was dubbed the Growth Enhancement Support (GES) Scheme and it has since powered more than one billion dollars in subsidy payments to more than 17m farmers. This eWallet has also been adopted by other countries such as Liberia and most recently Afghanistan.
But the journey has not been easy.
Despite the having to contend with the slow regulatory framework in adopting policies that favor acceleration of Financial Technology solutions, Cellulant is showing a lot of promise in becoming a leader in the payments space in Africa.
From building the first BOT program to connect MPESA to banks, to building a mobile banking app for 33 markets in Africa, Cellulant is known known as the company that gets things done. One of the key factors to the company’s success is the focus on building products that are relevant to consumers. Most recently, the company launched Mula, and Tingg– payment solutions that enable African consumers to make payments and manage their money from a single platform.
Felix Nthigah, Cellulant Kenya MD says that Cellulant company is positioning right at the intersection of it banks, consumers and mobile operators in order to deliver the best payments services that connect people to their money every day. This gives Cellulant the vantage point of adding value to more 100 million customers in Africa and digitizing their payments experience.
“ there are different ways consumers can get value from the ecosystem Cellulant has built. Simply, we are building products whereby whether the money is seating in a bank or in an MNO wallet, customers can access their money and use it however they wish,” explains Nthigah.
In addition to the recent KPMG Top 100 recognition, Cellulant also has a number of awards under their belt. Just recently, Cellulant was named the Best Payments and Transfer Company in Africa 2016 by FinTech Africa 100. This year, they have several notable achievements as well. Among them; being featured by the London Stock Exchange as a Company To Inspire Africa; becoming the first company in Sub-Saharan Africa to join the Global Endeavor Entrepreneur Network and was named Company of the year by the African Diaspora Awards in New York City.
For those looking to venture into entrepreneurship, Ken Njoroge simply says “know your why.”
“Invest a lot in figuring out your “why”. Why do you do what you do? why have you chosen the business you’ve chosen? Why is a skill so important? Why do you choose to institutionalize a business this or that way? Then more grit and determination than anyone. Ultimately, have the willingness to outwork anyone and to not give in to the blockages in the road and push through them and stick to the vision.”
Cellulant Feature in Business Daily in Kenya- December 1, 2017