Name: Angela Nzioki
Educational Background: Undergraduate Degree from Strathmore University
1) Where do you work now and how did you find your job?
I am the Country Manager of Pluspeople Kenya Limited, an IT company that has been recognized and awarded for its focus on empowering SMEs in East Africa by offering them cloud based IT solutions to manage their businesses more professionally.
Pluspeople’s product portfolio consist of:
www.Uhasibu.co.ke - UHASIBU is a cloud based accounting package developed specifically for small and medium companies in East Africa. Supporting the local legislation and the work-flows actually used in East Africa.
www.Payroll.co.ke - PAYROLL is a cloud based human resource management system that automates & systemize all required paperwork for the entire staff in a company. It helps to submit returns to the various statutory bodies in Kenya, i.e., KRA, NHIF, NSSF, NITA, HELB.
www.MiniERP.co.ke - MINIERP is a management package that helps business owners manage their businesses not just run their books. It is a cloud based financial management package that also works when the internet is down/ offline.
I got my job straight from university. While in 3rd year in uni, I co-founded an IT company called Metro-Mobile which was a software development company that gave students a detailed summary of their university’s e-learning systems and co-curricular activities on their mobile phones.
Together with my co-founders, we entered an application we had developed called Campus101 in a mobile-apps competition called Pivot25 (now Pivot East). We were fortunate enough to become finalists however, we did not win.
But, while at the pitching competition I met Michael Pedersen who had then founded Pluspeople Kenya. He was very impressed by my presentation - I am the one who pitched our product at the competition on behalf of my team - and approached me and asked if I wanted to be part of the Pluspeople team.
That was in 2011 and 5 years later, here we are!
2) What advice do you have for others that are looking for work in your field? If you are an entrepreneur, what advice would you have for others launching a company?
Advice for people looking for jobs in my field is keep an open mind and be prepared to adapt, FAST! Technology is constantly changing and you have to keep changing with it. Be well read, don’t just scratch the surface, be a domain expert! Find blogs that are relevant to you, be active on social media, subscribe to informative newsletters, watch videos - simply do everything in your capacity to keep up with the industry. You might wake up someday and find a 21 year old with only a mobile phone as their only tool managing your one week to-do list in a matter of minutes!
Advice for anyone launching a company - it is not a bed of roses. Entrepreneurship is hard! Every so often, you will question your idea, your strategies, every single decision you make. There are days you will wake up with NO IDEA where your next payroll is coming from but it is all worth it! You will relish the freedom because you are in charge of your destiny. You will be at liberty to come up with your own principles and virtues that will guide you through your entrepreneurial journey and ultimately, your entire life. Choosing to be an entrepreneur is choosing to be one step closer to happiness.
3) What do you think is the biggest obstacle facing talent on the continent?
We do not have enough domain experts. Too many people are “Jacks of all trades and masters of none”. Which makes it harder for people to much easily get jobs or to become entrepreneurs because they can hardly figure out what it is exactly that they are really good at.
Anyone with good talent hardly has to look for a job. Good talent is sort after. And employers/ founders of companies looking for co-founders know this and are constantly looking for people with good talent to offer them a job.
If we do not take time to find that one thing that makes us tick, that sweet spot then we will forever be complaining about a shortage of employment/ entrepreneurship opportunities.
4) Do you have a blog, twitter account, website that we can follow?
Blog: http://www.kenyamanual.co.ke - this is a blog I write for work. We have given it the tagline “The Missing Manual for the Kenyan Startup”. This is where we share our hard earned experiences running an SMEs in Kenya. Every time we figure out how to overcome one bureaucratic issue, we write a post so that all the other founders coming after us will have a go to place to get their hard questions answered.
Twitter: @syombua_nzioki / @uhasibu
http://www.pluspeople.co.ke - this is a static website showcasing all the projects that Pluspeople manages.