One night while in college, Samuel Njuguna’s modem from Orange ran out of airtime. He only had money in his Mpesa but that wouldn’t be of help because there’s no way one can buy Orange airtime using Mpesa. After bringing the issue to some of his friends who then bounced off a few ideas to solve the issue, Chura was born.
The mobile service is a one of a kind that offers airtime services and PayPal to Mpesa conversion. The concept of ‘Chura’ – Swahili word for frog is to help users leap from one network to the other with ease; allowing mobile service users to access resources from different networks from a single point.
With an average of 5000 transactions a month that hope to grow to 6000 this year, and a 60% customer retention, they have seen their fair share of ups and downs. From getting the right team to work with to making sure they offer excellent customer care – which sounds easy in theory – but are clear on their way to making their mark on the global market.
What motivates them? The philosophy of never trading idealism over financial security. One undisputed fact is that founding start-ups will see Africa out of poverty and Samuel sees startups as a way of alleviating society’s problems and heralding development.
His piece of advice to young entrepreneurs is: “Business is a ride like no other: exhilarating, emotionally draining, steep learning curves, eye-opening, a platform of freedom in testing your ideas and is also discouraging at times but rewarding to see the benefits people are reaping from your work. It can best be explained as a beautiful struggle; one that is necessary, full of passion and rewarding.
You can find more about them from their website www.chura.co.ke
By Susan Mukami