SPOTLIGHT MEA: Fintech Entrepreneurship in Kenya

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Kenya has a thriving and growing fintech space and has become a hub of fintech, financial services and wider tech for East Africa. The FinTech Times sit down with Kevin Mutiso of Alternative Circle Technology Solutions.

Kevin Mutiso is the CEO of Alternative Circle Technology Solutions

Kevin Mutiso is the CEO of Alternative Circle Technology Solutions

Kevin Mutiso is the CEO of Alternative Circle Technology Solutions

Kevin Mutiso stands out as a notable  African fintech entrepreneur and CEO of Alternative Circle Technology Solutions, which is a Kenya-based fintech solutions company.  Kevin is a visionary who aspires to positively impact 1 billion lives during his lifetime through his entrepreneurial pursuits. A market man by training, his ambition is to create a tool that the informal sector entrepreneur can use to make more money by having access to larger markets, access to credit, and reliable information. His 15 years of experience as a serial entrepreneur involves having founded or co-founded a last-mile retail chain, a new age media production company, and lobbying on behalf of industry through the Digital Lenders Association of Kenya and Emerging Entrepreneurs Network. Kevin believes his unique insights can bring the informal market into the 21st century.

Kevin has experience securing investment for a fintech innovation which uses information related to credit, to improve access to credit and reliable information for informal sector entrepreneurs. The company he founded is perhaps the leading Financial Technology Innovator in Kenya.

Kevin, for our global audience, can you explain what the digital and fintech landscape across the globe currently looks like

Fintech is undergoing a transition as several Central Banks and other financial market regulators in the world mull over the regulation of new ways of delivery of financial services on digital platforms and even cryptocurrency.

The customer will not interact with financial services as they do today. It will be seamless and bespoke to their needs.

How does this alter in Kenya?

Kenya is the birthplace of this transition with our Central Bank being the one of the most progressive regulators in the world.

I think Kenya will set the standards for regulatory frameworks and in particular how legacy institutions like banks will engage with new age fintechs such as us.

This will be to the benefit of the consumer because these platforms will compete.

How have you developed your subject matter expertise and helped to share it across Kenya?

We have won awards that came with education as part of the award. These awards include China, Singapore, Vietnam and the US.

One of the key lessons was that industry engagement with government is necessary and as a result we co-founded the Digital Lenders Association of Kenya (DLAK) where we have been educating and lobbying on behalf of the respectable players of the industry, ensuring that consumer protection and market efficiency is the cardinal principle when coming up with the rule book.

In addition to that, we have been using a new style of managing teams. We have a goals alignment strategy where we align the goals of the business and that of the team to ensure that we are all working towards a mutually beneficial co-existence. This includes incentives.

Kevin what are future trends and predictions you see happening in the region? 

Our focus is on informal sector entrepreneurs, helping them make more money using the tools we provide. Through this unique focus, we expect to become the largest technology company in Africa and top ten in the world by 2030.

We have a long-term strategy that we have been executing for the last 5 years. This strategy is on track and next year we will be more visible to the consumer.

Any advice or recommendations you would give Kevin to other future fintech companies and entrepreneurs based in the Middle East & Africa (MEA) region? 

Sure, I can give the following pointers:

  1. Don’t give up.
  2. Solve a problem that can change the world into a better place.
  3. Engage with your sector regulator. They are amazing, smart, clever, visionary people. They’re not politicians.
  4. Have check points for your long term plan.

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